WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Port of Wilmington has secured a multi-year contract to export Chrysler vehicles to the Middle East.
Diamond State Port Corporation, which operates the port, announced Thursday that Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep cars and trucks will be shipped from Wilmington beginning March 1. AutoPort Inc. will export the vehicles from Wilmington.
The vehicles are manufactured by FCA US LLC, the former Chrysler company that merged with Fiat. A company spokeswoman says the vehicles shipped from Wilmington will come from assembly plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ontario, Canada.
The vehicles will be brought to the port by rail and truck, said Roy Kirchner, CEO of AutoPort, which leases 42 acres from the port and owns nearby land.
"Any business being brought to the state and the port is a plus," he said.
FCA US has been using the Port of Baltimore for imports and exports. But as the company expands its distribution to international markets, the company was looking for another port to pick up some of the business.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper hailed the decision as a smart move, saying the deal will "create jobs, grow our economy and bolster our country's exports."
General Motors also uses Wilmington's port as an export hub to the Middle East.