Volkswagen Group of America welcomes first ship to new Baltimore port

Volkswagen Group of America is proud to return to the port of Baltimore and welcomed its first ship Friday at its new processing facility. Covering 115 acres, the recently built distribution center at the Tradepoint Atlantic terminal will import, process and distribute about 120,000 new vehicles from Europe and Mexico each year to dealerships across the eastern United States, with plans to expand in the future.

Built with an investment of about $150 million, the new VWGoA facility is expected to add about 100 new full-time jobs to the site and is anticipated to support and increase jobs in related fields through higher trucking volume, rail volume and vessel unloading.

“The Port of Baltimore has earned its reputation as a vital gateway to markets in the U.S. and around the globe, and this long term commitment from another major automaker is further proof that Maryland is open for business,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement. “This is tremendous news for our state, Baltimore County, and the Port of Baltimore.”

The facility brings Volkswagen imports back to the port of Baltimore after an absence of more than 25 years. Baltimore was one of VWGoA’s original ports of entry for the Volkswagen Beetle and Microbus, which were delivered to a pier in what is now the Inner Harbor.

“The mid-Atlantic region has long been a strong market for Volkswagen Group of America and we are pleased to announce the launch of our eighth and newest vehicle processing operation in the U.S.,” said Anu Goel, Executive Vice President for Group After Sales & Services, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

The port will also welcome Volkswagen Group’s new car carriers powered by liquefied natural gas. Compared to the standard diesel fuel typically used on traditional overseas car freighters, the new carriers help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, an important piece of Volkswagen Group’s global decarbonization strategy.

“Not only does this new port facility reinforce our commitment to the U.S. market by adding to our existing footprint and the jobs that come with it, but it represents a smart business decision as well,” said Anu Goel, Executive Vice President, Group After Sales & Services, VWGoA. “This strategic location can help us with our goals of getting vehicles to our Mid-Atlantic dealers faster and with lower total cost.”

Both ships have 13 car decks and the capacity to carry up to 4,800 Volkswagen Group vehicles at a time. The facility resides on the former site of the late industrial behemoth Bethlehem Steel, which once imported steel for iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and nearby George Washington Bridge.  The former steel mill has since been ranked first among U.S. ports for the number of imported automotives for the past nine years.