The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) announced that the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore has begun receiving Subaru vehicles for both its import and export auto business. This will result in approximately 31,000 import and export Subaru vehicles moving through the Port of Baltimore. The export business will include shipments of the new Subaru Tribeca, which is manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana.

‘This will help further cement the Port of Baltimore’s reputation as one of the top auto ports in the nation,’ said MPA Executive Director Brooks Royster. ‘Our geographic location as the closest East Coast port to the Midwest coupled with our unique auto quality program continues to give us great advantages over other ports.’

Subaru made the decision earlier this year to relocate its vehicle processing activities to Baltimore from Newport News, VA. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is serving as Subaru’s vehicle processor at the Port. Wallenius is operating from a temporary vehicle processing site with plans to construct a permanent site in 2007. While Subaru will be the anchor customer at its permanent location, Wallenius is looking at additional prospects that would increase volume at the port.

‘Being in Baltimore affords us very distinctive opportunities that we simply cannot get from other ports,’ remarked Larry Strug, National Transportation Manager for Subaru of America. ‘Baltimore’s inland location and close proximity to the Midwest is ideal for us in that we can get our products from Point A to Point B quicker. Also, the level of their quality program is something you just cannot find with other ports.’

‘Opening a vehicle processing center in Baltimore has always been part of the strategy for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. The contract with Subaru represents an ideal opportunity to launch our new facility,’ said Christopher Connor, President of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Americas.

In 2005, the Port of Baltimore exported 114,822 vehicles and handled a total of 461,491 vehicles. The Port of Baltimore is currently ranked second among East Coast ports for auto exports, and third overall for total vehicles handled.