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Port of Baltimore’s public terminals handle record number of containers, autos

The Port of Baltimore’s public terminals continued to rebound from the recession by handling a record number of containers and autos last year, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Thursday.

“The Port of Baltimore’s very successful 2011 year is great news for the thousands of men and women who depend on the port to provide for their families,” the governor said in a statement.

“Through sound infrastructure investments, forward-thinking business partnerships and long-term contracts with international shipping companies, the port continues to recover from the challenging world economic conditions and position itself in a very good light moving forward,” the governor said.

The port said it handled a record 402,135 containers in 2011, up 4 percent from 2010, as well as a record 446,403 autos, up 12 percent. The 166,077 total of autos exported was up 32 percent from 2010 and was also a record.

The public terminals at the port handled 8.88 million tons of general cargo, the second highest total ever, behind the 8.96 million tons handled in 2008.

Last month it was announced that a record 251,889 people sailed on 105 cruises from the Port of Baltimore in 2011. That total represented the third consecutive record year for cruise passengers.