Japanese automaker Mazda has reached a five-year agreement with the port of Baltimore, according to an article in Tuesday’s Baltimore Sun. The port of Baltimore won out in a bidding process as Mazda’s current contract with Port Newark in New Jersey, a primary east coast rival, is ending. The agreement means that the port of Baltimore will be the new home for all of Mazda’s vehicle imports into the northeast.
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According to the Sun article, Mazda will ship 65,000 new cars through the port annually, bringing an estimated 160 new jobs. Officials at the Maryland Port Authority estimate that in addition to the 160 new jobs directly associated with the agreement, the impact of the new business could support around 300 additional new jobs in the Baltimore area.
The port of Baltimore ranks first out of 360 US ports for handling automobiles and light trucks, and this agreement comes on the heels of a record-breaking month in terms of auto imports. The port is a significant cog in the Baltimore economy, employing over 14,000 people, paying $3 billion in personal wages and over $300 million annually in state and local taxes. The agreement comes at a time when port officials are hoping to expand the port’s footprint by acquiring land at Sparrows Point with the hopes of adding a new auto terminal.
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