Logistics hub operator Tradepoint Atlantic has signed a deal with Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) to develop a multimodal vehicle processing and storage facility in Baltimore.

The site, which is expected to open in 2020, will cover more than 46 hectares and handle around 120,000 vehicles a year from VW’s European and Mexican production plants. It will be situated on the former home of the Bethlehem Steel factory, once one of the world’s largest steelmaking works.

VW has five other port processing facilities in the US, at Benicia and San Diego (CA), Houston (TX), Davisville (RI) and Jacksonville (FL), along with its distribution hub at the Chattanooga plant (TN).

Though the new Baltimore facility will be leased to VW, the company will make a “significant investment” in the new base, said Tradepoint Atlantic, adding that it would begin work on developing the site immediately. VWGoA will start shipping in and distributing new Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini vehicles through the facility from early next year. Volumes are expected to increase over time, said Tradepoint.

Anu Goel, executive vice-president for group after sales and services at VWGoA, said: “The mid-Atlantic region has long been a strong market for VWGoA and we are pleased to announce the launch of our seventh and newest vehicle processing operation in the US.”

The new operation will help the company improve services and advance growth plans in a key market, he added.

The new base will create around 100 direct jobs at Tradepoint Atlantic, plus others indirectly in the trucking, rail, vessel unloading and shipping sectors.