Port of Baltimore sees steady rise in cargo business

November 03, 1993|By Suzanne Wooton | Suzanne Wooton,Staff Writer

Cargo handled at state-owned terminals rose nearly 6 percent during the first three quarters this year, continuing more than a year of steady growth in business at the port of Baltimore.

General cargo climbed from 3,850,795 tons to 4,049,150 tons, or 5.7 percent increase, over the same period last year, according to figures released yesterday by the Maryland Port Administration (MPA).

The latest figures represent the fifth straight quarter of growth for the port, which had steadily lost cargo for a half-dozen years prior to the turnaround in mid-1992.

The increase this year was sparked by a 6.7 percent rise in cargo during the third quarter, when cargo moving through the port rose from 1,262,654 tons during the same period in 1992 to 1,347,577 in 1993.

Echoing his remarks two weeks ago at the state's annual luncheon in New York for steamship companies, Gov. William Donald Schaefer praised labor for the continued progress, along with the private sector and the state.

"We have worked hard to make our port more competitive, and we are now seeing the results," Mr. Schaefer said yesterday.

State officials said imports continued to fuel the overall increase, as they rose 13 percent during the first three quarters in 1993. The largest import gains were reported in containerized cargo, steel and break bulk cargo, particularly wood pulp.

Also yesterday, the port reported an operating income of $924,000 for the first quarter of the 1994 fiscal year, compared with $383,000 for the same period in 1993.

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