Grain is discharged at a Tradepoint Atlantic terminal on a Maryland site that was the longtime home of steel mill operations.
Grain is discharged at a Tradepoint Atlantic terminal on a Maryland site that was the longtime home of steel mill operations.

Now joined by cargo operations stalwart Host Terminals, Tradepoint Atlantic is rapidly advancing a major hub for movement and storage of noncontainerized goods on a 3,100-acre Maryland tract that for more than a century was home to steelmaking.
With a promise to become the nation’s largest intermodal redevelopment, Tradepoint Atlantic is transforming the waterfront Sparrows Point property that lies southeast of Port of Baltimore container facilities into a center for out-of-the-box cargos.

This spring’s announcement of the 10-year agreement with Norfolk, Virginia-based Host Terminals was accompanied by inking of a labor pact with the International Union of Operating Engineers’ Local 37 and unveiling of plans for $30 million in combined infrastructure investments.

Moving forward are development of roadways, paving of laydown areas, building of covered storage and fortification of bulkheads, according to Kerry Doyle, Tradepoint Atlantic’s chief financial officer.

“Tradepoint is uniquely positioned to be the next-level growth vehicle for the Port of Baltimore,” Doyle said, adding that he sees the hub handling “a healthy and diverse mix of cargo types,” including various bulk and breakbulk commodities, as well as project cargos serving the U.S. East Coast’s burgeoning offshore wind industry.

Adam Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Host Terminals, noted that his company, founded in 1923 as T. Parker Host Inc., is no stranger to the Port of Baltimore, having operated Baltimore agencies for bulk carriers and liner services since 1986 and thereafter adding terminal and coal tug-and-barge presences.

“We’re obviously committed to the Port of Baltimore,” Anderson told the American Journal of Transportation.

“We believe the Tradepoint Atlantic operations might actually surpass Hampton Roads,” Anderson added, referencing the Virginia region that has historically been his company’s busiest area.

“We’re ecstatic about the opportunity,” he said. “We think Tradepoint is a model for the repurposing of industrial assets.”

While steelmaking at Sparrows Point began in 1889 and continued under a long tenure of Bethlehem Steel, production stopped in 2012, with then-owner RG Steel filing for bankruptcy. In 2014, the property was bought for $110 million by Tradepoint Atlantic, owned by Redwood Capital Investments LLC and Hilco Global.

About 1.6 million tons of cargo moved through the Tradepoint Atlantic facility last year, and plans call for that volume to more than triple over the next five years.

“Tradepoint Atlantic provides the Port of Baltimore with tremendous growth opportunity,” said Aaron Tomarchio, Tradepoint Atlantic’s vice president of corporate affairs.

The property offers immediate Interstate highway access and direct short-line connections to both CSX and Norfolk Southern rails, while plans call for bringing depths of the channel and along the site’s four berths to between 40 feet and 50 feet from present depths in the 36- to 41-foot range.

Tradepoint Atlantic has already signed numerous tenants, including FedEx Ground, Pasha Automotive Services, LafargeHolcim and Harley-Davidson of Baltimore.