The Maryland Port Administration received a federal award Wednesday for its success increasing exports out of the port of Baltimore's public terminals in recent years.

The President's "E Star" Award, given at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce, honors "exporting excellence" by businesses or other agencies. In the past four years, exports have increased nearly 23 percent at the port of Baltimore's public terminals, which the port administration oversees.

"This has helped the Port maintain its position as one of Maryland's leading economic engines for thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs for more Maryland workers," said Gov. Martin O'Malley in a statement on the award.

Exports of general cargo — including goods in containers, automobiles, and farm and construction machinery — is up 22.6 percent from fiscal year 2010, port officials said. Total export cargo from the public terminals is up more than 52 percent since 2007, when the port administration won the federal government's similar "E" award for exports.

In the same time period, exports also increased as a percentage of all cargo, from 36.5 percent to 38.3 percent, the port administration said.

The port admnistration also received an "E" award in 1964.

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