MARYLAND PORTS - Port of Baltimore key entry point for Hyundai and Kia automobiles

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTThink cars and you automatically think Baltimore. Anyone driving past the Port of Baltimore on Interstate 95 will observe a sea of automobiles shining in the sun.
Among the automobiles coming into Baltimore are those manufactured by Hyundai Motor America and Kia. Their operations are among, if not the top, roll-on/roll-off operations at the Port.
“Last year we did approximately 108 vessel stops with our vehicles here,” says Ed Shapiro, port manager for GLOVIS America, Inc.
This translates into 90,000 cars coming into the Port of Baltimore.
GLOVIS America, Inc. is the logistics provider for Hyundai Motor America, Inc. (HMA) and Kia Motors America, Inc. Established in 2002, GLOVIS America, Inc. is the wholly owned US subsidiary of GLOVIS Co. Ltd., a third party global logistics management company based in Seoul, South Korea. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA, GLOVIS America is responsible for the importation, processing, and transportation of new Hyundai and Kia automobiles to dealers throughout the United States.
While shipments vary, GLOVIS America generally employs three ships per week to bring Hyundai and Kia cars to the Mid Atlantic seaport. “Sometimes it is more, and sometimes it is less, although right now it seems there are more,” says Shapiro. Prior to working for GLOVIS, Shapiro worked for Nissan.
The bulk of the vehicles are transported by Eukor Car Carriers Inc. (EUKOR), a ro/ro line affiliated with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, which recently changed its name from Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines to better reflect its business activities, operates the world’s largest fleet of ro/ro carriers in the ocean transportation industry.
Wallenius Wilhelmen has a 20-year lease agreement with the Port of Baltimore, which it signed in 2000 as part of its plan to develop hub terminals. The lease calls for three five-year extensions. At the time it was signed it was regarded as the largest shipping deal in the Port’s history.
“We also use Höegh Autoliners Inc. They contract out to EUKOR for some of their vessels,” Shapiro adds.
Overall, the ships take 30 days traveling from Korea to reach the Port of Baltimore.
“These lines call at the Port primarily because of us,” states Shapiro. “And we located here primarily because the car manufacturer can save money by being centrally located.” This fact is increasingly important as transportation costs, particularly trucking, continue to climb.
Geographic advantagesWithout a doubt, the Port of Baltimore works well for HMA/Kia and the GLOVIS America operation because of its geographic location. Situated nearly midway along the Eastern seaboard, the Port is able to support the southern region all the way to Florida. From the Port of Baltimore, the Korean car manufacturer can easily replenish shipments to automobile dealers in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
“We can also support the Eastern region of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey from the Port of Baltimore,” Shapiro adds. “Plus, we go all the way to the tip of Maine down to the tip of Florida with vehicles that we may have in stock for dealerships that other ports may not have.”
GLOVIS also has operations at the Port of Brunswick in Georgia as well as the Port of Newark in New Jersey.
“But from the Port of Baltimore we are capable of handling a good portion of the vehicles because of this port’s transportation and cost advantages,” he adds. “From this location we can ship throughout the Mid Atlantic region to dealers quickly. Having the central location saves these dealers from having to bring in cars to New Jersey and deliver them as far South as Maryland, and bring vehicles into Georgia and deliver them as far North as Virginia.”
With the exception of the Ports of Tacoma, WA and Portland, OR that also handle split shipments for the Central Region of the United States, the Port of Baltimore is the only port on the East Coast capable of doing split shipments to the South

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American Journal of Transportation