Pasha Automotive Services, which is part of global logistics and transport provider The Pasha Group, has signed a lease at the port of Baltimore in the US with Tradepoint Atlantic to launch vehicle processing operations for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The first vessel carrying FCA volumes is due to call next month. Volumes are still yet to be determined according to Pasha.

Tradepoint Atlantic owns a 1,254-hectare multimodal industrial site at Sparrows Point in Baltimore that now has a purpose built automotive terminal on it with rail loading facilities and direct access to CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads. It also has access to deepwater berths at the port. Tradepoint Atlantic has invested $5m on infrastructure upgrades, including berth improvements, security upgrades and additional roadway infrastructure.

Pasha has signed an initial two-year licence agreement for the development of 8.5 hectares of land, following which it intends to sign a long-term lease. This will be in support of Tradepoint Atlantic's contract with FCA for vehicle imports through the port. Pasha is building a new processing facility that will open in March 2017.

“Pasha has long sought the ideal location in the Mid-Atlantic to set up a scalable ro-ro facility, and has operated regionally for many years,” said John Pasha, senior vice president, Pasha Automotive Services. “In our diligence we recognised that Sparrows Point in Baltimore is the ideal location based on rail access to both CSX and Norfolk Southern railways, proximity to the Atlantic, and major highways, and virtually unlimited growth potential.”

The Port of Baltimore transported 753,265 vehicles in 2015, according to figures from the Maryland port authority, the most among US ports for the fifth consecutive year.

“Tradepoint Atlantic is excited to welcome Pasha to Sparrows Point as one of the premier providers of automobile logistics,” said Michael Moore, CEO of Tradepoint Atlantic. “This partnership, which carries the opportunity for further expansion, represents a significant step forward in the roll-on/roll-off space for the port of Baltimore and Tradepoint Atlantic.”