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2/13/2012


Rail News: Intermodal
Baltimore port sets volume records; Oshawa port nets port authority



Last year, the Port of Baltimore set several annual cargo records, including all-time-high volumes of containers and autos.

The record-setting marks include 402,135 containers (up 4 percent compared with 2010); 631,806 20-foot equivalent units (up 3 percent); 446,403 autos (up 12 percent); 166,077 export autos (up 32 percent); and 515,433 tons of wood pulp imports.

In addition, the port handled 938,675 tons of roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery, second only to the 969,272 tons handled in 2008, and 8.9 million tons of general cargo, second to 8.96 million tons handled in 2008.

“Through sound infrastructure investments, forward-thinking business partnerships and long-term contracts with international shipping companies, the port continues to recover from the challenging world economic conditions and position itself in a very good light moving forward,” said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in a prepared statement.

Through 2011’s first 11 months, the port ranked first among the nation’s 360 ports for handling farm and construction machinery, autos, trucks, imported forest products, imported sugar and imported gypsum, according to Maryland officials. The port ranked second for exported coal, imported salt, imported aluminum and imported iron ore. The port is served by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway; Canton Railroad Co. provides switching services.

Meanwhile, Transport Canada last week announced it formed a Canada Port Authority (CPA) to operate the Port of Oshawa, Ontario.

CPAs “operate at arm's length” from the federal government and are directed by an independent board, a model that makes Canada's major ports commercially efficient and more competitive in the global economy, Transport Canada officials said in a prepared statement. The transition to port authority status will enable the Oshawa port to more fully pursue commercial opportunities, while taking into account input from port users and other stakeholders, such as the local community, they said.

The port currently is governed by the Oshawa Harbour Commission, a three-member board comprising two representatives appointed by the federal minister of transport and one appointed by the city of Oshawa. Both CN and Canadian Pacific operate lines running through the city.

"Oshawa is one of the few cities that can boast an airport, rail lines, an open water port and 400-series highways, making the city and the region a great place to invest," said Colin Carrie, parliamentary secretary to the minister of health and a parliament member for Oshawa, in a prepared statement.

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