HONG KONG: The Port of Baltimore and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics signed on Thursday a new 30-year contract, extending a deal with the key automobile and cargo shipper responsible for nearly a third of the cars moving through the port.
The new contract expiring in 2045 takes the place of a 20-year deal signed in 2001. Port and state leaders believe it will lead to increased automobile shipping as well as a boost in the amount of break bulk and “roll on/roll off” heavy-duty farm and construction equipment handled in Baltimore.
“Baltimore is WWL’s largest port in the Americas,” Raymond Fitzgerald, Atlantic president at the shipping and logistics company, said Thursday at a newly built cargo treatment facility at the port’s Dundalk Marine Terminal. “We will be committed to Baltimore for far longer than the next 30 years.”
Wallenius Wilhelmsen, based in Norway, is the largest roll on/roll off customer at the Baltimore port, shipping 431,399 tons under the category in 2014. It’s also a major shipper of the general break bulk category, shipping 124,261 tons of equipment that must be individually loaded on ships.
Critically, the shipping line is a massive automobile transporter as well. It accounted for 253,794 automobiles shipped in or out of the Baltimore port last year. That’s 32 percent of the 792,795 cars shipped through Baltimore in 2014.
The Port of Baltimore is the top automobile shipping port in the country. It set a record in automobiles moved last year.