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Port of Baltimore sets 38-year record for amount of public, private cargo handled

The port of Baltimore handled 38.4 million tons of cargo at its public and private marine terminals last year, more than any year in nearly four decades, the state announced Thursday.

Valued at $53.9 billion, the cargo fell just short of the record cargo tonnage in 1974 and 1979 — which were the most ever, officials said.

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"The Port of Baltimore continues to be a leading economic engine for our state, supported by tens of thousands of hard-working Marylanders," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

The public terminals handled 10.7 million tons of general cargo, the second consecutive year the terminals handled more than 10 million tons, according to the Maryland Port Administration.

A record 596,972 containers crossed the state's piers, an 11 percent jump from the previous record, in 2016.

The public and private auto terminals handled 807,194 cars and light trucks, another record and the port's first time surpassing 800,000. Baltimore handled more cars and light trucks than any other port in the country for the seventh year, the Port Administration said.

The port also was first in roll-on/roll-off heavy farm and construction machinery, first in imported sugar, and second in exported coal. It ranks ninth in the nation in cargo value and 12th in foreign cargo tonnage, the Port Administration said.

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