The port of Baltimore got a boost yesterday as NSCSA (America) Inc., general agent for National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, said it would move its North American headquarters to Baltimore from New York and increase the amount of cargo it moves through the port.
"It's a vote of confidence in Baltimore, both as a port and a place to
do business," said John T. Menzies III, chairman of Terminal Corp., a port services company and a prominent businessman at the port.
The Saudi company leased a floor of the World Trade Center at the Inner Harbor to house its next headquarters and will move here about Oct. 1.
The shift is expected to bring 10 or 15 company employees to the area and create two dozen local jobs, said Patricia Rizzo, the company's personnel and administration manager.
"Baltimore is a very big port of ours," Ms. Rizzo said when askedwhy the company chose to move. "We like the environment in Baltimore."
Baltimore was already the East Coast port that the company used most often, she said. The company will move more cargo through the port after the headquarters move, but Ms. Rizzo said she could not forecast how much more.
Ray Feldmann, spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, said National Shipping is the 24th-largest shipper at the port out of about 75 companies, as measured by the weight of cargo passing through the port last year.
Mr. Feldmann said Wilhelmsen Lines (USA) Inc., which moved its headquarters to Baltimore last July, shipped 53 percent more cargo through the port in the first half of this year than in the same months of 1991. "We would hope for similar growth from NSCSA," he said.
But Mr. Feldmann said there was no firm agreement with NSCSA to boost shipping calls at the port after the headquarters is moved. "It's not part of any lease agreement or anything definite," he said.