Port Houston has negotiated a lease with Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) of Tacoma, Washington, for a new automotive terminal at Bayport, in the facility formerly used for cruise operations. The long-term lease of the RoRo terminal will allow AWC to discharge new vehicles and perform accessory work for an auto distribution business. The first ship, M/V Grande Sierra Leone, with the Grimaldi line and Euro-Mediterranean partnership, arrived Nov. 30.
AWC’s initial development search started in February of 2016 as a narrow search for just 10 to 12 acres of property — and the company now has a sprawling 33-acre property instead. A total of 60 additional acres could be developed depending on future cargo volumes. AWC provides services such as body repair, vehicle inspections, accessory installation, storage and surveys.
The initial manufacturer contract with Auto Warehousing calls for handling about 20,000 imported vehicles per year. Rolling cargo is a good fit for the terminal as parking is readily available and vessels can arrive at berth and quickly discharge rolling stock. Auto Warehousing hopes to create about 20 jobs during the first phase of their operations. Additional indirect jobs created will include longshoremen and truckers.