Joint venture will serve Mexico-Florida transport of vehicles
Port Manatee and the Pasha Group will join forces to create a new multi-purpose Ro/Ro terminal close to the entrance to Florida’s Tampa Bay.
The project will include the construction of a 172,500-square-foot vehicle processing facility and a terminal covering an initial 30 acres with the potential to be expanded to as much as 100 acres. Manatee’s Berth 12, with its 40-foot draft, will be expanded to serve the proposed terminal.
“Port Manatee offers a strategic Gulf Coast location for ocean access, facilities and distribution for both import and export automobiles,” explained John Pasha, senior vice president for California-based Pasha Automotive Services, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the company and the US port last week.
Port Manatee is the closest Florida port to Mexico’s fast-growing vehicle manufacturing areas served by the ports of Veracruz and Altamira. The port can offer transit times a day and a half faster than routes via vehicle-handling ports on the Atlantic Coast.
“Port Manatee will be able to get autos and other cargos from Mexico to the Florida market faster and more cost-effectively than any other Florida port,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director.
“In addition, we anticipate export opportunities into Latin America.”
Port Manatee, the closest US deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal, is located in the eastern Gulf of Mexico at the entrance to Tampa Bay.