Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) became the Port of Baltimore newest auto customer after agreeing to a five -year contract with auto processor Amports that will bring approximately 65,000 vehicles a year to Maryland from its assembly plants in Japan. The vehicles will be handled at the Amports-owned Chesapeake Auto Terminal. The addition of Mazda will help to create 450 new jobs, including 160 direct jobs.
“We are very happy to welcome Mazda to the Port of Baltimore,” said Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. “As the number one auto port in the nation, the Port of Baltimore is also one of our state’s leading economic generators. Thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs are created by our very active and busy Port. As Maryland’s economy continues to grow, the Port of Baltimore is again demonstrating why it is a leader in our state for bringing in new business and jobs.”
Mazda vehicles expected to come through the Port of Baltimore include the MX-5 Miata, Mazda 2, Mazda 6, and its CX-5 and CX-9 SUV line.
“Mazda is honored to call the Port of Baltimore its new home for all of its vehicle imports in the Northeast,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president U.S. Operations, MNAO. "The decision for Mazda to move ports makes sense for our business and we look forward to growing this relationship.”
The Maryland congressional delegation is responsible for the Port of Baltimore receiving federal dredging dollars that keeps the channels leading to the Port wide and deep enough to accommodate today’s large commercial vessels. Without accommodating channels, these vessels would not be able to safely reach the Port of Baltimore and would instead take that business and the family-supporting jobs that come with it to competing ports. From dredging dollars to security funding, thanks to Team Maryland, the Port of Baltimore continues to be a great economic engine for the State of Maryland and a success story that serves as a model for many U.S. ports.
"More cars from Japan and around the globe mean more jobs for Marylanders. The Port of Baltimore is a bell weather for our nation’s economic health and its booming business is strong evidence of the growing strength of our nation’s manufacturing base and the resilience of our economy," said Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. "I am proud that the federal government has been a partner with the State of Maryland in making the types of investments that have helped the strong leadership at the Port of Baltimore keep us on the leading edge of international commerce."
Through the first six months of 2013, autos at the Port of Baltimore are up nearly nine percent from 2012. In June, a record 22,997 cars were exported from the Port’s public marine terminals to worldwide destinations. Last year, the port’s public and private marine terminals handled 652,000 vehicles, more than any other U.S. port and an increase of 18 percent from 2011. Autos are one of the main commodities handled at the port’s public marine terminals. More than 1,000 direct jobs at the port are generated by the port’s auto business.
“Mazda is a welcome addition to the Port of Baltimore,” said Congressman Elijah E. Cummings. “I applaud the O’Malley Administration for its tireless efforts to ensure that the Port of Baltimore remains our nation’s leader in handling automobiles and continues to be a vital economic engine supporting jobs and growth in the state of Maryland.”
“In today’s economy, this announcement is music to the ears of hard-working Maryland families,” Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger said. “Already one of Maryland’s strongest economic engines, the Port of Baltimore will be seeing more traffic, more cargo and especially more jobs as a result of this new contract.”
"The Port of Baltimore is a tremendous economic engine that supports over 100,000 jobs and keeps Maryland's economy on the move," said Congressman John Sarbanes. "I will keep fighting for federal investments in dredging the harbor and related infrastructure projects so the Port can continue to thrive and keep its spot as one of the most productive on the east coast."
The Port of Baltimore is ranked as the top port among 360 U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported forest products, imported sugar, imported aluminum and imported gypsum. Baltimore ranks second in the U.S. for exported coal, and imported iron ore. Overall Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of international cargo and 11th for international cargo tonnage.
Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 14,630 direct jobs, while about 108,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local taxes.