Record year 2008 for Port of Baltimore

By: | at 08:00 PM | Ports & Terminals  

2009 Expected to be challenging but port well positioned to weather the storm

Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that 2008 was a record-breaking year for the Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals. In recently released maritime cargo statistics, general cargo reached nearly nine million tons for the first time. The total dollar value of foreign commerce that moved through the Port’s public and private terminals in 2008 vaulted to an all-time high of $45.3 billion, an eight percent increase from 2007. The amount of foreign commerce transiting through the Port was up seven percent to 33 million tons, its highest mark since 1981.

“Last year was another strong year for the Port of Baltimore, even as the global economy began to struggle,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Clearly, the Port is not immune to the economic downturn. However, with strong management and wise investments, we have been able to sign long-term contracts with major business partners that will help maintain stability at the Port in the days ahead. This is good news for thousands of workers and their families who depend on the Port of Baltimore for their livelihood.”

Port of Baltimore’s MPA Public Terminals
General cargo handled through the public terminals broke a record for the second straight year by finishing at 8.9 million tons, a three percent increase from 2007. This marked the seventh consecutive record year of growth for general cargo tonnage. General cargo is defined as containers, autos, steel, forest products, and roll on/roll off cargo (farm and construction equipment).

The performances of key commodities handled from the public terminals in 2008 are as follows:

  • Roll on/roll off tonnage increased 16%;
  • Pulp tons increased seven percent;
  • Autos increased four percent;
  • Containers were flat (up 0.63%);
  • Paper tons were flat (up 0.26%);

Exports leaving the Port’s public terminals for international destinations reached 3.2 million tons, a six% increase from 2007. Imports headed to Baltimore’s public terminals increased one percent.

Port of Baltimore’s Public and Private Terminals Combined
The 33 million tons of foreign commerce marked the fifth straight year the Port has exceeded 30 million tons total.

The performances of key commodities handled through both the Port’s public and private terminals in 2008:

  • Containers increased two percent;
  • Autos decreased nine percent;
  • Forest products were down five percent;
  • Roll on/Roll off increased three percent;
  • Steel increased 20%

Exports leaving Baltimore’s public and private terminals reached 15 million tons, a 33% increase from 2007. Imports headed to public and private terminals declined eight percent to 18 million tons.

Latest Port Rankings:
Baltimore remains number one among 360 US ports for handling roll on/roll off cargo, trucks and imported forest products, imported sugar, imported gypsum, and imported iron ore. The Port is ranked second for exported autos, imported salt, and imported aluminum.

Overall, the Port of Baltimore is ranked 12th nationally for total dollar value of foreign cargo and 14th for foreign cargo handled.

Activity at the Port of Baltimore generates about 16,500 direct jobs. The Port is responsible for $3.6 billion in personal wage and salary income. Activities at the Port of Baltimore generate $388 million in state and local taxes.


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