Port of Baltimore sets new records

By: | at 08:00 PM | Maritime  

  • Value of cargo highest in port history;
  • Public Terminals Exceed 8 Million Tons for First Time;
  • Cargo throughput highest in 24 years

Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. recently announced business at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore is setting new records. The latest figures show the total value of cargo moving through the Port in 2005 is the highest in its history. The amount of cargo moving through the public terminals operated by the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) topped 8 million tons for the first time. Overall, the total amount of cargo flowing through the port is the most in 24 years.

‘In its 300th year, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore has again demonstrated to us why it is one of the top economic engines in our state,’ said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. ‘These latest statistics demonstrate that our recent investments in the port are producing great dividends, our work force is excellent, and that the port is moving in the right direction.’

According to figures compiled by the US Census Bureau Foreign Trade Division, total foreign cargo moving through the Port of Baltimore was up two percent over 2004, from 31.8 million tons to 32.4 million tons. This marks the highest total in 24 years and only the second time since 1995 that foreign cargo has exceeded 30 million tons. Foreign general cargo increased 6.4%, from 8.2 million tons to 8.7 million tons.

Last year, the Port also eclipsed its previous record for dollar value of cargo. Total foreign cargo in 2005 was valued at $35.8 billion, an increase from $31.2 billion in 2004. This marked only the second time in the Port’s 300-year history that value had exceeded $30 billion. Overall, between port and non-port business, companies in Maryland last year exported a record high of $7.1 billion in 2005, up from $5.7 billion in 2004. While the state exported globally to more than 200 foreign countries, growing export markets for Maryland products include Egypt, Japan, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, China, Algeria and The Netherlands.

‘At Governor Ehrlich’s direction we have doubled our fleet of cranes handling containers, built new warehouses and set the stage for construction of a new 50-foot berth to handle the larger ships,’ said Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan. ‘We are well positioned to compete in a very competitive maritime marketplace.’

At the MPA public terminals, general cargo jumped from 7.6 million tons in 2004 to 8.1 million tons in 2005. This was the first time that cargo tonnage at the MPA terminals exceeded 8 million tons in a calendar year, and the fourth consecutive record year overall for tonnage. General cargo is handled at six MPA terminals: Dundalk, Seagirt, North Locust Point, South Locust Point, Masonville, and Fairfield.

‘Our success continues to revolve around the teamwork approach that makes this Port go,’ said MPA Executive Director Brooks Royster. ‘Our highly skilled and experienced labor force, our excellent rail and highway connections, and our state-of-the-art facilities are all contributing factors. Additionally, our unique location being 180 miles closer to the Midwest than other East Coast ports gives us a real advantage on our competition.’

The Port of Baltimore is currently ranked number one on the East Coast for roll on/roll off cargo, number two for automobile exports, and also number two for imported forest products.


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