The state of Maryland has announced increases in key targeted cargo at state-owned marine terminals at the Port of Baltimore during the first quarter of 2023. General cargo rose 8% and containers were up more than 7%, compared to the first three months of 2022; in addition, roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery was up 42% year over year.
The strong start to 2023 follows a watershed year in 2022, when the Port handled a record $74.3 billion worth of foreign cargo and established other new marks ― despite lingering worldwide supply chain issues and pandemic impacts to the international maritime shipping industry. The port’s terminals, including those managed by the Maryland Port Administration and private terminals, handled 43.3 million tons of cargo last year, nearly eclipsing the pre-pandemic 2019 record of 44.2 million tons.
The Port of Baltimore’s recent milestones and achievements include:
- Adding Ultra-large Cranes: Four additional Neo-Panamax, ultra-large cranes became operational at the Seagirt Marine Terminal.
- Welcoming ZIM: ZIM Shipping Lines began its E-Commerce Baltimore Express service from China and Southeast Asia to the U.S. East Coast.
- Receiving Diverted Ships: With many U.S. ports experiencing port congestion and supply chain issues, the Port of Baltimore handled nearly 100 “ad hoc” ship calls during the recovery stages of the pandemic; the vessels were not on a regularly scheduled call.
- A Top Security Grade: For the 14th consecutive year, the port’s state-owned marine terminals received a top security grade during an annual assessment by the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration: The Port Administration’s newest coastal restoration initiative will restore island habitat at James and Barren islands off the coast of Dorchester County and protect the shoreline.
- Community Outreach: The Maryland Port Administration’s Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center on the southern banks of the Patapsco River in Fairfield, is one of Maryland’s largest restoration projects and welcomes more than 2,000 local students and adults annually for hands-on and classroom-based environmental learning.
In addition, the expansion of the CSX-owned Howard Street Tunnel will enhance port commerce. The project will allow for double-stacked container cars, giving the East Coast seamless double-stack capacity from Maine to Florida. The project will improve the 127-year-old tunnel, as well as 21 other locations between Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Following completion in 2025, Baltimore will be able to send double-stacked containers by rail into the Ohio Valley and on to Chicago. The project benefits from public-private investment from the federal government, Maryland, CSX and others and is expected to increase port business by about 160,000 containers annually, generating an estimated 6,550 construction jobs and 7,300 jobs from the increased business.