Associated British Ports (ABP) has launched a property development and investment business called ABP Property, worth £3.5 billion ($4.6 billion).

The company owns sites in and around 21 major UK ports and said it had a ‘land bank’ of 960 hectares ready to accommodate new logistics, assembly, manufacturing and other business operations with multimodal transport options.

At certain of its sites, the company will be investing in infrastructure to speed development as part of its current five-year, £1 billion investment programme, which it said was “designed to create world-class facilities for customers”.

ABP’s commercial director, Jens Nielsen, said: “ABP Property comprises a genuinely significant land bank and we have put together an experienced team to ensure investors, occupiers and agents can fully capitalise on the opportunities that this space offers.”

That team of property developers and agents is being led by Huw Turner, ABP group head of property.

“Our 21 ports serving key shipping, land and rail routes provide great opportunities to develop and utilise available land which offers accommodation solutions for the manufacture and distribution of goods locally, nationally and globally,” he said.

Alongside the 960 hectares of development land, ABP Property offers 1.4m sq.m of covered storage and 1,000 hectares of open storage. It operates an existing investment portfolio amounting to approximately £2 billion.

Earlier this month, ABP opened a new vehicle terminal at the port of Southampton in the UK, as part of a £50m investment first announced in September last year.

The first multi-storey storage facility is now operational at the Pacific Terminal and adds 3,400 additional parking spaces for vehicles being exported via the port of Southampton. A second facility will be added as part of phase one developments at the terminal, bringing the combined capacity to 7,600 spaces.

ABP handles 1.5m finished vehicles a year through its UK ports.