The US port of Baltimore has recorded a 15% increase in vehicle handling for the first half of 2011 compared to the same period last year putting it ahead of rival ports including New York, which handled the most vehicles in 2010 at just more than 590,500.
Baltimore came second last year with just over 397,000 but had moved up from third place and recorded a 44% increase on 2009 figures on New York’s drop of 4%.
The latest statistics, which were compiled by the US Census, put the number of vehicles that came across the Baltimore’s docks during the first six months of 2011 at 270,700, around 30,000 more than during the same time in 2010.
“This is another good step forward in continuing to rebound from one of our country’s most challenging economic periods,” said Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. “More cars that come across our docks means more business for the port of Baltimore, which is very good news for the thousands of men and women who depend on a healthy and vibrant port to support their families.”
In addition to the increase in vehicles, the port also recorded a 51% increase in ro-ro traffic including farm and construction machinery.
Baltimore moved into the number one spot for truck handling in 2010 and retained its position as the number one port in the US for handling ro-ro cargo, including farm and construction equipment. 
The combined space at the port’s auto handling terminals is equal to 250 hectares for vehicles and ro-ro cargoes.
The port now handles 85% of Ford Transit Connect imports to the US from the Kocaeli plant in Turkey and added significant BMW traffic through to Midwestern customers last year.