3-year, $35.4 million contract keeps ITO as Seagirt operator Italia Line returns in May after more than 10 years

The port

April 16, 1998|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

The state Board of Public Works yesterday approved a three-year, $35.4 million contract for ITO Corp. of Baltimore to continue operating the Seagirt Marine Terminal.

Also, Tay Yoshitani, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, said Italia Line would be returning to the port next month after an absence of more than a decade. Details of the line's plans were not immediately available.

ITO has operated Seagirt since it opened in 1990, said Linda Jordan, manager of communications for the MPA, which owns the state's five marine terminals. The initial contract, extended several times, was for about $6 million a year, she said.

Jordan said the higher cost reflects increased volume at Seagirt and rising costs for labor and other factors. She said the MPA expected to recover the cost of the contract through port revenue.

The MPA has an option to extend the contract for a second three-year term for $37.3 million. ITO was the low bidder. Ceres Marine Terminals Inc. bid $55.5 million. ITO also had a higher technical score, 492.2 points compared with 239.2 for Ceres.

Ceres also has been locked in a dispute with the MPA. The Federal Maritime Commission ruled in October that MPA had unfairly given price breaks to some of Ceres' competitors. If upheld, the decision could cost the state millions.

Jordan said Italia would be working with other partners, including Evergreen Marine Corp., already the port's largest customer and one of the few major lines serving Seagirt. She said it was expected to call about once every 10 days with container cargo. No estimate of cargo volume was available, Jordan said.

Pub Date: 4/16/98

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