Amports, a company that processed Hyundai and Kia car shipments at the port of Baltimore since 2002, is laying off 116 people after it lost a contract to the Philadelphia port.
The news comes less than a month after the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority announced that it and a local company had lured Glovis of America to the port. Glovis had previously imported 150,000 Hyundai and Kia automobiles every year through the ports of Baltimore and Newark, N.J., according to Philadelphia port officials.
As a result of the loss of the contract, Amports warned the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation late last month that it would lay off the workers by July 1. Amports officials could not be reached for comment. The port of Baltimore saw about 400,000 vehicle shipments in the last fiscal year which ended June 30, down by about a third from the previous year.
In December, the port struck a deal to import about one-fifth of all BMW vehicles – about 50,000 a year -- arriving in the United States, which port officials said would generate 200 jobs.