Like millions of tons of cargo, the goods news keeps on moving down at the Helen Delich Bentley of Baltimore.
With official 2016 shipping numbers finally on the books, a good year for the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore has turned into a great one.
The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore is the most productive of all the shipping container ports in the land, according to one logistics-focused publication.
Wednesday morning a ship carrying four 14-story cranes docked at Seagirt Marine Terminal in the port of Baltimore. These new, insanely large cranes will allow the port to accommodate the world’s largest cargo ships. And we’re expecting some beginning in 2015. The cranes cost $40 million — I wouldn’t have paid a cent over $39 million, myself, but whatever — and promise a new era for the port.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Panama Canal is being widened and that’s apparently great for Baltimore. I find it hard to believe, but according to an article in The Sun, shipping cargo to the eastern United States by rail from the West Coast costs $2,000 per container, whereas taking it through the canal to Baltimore to be trucked costs only $150 per container.
With the addition of these sick cranes, Maryland Port Administration Executive Director James White expects business in the harbor to “ramp up over two or three years.” White then went on to quote a time-worn adage: “Either you have big cranes, or you’re out of business.”
This winter, I visited a friend living in Panama and did the obligatory tour of the famous canal. The container ships moving through the locks are mind-bogglingly huge, like barges on steroids. But they’re not big enough — which is why Panama is in the midst of widening its canal, in order to accommodate even more gigantic ships. There are only two ports on the East Coast that are already deep enough to host these new mega-ships, and Baltimore is one of them; other cities are having to spend millions to dredge their ports to stay competitive. So far so good, right? Except…