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Port of Baltimore reports record year

The Port of Baltimore set a new record for imports and exports in the fiscal year that ended in June, the Maryland Port Administration announced Tuesday.

Nearly 9.6 million tons of cargo were moved across the port’s publicly owned docks in fiscal 2013, a 2.4 percent increase over fiscal 2012.

The new tonnage record continues the port’s resurgence, which has coincided with a private company taking control of operations at the Seagirt Marine Terminal and recovery from the economic recession.

The port has set cargo records in each of the last two calendar years, and is on pace this year to challenge 2012’s record, according to monthly cargo statistics.

The port, the nation’s leading handler of automobiles, also set a record in June by exporting 22,997 cars. General cargo tonnage was up 4.6 percent year-over-year in June.

“This record-breaking progress demonstrates that the port continues to be one of Maryland’s greatest economic engines, supporting tens of thousands of jobs for Maryland families,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement.

The public docks at Seagirt Marine Terminal are operated by Ports America Chesapeake as part of a public-private partnership. The company has paid for major improvements at the marine terminal and handles day-to-day operations.

The Port of Baltimore — which includes private docks at the Dundalk Marine Terminal — is ranked No. 1 among 360 United States ports for moving cars, farm and construction equipment, imported forest products, imported sugar, imported aluminum and imported gypsum. The port is second in the U.S. for exported coal and imported iron ore. The port also handles the ninth-priciest international cargo in the nation.

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