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Maryland Careers with Port of Baltimore Kept in State

An effort between Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Mediterranean Shipping Company will help keep hundreds of Maryland careers in the state.

O’Malley and officials from MSC recently signed a six-year extension to the current contract between the Port of Baltimore and the MSC, an international container shipping company based in Geneva. The deal will help keep 628 direct jobs in Maryland and ensure the continued shipment of containerized cargo through the Port of Baltimore.

“In these difficult economic times, I am very pleased to receive an extended commitment from one of the top container shipping companies in the world,” O’Malley said in a press release. “This extension keeps good-paying, family-supporting jobs at the economic engine that is the Port of Baltimore. Maryland is proud to be signing the third long-term contract in a year when many ports are facing much harder times.”

The new agreement extends the current contract with MSC, which is the port’s top container shipping company, to Dec. 31, 2014. It requires MSC to bring a minimum of 100,000 containers to the port each year, three times the amount required in the original 10-year contract. The agreement further maintains about $25 million in wages and salaries and $14 million in state and local taxes.

“We are very happy to secure MSC, our top container customer, for another six years,” James J. White, Maryland Port Administration executive director, said in the press release. “This extension amends the original contract and requires MSC to bring more business to this Port for the next several years.”

Aside from the MSC contract, the Port of Baltimore has signed 10-year contracts with Evergreen Marine Corporation, a container company based in Taiwan, and UPM, a Finland-based paper manufacturer within the last year. The port also has kicked off the first of its record 79 cruises scheduled for this year.

The Port of Baltimore employs about 16,500 workers overall. Out of the 360 ports throughout the country, Baltimore is ranked first for handling roll on/roll off cargo; trucks; imported forest products and imported gypsum, sugar and iron ore. The port is ranked 14th nationally for total foreign cargo tonnage and 12th for total dollar value of cargo.