The Port of Baltimore, in partnership with the Port of New Bedford (MA) and Port Canaveral (FL), has been selected for further study and analysis by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for its America’s Marine Highway program. The partnership has proposed what is called the East Coast Marine Highway Initiative. The goal of the Marine Highway program is to identify routes where water transportation presents opportunities to relieve landside highway corridors from traffic congestion and reduce air emissions. MARAD received 35 applications submitted by ports and various U.S. transportation entities and selected eight projects eligible to apply for immediate funding and six additional initiatives (Port of Baltimore partnership) for additional research and the chance to apply for funding of the marine highway program.
“I want to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation and Maritime Administration for advancing our application to further analysis and consideration,” said Maryland Port Administration (MPA) Executive Director James J. White. “The Port of Baltimore is positioned in a very unique geographic location and is right in the middle of one of the largest consumer markets in the country. We believe this project could create jobs at our Port as it would bring domestic trucks and their cargo to our marine terminals. Instead of that cargo being hauled hundreds of miles by truck, it would be placed onboard a ship or barge and transited by water to its destination.”
The partnership between the ports of Baltimore, New Bedford, and Canaveral would develop a marine highway that would link the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern regions of the U.S. and provide an alternative for transporting freight along the 1,000-mile Interstate 95 corridor. MARAD will work with the partnership to further research and analyze their initiative.
The Port of Baltimore employs about 16,500 workers. Out of about 360 U.S. ports, the Port of Baltimore is ranked 15th nationally for total foreign cargo tonnage and 12th for total dollar value of cargo. The Port is responsible for about $3.7 billion in personal wage and salary income. Activities at the Port of Baltimore generate nearly $400 million in state and local taxes.