Season two of The Wire focused on the stress and conflict caused by the decline of Baltimore’s once-vibrant shipping industry. But recent news seems to indicate that Baltimore’s port isn’t dead yet–in fact, it’s experiencing something of a renaissance.
Last year, 9.62 million tons of stuff valued at $51.1 billion — from cars to sugar to coal to cruise passengers (okay, maybe they don’t count) — passed through the port. That was slightly less than the previous year’s record-setting 9.67 million tons, but not by much. Baltimore’s port is one of only two on the East Coast with a 50-foot shipping channel, which means it can handle bigger ships than many other places. This has been a boon for the local shipping industry, since the newly-widened Panama Canal means that there’s an increased demand for places that can handle mega-ships.
Baltimore’s port handles more cars, farm equipment, imported gypsum, imported sugar, and imported aluminum, than anywhere else in the country. “Besides setting records last year, the Port also welcomed the world’s largest container shipping company and signed another shipping giant to a long-term contract,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “The Port of Baltimore is truly open for business!”
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