BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The perfect port for the perfect driving machine. It turns out BMW thinks Baltimore fits that description.
Alex DeMetrick reports the German automaker is upping its high-end commitment here.
Not all cargo rolls out of the Port of Baltimore in containers on the backs of trucks. Some of the most expensive merchandise rolls off on its own.
BMW plans on moving 60,000 cars a year from Germany into Baltimore, upping past commitments to the port. It’s a cargo worth $2.5 billion.
“The Port of Baltimore offers the ideal location and space to support the further growth of our business here in the United States,” said BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch.
Part of that expansion will be new facilities to prep the cars after their sea voyage, for the trip to dealers.
The port is already the largest new car parking lot in Maryland–750,000 vehicles a year either coming in or being shipped out to markets overseas, and that’s set a record.
Baltimore’s now the number one port for auto transport in the country.
Here’s why: “We had a very aggressive program to attract more ship lines calling here than any other port,” said Jim White, executive director of Maryland Port Administration.
And the more ships stopping here, the better. It creates competition, lowering the cost to manufacturers to bring their cars to the United States.
Then there is the advantage of location.
“We’re closer to the Midwest, so we have an advantage with the manufacturers in the Midwest in getting the product here,” White said.
Coming or going, it is good for business.
BMW estimates the number of cars it will ship to Baltimore will hit 166,000 by the end of 2016.
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