Port of Baltimore Continues Hot Streak, Breaks its Own Cargo Record in 2017

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Port of Baltimore has again bested itself, announcing yesterday that it set a new record for cargo 2017 with 10.7 million tons.

The mark is a 7 percent jump from 2016, when the port moved 10.1 million tons. Autos, the port’s bread and butter–the port moved the most cars and light trucks in the U.S. for the seventh straight year–rose by 10 percent, and shipping container traffic rose by 11 percent.

“As one of our leading economic engines, the Port generates good-paying, family-supporting jobs for tens of thousands of Marylanders, and will create even more jobs and economic activity as its cargo operation continues to expand,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

The announcement comes as the port is adding six new cranes to go with the 16 already operating at the Seagirt Marine Terminal in Southeast Baltimore. In a meta moment, the port’s older cranes unloaded the newer cranes earlier this week.

Last year was a big one for the resurgent port. It was named the fourth fastest-growing port in America and added 70 new acres to expand its cargo capacity, the first land acquisition for cargo-hauling purposes in three decades.

Much of this success comes thanks to the widening of the Panama Canal, an eight-year, $7 billion project that opened in 2016, allowing mega-sized container ships from China and elsewhere to travel up to the East Coast.

Now, if only someone can get CSX and the federal government to fund the much-awaited expansion of the Howard Street Tunnel, the Port of Baltimore could reap the real benefits of global infrastructural change. CSX backed out of the deal in the fall, but Hogan said he’ll keep working to fund the project.

Ethan McLeod
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