Pan American Independent Line, based in Montevideo, Uruguay, has become the third shipping line in the last two months to announce plans to start calling at the Port of Baltimore.
The privately owned company said yesterday it will begin tri-weekly container service to Baltimore, perhaps beginning by Monday. The service will mark the company's entry into the East Coast market. Port officials estimated that the new service could bring 54,000 tons of cargo through the port a year.
The line is expected to move coffee, confections, earthenware and construction equipment from South America and will transport machinery, steel products, resins and refractory materials south.
O. James Lighthizer, chairman of the Maryland Port Commission and Secretary of the Department of Transportation, said the recent flurry of new activity at the port is the result of cooperation between management, labor and the private sector.
Last month, the Greek-flagged Levant Line announced it was switching operations on the Mediterranean and Black Sea service from Richmond, Va., to Baltimore. Also, Compania Maritima Nacional, a privately owned Brazilian line, announced it was initiating service from Brazil to Baltimore.
In addition, two steamship lines already calling in Baltimore announced plans to expand service. Wallenius Lines, a Swedish carrier, said it would begin serving Baltimore with roll-on/roll-off cargo such as construction equipment, tractors and boats. Lykes Bros. Steamship Co. Inc. added a direct service from Baltimore to ports in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The Pan American service is to call at the South Locust Point Marine Terminal and serve ports in Santos and Rio Grande in Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Asuncion, Paraguay.
"The Port of Baltimore has strong ties to the South American market over the past decades and we believe we can achieve real growth opportunities for Pan American," said Brendan "Bud" O'Malley, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration. "This new agreement is an example of the success of our efforts to bring new and varied business to the terminals in the Port of Baltimore."
ITO has been selected as the cargo handler for the new service. Norton Lily International Inc. is the general agent.