Port of Baltimore Planning for Bigger Ships and More Containers
Supersized container ships traveling through the newly enhanced Panama Canal have been arriving at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore since last year and the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) continues to make plans to handle the increased amounts of containerized cargo. Recently, the MDOT MPA purchased property at the Point Breeze Business Center, which is located right behind the Seagirt Marine Terminal on Broening Highway in Baltimore. The 70 acres of MDOT MPA land will be used for additional cargo opportunities including containerized cargo. This represents the first new land purchase for cargo opportunities by the MDOT MPA since 1987 when land was purchased at the Fairfield Marine Terminal for autos.
“Since welcoming our first big container ship through the newly expanded Panama Canal last year, the Port of Baltimore has seen a significant jump in its container business,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “With the purchase of additional land, the Port will have more ability to handle the increased economic activity while generating new job opportunities for Maryland citizens.”
The MDOT MPA plans to utilize the additional land as a container storage location but can also use it for autos and roll on/roll off storage. About 1,650 direct jobs are expected to be generated due to this purchase. In 2016, the Port handled a record 538,567 containers. Since July 2016, when the Port welcomed its first large container ship through the Panama Canal, containers are up seven percent.
The Seagirt Marine Terminal, the Port of Baltimore’s primary container facility operated under a public-private partnership with Ports America Chesapeake, includes 11 cranes, four of which are Neo-Panamax. The Port of Baltimore is one of only four U.S. East Coast ports currently capable of handling some of the largest ships in the world.