Business booms as Port of Baltimore has record year
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 11:45

Port set to top 2011 cargo records

by Nicole Rodman

    The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore is celebrating as third quarter estimates point to another record-breaking year for the port.
    According to information provided by the Maryland Port Administration, the port has handled $7.21 million tons of cargo so far this year at public marine terminals. This represents a 10 percent rise in figures from this time last year.
    During the year, the port handled millions of tons of cargo, including goods, automobiles, forest products and roll on/roll off equipment.
    Roll on/roll off equipment is large, wheeled cargo, such as farm and construction machinery.
    As port statistics show, the port handled almost 30 tons of foreign commerce (general and bulk cargo) at public and private terminal docks in 2012.
    This is a six percent increase from the first nine months of 2011.
    “These strong third quarter results further prove that the Port of Baltimore is on the right track as we recover from the challenging economic period of the past few years,” Gov. Martin O’Malley stated in a press release.
    He added, “The port’s continued success in its cargo and cruise businesses combined with the new 50-foot deep container berth and supersized cranes mean a very bright future for the thousands of direct jobs generated by the Port of Baltimore.”
    Port figures also show that the amount of specific cargo, such as containers, roll on/roll off, and automobiles, handled by the port has also increased from last year.
  

According to port officials, the record for the most cargo handled at the port’s public terminals was 8.96 million tons in 2008. Last year’s total of 8.89 million tons of cargo was the second-highest.
    The total dollar value of cargo in 2011 was $51 billion.
    This year the port expects to do even better. Already, the dollar value of cargo handled in 2012 is up 10 percent from 2011’s $51 billion.
    The largest and most versatile of the port terminals is the Dundalk Marine Terminal.
    With 13 berths and nine container cranes, the Dundalk Marine Terminal handles breakbulk (loose goods that must be handled individually) cargo, as well as automobiles, and roll on/roll off machinery and equipment.
    While the first three quarters of 2012 have set records so far, port officials expect the final quarter to be strong as well, due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
    Around 3,000 containers and 8,100 automobiles were sent to Baltimore rather than the Port of New York and New Jersey in the aftermath of the storm.
    Overall, the Port of Baltimore is ranked as the top port in the U.S. for handling roll on/roll off cargo, automobiles, imported forest products, imported sugar and imported iron ore and gypsum.
    The Port of Baltimore comes in second for exported coal, imported salt and imported aluminum.
    Additionally, the port comes in 11th in the U.S. in terms of dollar value of cargo and 12th in cargo tonnage handled.
    For more information on the Port of Baltimore, visit the web at http://mpa.maryland.gov/index.php.