Cargo at port continues to slide Volume nearly 13% short of last year

October 02, 1990|By Jon Morgan and Meredith Schlow | Jon Morgan and Meredith Schlow,Evening Sun Staff

The volume of general cargo moving through the Port of Baltimore continued its downward slide in August, with tonnage dropping more than 4 percent from the same month a year ago. The decline leaves the port nearly 13 percent below where it was at the same point in 1989.

A key barometer of port health, general cargo consists of all goods that are not transported in bulk such as grain and coal. It includes autos, lumber, steel and merchandise carried in standardized cargo containers. The bulk of the jobs at the port are related to handling of general cargo.

The publicly owned terminals at Baltimore handled 407,014 tons of general cargo in August, down from 425,875 the year before. For the year as a whole, the port has moved 3.3 million tons compared with 3.8 million tons the year before, according to statistics released yesterday by the Maryland Port Commission.

The commission is a policy-making board that oversees the Maryland Port Administration.

Compared with the same month last year, the port's container trade dropped by nearly 9 percent in August. Lumber, however, was up 46 percent and the automobile category was up just under 9 percent.

The automobile traffic was "a pleasant surprise" according to Bruce Cashon, marketing director for the port administration. Cashon attributed the increase to the volume of new cars coming in for the 1991 model year.

Of the port's major terminals, only South Locust Point enjoyed any growth in August, with an 8.5 percent increase. Dundalk Marine Terminal, the port's biggest, was off 4.6 percent, North Locust Point was down nearly 25 percent, and the Toyota Terminal was off 39 percent.

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