Port of Baltimore handles record number of autos

December 01, 2010|By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun

The Port of Baltimore's public terminals handled 42,830 cars in October, a 25 percent boost from a year earlier and a record number for a single month, port officials said Wednesday.

The previous record was set in March, when 38,053 cars came through the public docks.

"These automobile numbers demonstrate that the Port of Baltimore is successfully weathering the storm that is the recent national economic downturn," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement. "This is good news for the thousands of men and women that depend on the port-related jobs to support their families."

The port's auto business is up 33 percent compared with the first 10 months of 2009, officials said.

BMW began shipping 50,000 cars annually through Baltimore earlier this year and expects to continue that pace for the next five years, an agreement that will generate about 200 new jobs. Ford began shipping its Fiesta models through Baltimore this year as well.

Auto business generates some 1,150 direct jobs at the port, which ranks second among all U.S. ports for exporting cars.

Lorraine.Mirabella@baltsun.com

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