Like millions of tons of cargo, the goods news keeps on moving down at the Helen Delich Bentley of Baltimore.
The Maryland Port Administration announced yesterday that the Journal of Commerce, a commercial trade publication, ranked the Port of Baltimore the fourth fastest-growing North American port in 2016. The city’s industrial hub logged a nearly 10 percent increase in handled cargo compared to the year before, the journal calculated.
The same publication six months ago ranked the port the most productive one in the country for 2015, the second straight year it won that title. The port had a great 2016, too, processing a record 10.1 million tons of cargo that year, and started off the first quarter of 2017 with another top mark of 2.56 million tons of handled cargo.
Gov. Larry Hogan applauded the newest accolade, saying in a statement that the port “continues to be a major economic engine for Maryland,” and that his administration is “committed to ensuring that it remains one of the top performing seaports in the nation.”
While earning praise, the Port of Baltimore is continuing to expand its cargo-moving capacity. Three weeks ago, the port administration finalized a deal to purchase 70 acres of property at Point Breeze Business Center, where it plans to store additional containers, cars and more. The deal marked the port’s first cargo-capacity-boosting land acquisition in 30 years.
And just yesterday, shipping machinery manufacturer Cargotec announced Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Port of Baltimore, has purchased six new mobile cranes from one of its subsidiaries for the Seagirt Marine Terminal. Those are set to arrive in the first quarter of next year.
Much of the port’s recent success has come from its newfound ability to receive mega-sized shipping containers from China. That’s been possible thanks to the widening of the Panama Canal, a decade-long project completed last summer, and the port’s four “super-sized” cranes. Since last July, containers are up seven percent, according to the port administration.