Ship deals bring more cargo to port Calls will increase annual business by 500,000 tons

Four new agreements

Gradual recovery follows several years of declining tonnage

Maritime

August 14, 1998|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Four new steamship deals will bring in 500,000 tons of cargo to the port of Baltimore annually, the Maryland Port Administration said yesterday, accelerating a recent upward trend in business after several years of decline.

In the largest deal, the allied lines Cosco North America Inc., Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha will make a second weekly call at the Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The alliance now stops in Baltimore every Monday on its Far East route. Beginning Oct. 21, it will also stop here Wednesdays on its North European route.

The new call will bring an additional 270,000 tons of container cargo each year, nearly doubling what the ships bring now.

The additional call is the result of a division of an existing North European route that bypassed Baltimore, going to New York; Norfolk, Va.; and Charleston, S.C.

Now one route will go to New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, back to New York and then to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The other will stop at Charleston, S.C.; Miami; New Orleans; and Houston.

"It makes logistical and commercial sense for us to be here," said Cosco General Manager Gene Johnson. "We've taken existing service and split it to cover a greater part of the United States."

A new alliance among Columbus Line, Empressa de Navagacao Alianca and P&O/Nedlloyd means Columbus recently doubled its presence here, stopping at the South Locust Point Marine Terminal weekly instead of every other week.

The lines, which began expanded container service this month, link Baltimore with the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Santos in Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The additional South America route is expected to bring in 180,000 tons of cargo each year.

In other agreements, the CSAV-Chilean Line vessel-sharing agreement will offer roll-on, roll-off service to Mexico and the Dominican Republic every other week. The new service is expected to start this month and will call at the Dundalk or South Locust Point terminal.

Additionally, Japan's Eastern Car Liner Ltd. began new monthly roll-on, roll-off and lift-on, lift-off service last week at Dundalk.

The MPA estimated that the Eastern Car Liner and CSAV-Chilean Line services will bring about 50,000 tons of cargo annually.

The added business is welcome news for the port, which struggled with several years of decline recently.

Cargo decreased 7.4 percent in 1996 to 5.7 million tons, then increased 7 percent last year to 6.1 million tons, still short of the 6.7 million tons in 1984 and 1985.

The MPA did not have an estimate of the additional work hours or jobs the new cargo would create.

Pub Date: 8/14/98

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