AsianTerminalsCars_optAsian Terminals (ATI), the Philippine port operator and developer, is investing 1.3 billion Philippine pesos ($25.8m) in a five-level vehicle storage facility at the port of Batangas to handle continued growth in imports of vehicles to the country.

Batangas port accounts for the majority of the country’s annual car imports and last year handled more than 200,000 vehicles, its highest volume in a single year, after growth of over 40% year-on-year. Imports of vehicles to the Philippines last year amounted to almost 9% of overall imports and were worth $7.6 billion. Thailand and Indonesia are the two leading countries exporting to the Philippines, accounting for almost 70% of overall vehicle imports.

The new multi-level vehicle facility will be able to store 7,000 cars. The first phase of development is expected to be complete by November this year, with phase two due to complete by mid-2018. The facility is being built by NW Steel Industries and DCCD Engineering.

It is being built on a two-hectare plot adjacent to the ro-ro berths at Batangas port. ATI said the location was a strategic staging area for transporting imported vehicles to island destinations in the Visayas and Mindanao via inter-island vessels.

ATI is a part of global port developer DP World.