Governor Martin O’Malley pointed to another sign of economic recovery today in announcing that the Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals set a record by handling 632,482 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) containers from April 2010 through March 2011, the best 12-month period for TEU’s in the Port’s history. The previous record for most TEU’s was set between February 2006 and January 2007, before the national economic downturn, when 629,604 TEU’s were handled.

“This is another positive sign of an economy that is getting back on track,” said Governor O’Malley. “In the last few years, the Port of Baltimore has been successful in securing major international container shipping companies to long-term contracts. The Port has also initiated a new direct container service to the Far East. These are both key reasons for increased business, and more importantly they are key reasons for a stable labor environment for thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs at this Port.”

In the last three years, Governor O’Malley has signed multi-year, long term contract extensions with two international container shipping giants: Evergreen Marine and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Both extensions guarantee the transport of containers through the Port for the next several years, thereby supporting the growth of maritime business and sustaining and increasing port jobs. MSC also began a new direct, weekly container service from the Port to the Far East called the Golden Gate service. That service has both increased MSC’s total vessel calls and their TEU’s through the Port.