Baltimore apparel company Under Armour will be shipping its foreign-made products to the port of Baltimore for the first time since 2007.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Under Armour recently struck a deal with the shipping company Evergreen Line. The deal was publicly announced after a meeting with company officials, local business leaders, port officials, and members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, including its commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.
Though Under Armour already has air and ground distribution centers in Baltimore, it hasn’t shipped any cargo ships to the port in eight years. It currently manufactures its appear products in 28 foreign countries and has them shipped to ports in Miami, Long Beach, and Newark.
The agreement comes on the heels of another agreement with the French shipping company CMA CGM, and of the news that the month of March saw record-breaking cargo handling at the port as revealed by the Maryland Port Administration (MPA).
“When the [Baltimore] Port succeeds, Maryland succeeds,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). “This record-setting performance helps grow the state’s economy and demonstrates that the Port of Baltimore is one of the most efficient and productive ports in the country.”
MPA holds that the Baltimore Port has approximately 14,600 jobs, $3 billion in salaries, and generates $300 million in state and local taxes.
The agreement was struck in part due to Under Armour’s dispute with dockworkers and shipping companies in Long Beach last year. Labor disputes caused considerable delays in its shipments from its Asian manufacturing plants. The company also claims it wanted to bring its sea shipping operations back home.
“[Company CEO] Kevin Plank is very pro-Maryland, likes to support Maryland jobs,” said Chris Sichette, the company’s director of global trade compliance. “This will just support our footprint in the state.”
Specifically, Under Armour will ship its products from its factories in Shanghai via Evergreen ships directly to Baltimore as opposed to Long Beach. The products will then be shipped to its local distribution center via trucks.
The transportation industry in the United States in general makes up about 6% of the country’s total economic activity.