A Jessup-based third party logistics company focused on forest products plans to move to a bigger facility near the Port of Baltimore in October, brokers for the deal said Tuesday.

B & E Storage Inc., which started in Columbia in 1985, has increased its ties to the international import-export business, and proximity to the port will allow it to save on fuel, tolls and other costs, said President Greg Williams. The move to the 294,000-square-foot space in Point Breeze Business Center in Baltimore will also allow the 40-employee firm to expand its capacity and hire additional people, he said.

B & E Storage had occupied its roughly 240,000-square-foot building on Oceano Avenue in Jessup for 10 years, said Michael Elardo, managing senior director of Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, which represented the firm in the transaction. Its lease was due to expire at the end of 2014. Terms of the new 10-year lease were not disclosed.

Maryland Port Administration spokesman Richard Scher said the expansion of the Seagirt Marine Terminal to handle major cargo ships has spurred increased interest from warehousing and distribution businesses. Baltimore was the number one port in the nation last year for imported forest products, reporting more than 900,000 tons of pulp and paper imports.

"Having a new 50-foot deep container berth and supersized cranes has created a very positive ripple effect that goes beyond accommodating the world's biggest ships," Scher said. "It means companies like this are willing to take a hard and long look at relocating near the Port of Baltimore."

The move allows B & E Storage, which has clients who use the terminal, to tap into employment-related tax credits available within the city's Enterprise Zone. The site is also inside the Foreign Trade Zone, which offers other incentives.

Canton Railroad, a state-owned firm that offers connecting service to the major rail lines, plans to add tracks to the 2500 Broening Highway building. President John Magness said business from B & E Storage will help make up for the loss of Sun Products Corp., which announced plans to close its Baltimore plant earlier this year and had been the railroad's biggest customer.

B & E Storage is to occupy space once taken by a precious metals company, which left about a year ago, said Justin Mohler, vice president of CBRE Industrial Services, which represented the landlord, RREEF, on the deal. With the new lease, the 1.7 million square foot Point Breeze complex has less than 200,000 square feet still empty, he said.

"This is a big help in terms of taking down the vacancies," Mohler said. "This really just helps tighten the market up."

nsherman@baltsun.com