According to the Port of Baltimore: The Hogan administration announced that in 2018, the state-owned public terminals at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore handled more containers, cars, construction equipment, and other types of general cargo than ever before. A record 10.9 million tons of general cargo was handled at the Port last year, the third consecutive year exceeding the 10 million ton mark.

port of baltimore
A record 10.9 million tons of general cargo was handled at the Port of Baltimore last year. Courtesy of Port of Baltimore

Additionally, new individual cargo records were established for containers, cars, and imported roll on/roll off machinery. General cargo includes cars and light trucks, containers, roll on/roll off machinery (farm, mining and construction equipment), forest products (rolled paper and wood pulp), and break bulk cargo. The upsurge in cargo mirrors an increase in jobs and the economic impact of the Port noted in a recent study on the public and the private terminals’ 2017 success at the Port of Baltimore.

“There has been no better example of Maryland being open for business than the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “As one of our leading economic engines, the Port generates good-paying, family-supporting jobs for tens of thousands of Marylanders and will continue to create more jobs and economic benefits for our state.”

The 2018 surge in general cargo at the state-owned public terminals of the Port of Baltimore puts the public and private terminals combined of the Port of Baltimore on target for more records in 2018. The recent study, conducted by Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, shows record numbers for the public and private terminals in 2017.

The recent report also shows an increase in jobs and economic benefits from 2014 to 2017:

• Direct jobs at the Port increased from 13,650 to 15,330. Direct jobs include jobs with railroads, trucking companies, terminal operators, cargo handling, manufacturing, security, towing, pilots, ocean carriers, and freight forwarders, as well as Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection personnel. The total number of jobs in Maryland linked to the Port increased from 127,600 to 139,170.

• According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Port’s average annual salary for the direct job holder is 9.5 percent higher than the average annual wage for the State of Maryland.

• Total personal income for Port workers increased from $2.9 million to $3.3 million.

• The Port of Baltimore generated $2.6 billion in business revenues in 2017, up from $2.2 billion in 2014.

• Port business generated $395 million in state, county and municipal tax revenues, a 27 percent increase from $310 million in 2014.

State-owned public terminal cargo records of key targeted commodities at the Port in 2018:

General Cargo (State-Owned Terminals):

  • Record: 10.9 million tons, up two percent from 2017

Containers (State-Owned Terminals):

  • Record: 1,023,152 TEU’s (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), up six percent from 2017
  • Record: 627,144 containers, up five percent from 2017

Autos/Light Trucks (Public and Private Marine Terminals):

  • Record: 850,147 (most in the U.S. for eighth consecutive year), up five percent from 2017

Roll On/Roll Off (State-Owned Terminals):

  • Record: 565,470 imported tons

Other significant achievements in 2018 for the Port of Baltimore:

Federal Funding for Second Deep Berth The U.S. Department of Transportation will provide $6.6 million in grant funding for a project to deepen a second container berth to 50 feet at the Seagirt Marine Terminal. The State of Maryland will contribute $7.8 million and Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Seagirt Marine Terminal, will add $18.4 million for a total project cost of about $32.8 million. The second deep berth will allow the Port to handle two supersized ships simultaneously.

Visit from Largest Container Ship Ever to Visit Maryland – In October, the Port welcomed the Gunde Maersk, which can handle 11,000 TEU containers. The massive vessel was able to call the Port of Baltimore because of its 50-foot deep channel and supersized Neo-Panamax cranes.

Governor Hogan, Board of Public Works Approve Contract to Add Land for Port’s Cargo – The contract was for work that completed the fill-in of a wet basin at the Port’s Fairfield Marine Terminal, creating seven acres of land in a prime location adjacent to the ship berth to help handle the surging auto business.

Among the nation’s ports, the Port of Baltimore ranks first for autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, and imported sugar. The Port ranks second in exported coal. Overall, the Port ranks ninth among all ports for the total dollar value of cargo and 11th in foreign cargo tonnage.