Tonnage up 4.1% at port of Baltimore


September 05, 1997

The port of Baltimore's 18-month slump may be over.

For the first half of 1997, total general cargo moving through the port's state-owned marine terminals increased 4.1 percent, from short tons to 3,053,856 short tons, port officials said yesterday.

Cargo was down 8.8 percent during the corresponding period last year, reflecting the loss of major shipping lines in Baltimore and an overall decline in business at most North Atlantic ports.

None of those lines has resumed service here and the port has been slow to lure any new carriers. Nevertheless, business appears to be growing on existing shipping lines, with increases in automobiles, break bulk and roll-on/roll-off cargo, such as tractors, accounting for much of the growth.

The latest statistics, however, show only a 2 percent increase in the number of containers handled during the first half of the year, after a 9 percent drop in 1996. The decrease in containers has driven the port's strategic plan, which targets break bulk cargo, such as steel, automobiles and other types of freight on which Baltimore might have a competitive edge.

Pub Date: 9/05/97

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