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Rail News: Intermodal

Baltimore port to begin handling Mazda vehicles in September

Next month, the Port of Baltimore plans to welcome its newest auto customer: Mazda North American Operations.

The automaker recently agreed to a five-year contract with auto processor Amports that will bring about 65,000 vehicles per year to Maryland from Japanese assembly plants, port officials said in a press release. The vehicles — which will include the MX-5 Miata, Mazda 2, Mazda 6, CX-5 and CX-9 models — will be handled at Amports' Chesapeake Auto Terminal.

Through the year's first half, the port's auto volume rose about 9 percent compared with the same 2012 period. In June, a record 22,997 cars were exported from the port's public marine terminals to worldwide destinations.

"We are very happy to welcome Mazda to the Port of Baltimore," said Maryland Transportation Secretary James Smith Jr. "As the No. 1 auto port in the nation, the Port of Baltimore is also one of our state's leading economic generators."

The port is served by CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Canton Railroad Co., which provides switching services.

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More News from 8/21/2013