Port Manatee in Florida and The Pasha Group are partnering to develop a multipurpose roll-on/roll-off terminal near the entrance to Tampa Bay with a focus on the burgeoning U.S.-Mexican automobile manufacturing industry.
“We see Port Manatee as strategic in our portfolio of key locations for the continued growth of our corporation for the long term,” John H. Pasha, senior vice president for California-based Pasha Automotive Services, said in a statement. “Port Manatee offers a strategic Gulf Coast location for ocean access, facilities and distribution for both import and export automobiles.”
Company and port authority officials noted Port Manatee is the closest Florida port to Mexico’s fast-growing vehicle manufacturing areas served by the ports of Veracruz and Altamira, offering transit times a day and a half or more faster than routes via vehicle-handling ports on the Atlantic Coast.
“In addition, we anticipate export opportunities into Latin America,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.
The initial agreement between Pasha and the port calls for joint marketing of a 172,500-square-foot vehicle processing facility and development of a terminal on at least 30 acres, expanding to as many as 100 acres as needed. The site is to be served by an expanded Berth 12, which is 1,584 feet long, with 40-foot draft.
Pasha operates similar terminals in the ports of San Diego, Los Angeles and Grays Harbor, Wash., as well as in Baltimore.