The Maryland Department of Transportation Port Administration (MPA) today announced it has signed long-time forest products customer UPM to a new 10-year contract extension. The agreement guarantees the continued shipment of UPM paper products through the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. The new extension, which took effect August 1, replaces a previous ten-year contract that was due to expire in 2018. “Long-term contracts are vital in supporting jobs that pay well at the Port and we are pleased to continue our successful partnership with UPM for another decade,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The Port of Baltimore has long been one of the leading forest product ports in the U.S., and much of that success is due to the presence of UPM.”

Finland-based UPM manufactures paper products used for packaging, direct mail, advertising, promotional, postal, magazines, and catalogues. Last year, the Port of Baltimore handled 212,953 tons of UPM paper, an increase of approximately 10,000 tons from 2014.

“UPM is pleased to have extended our commitment to Baltimore,” said UPM Vice President North American Supply Chain Angelo LaMantia. “UPM has enjoyed a healthy business partnership with the MPA since 1997. Our business relationship with the MPA is our strongest asset. At the core of this relationship is trust, support, openness and mutual respect. The partnership has been a catalyst for both the MPA and UPM to grow and succeed over the years. As in years past, we look forward to the exceptional service we have received from the MPA and our other business partners for many years to come.”

The UPM announcement continues a very strong last 12 months for the Port of Baltimore. During that time the Port:

Extended its contract with Carnival Cruise Lines through December 2018.

Welcomed the Evergreen Ever Lambent, the first big container ship to arrive from the newly expanded Panama Canal.

Had its best first quarter ever.

Was named the most efficient container port in the U.S.

Signed its top roll on/roll off customer, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, to a 30-year contract.

Extended its current agreement with year-round cruise partner Royal Caribbean International.

Combining both the public and private marine terminals, the Port of Baltimore saw 32.4 million tons of international cargo cross its docks last year which was valued at approximately $51.1 billion.

Baltimore is ranked as the top port among all U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported gypsum, imported sugar, and imported aluminum. Overall Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 13th for cargo tonnage for all U.S. ports.

Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs, while more than 127,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary and $310 million in state and local tax revenues.