The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore was the fourth fastest-growing port in North America in 2016, according to a recent analysis in the Journal of Commerce(JOC). The JOC attributed a 9.8 percent increase in the amount of cargo handled from the previous year for the ranking. Last year the Port handled 648,770 TEUs, which is a measure of container ship capacity in approximately how many 20-foot containers it can carry.
“The Port of Baltimore continues to be a major economic engine for Maryland, achieving a record-setting year in 2016 and continuing to post even more records in 2017,” Gov. Larry Hogan said.
“The Port supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Maryland and around the world, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains one of the top performing seaports in the nation.”
The ranking comes on the heels of several other achievements and a record-setting 2016, in which the Port’s public marine terminals surpassed 10 million tons of general cargo for the first time and handled a record number of containers. The momentum from 2016 continued into 2017 with the Port coming out of the gate in January with a record month for general cargo and container tons. The Port’s strong performance continued as it recently announced a record first quarter for general cargo tonnage. General cargo includes cars, containers, farm and construction machinery, forest products and breakbulk.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) recently announced the purchase of 70 acres of land near the Seagirt Marine Terminal that will be used for additional cargo opportunities including containers. 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 JOC also recently recognized the Port of Baltimore as the most efficient container port in the U.S. for the third consecutive time. It averaged 71 container moves per hour per berth, a rate faster than any other major American port.
Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs, while more than 127,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in individual wages and salary and more than $310 million in state and local tax revenues.