BMW to route Midwest cars via Baltimore
Automaker BMW has signed a five-year contract to ship 50,000 new vehicles per year through the Port of Baltimore beginning in the first quarter of 2010.
BMW will use the Mercedes-Benz vehicle processing center at the Maryland Port Administration's Fairfield/Masonville auto terminal for automobiles headed to the Midwest.
BMW spokesman Tom Kowaleski said the company imports about 65 percent to 70 percent of the 240,000-280,000 automobiles it sells in the United States each year, with the others made at its plant in Spartanburg, S.C.
Now instead of importing cars headed to the Midwest through Charleston and then shipping them to BMW’s assembly plant in Spartanburg, S.C., for preparation and onward delivery, the cars will be processed at the Mercedes facility in Baltimore.
In fiscal year 2009, the Port of Baltimore handled about 400,000 autos, 32 percent fewer than in 2008.