Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The Port of Baltimore is bouncing back. Commerce this year has doubled and that means jobs for Marylanders.
Kai Jackson explains what’s fueling the boom.
It’s good news because the port is one of Baltimore’s vital economic engines.
A substantial amount of the cargo that moves in and out of Maryland comes through the Port of Baltimore. Governor Martin O’Malley announced Thursday that 33 million tons of foreign commerce went through the port in 2010, up 47 percent over last year.
“Volume is up. Our public marine terminals are doing just fine with cargo. We’re coming off a very successful year,” said Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration James White.
The port administration says private terminals have made the difference, moving products like coal, iron ore and salt and operating 24 hours a day. Contracts with major shipping lines has helped the port survive the economic downturn.
The port administration says 16,700 direct jobs are generated from operations. The port is responsible for $3.7 billion in personal wages and salary and nearly $400 million in state and local taxes.
“We’re number one for roll off cargo in the nation and number one for imported paper products,” White said.
The port says the cruise industry generates about $90 million of economic value to the state.