First big container ship arrives at Port of Baltimore through newly expanded Panama Canal

Port able to accommodate largest ships thanks to its supersized cranes and deep channel and berth

On July 19 State officials welcomed the first container ship to arrive at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore through the newly expanded Panama Canal. The Evergreen Ever Lambent arrived in Maryland carrying approximately 8,400 20-foot long containers after recently transiting through the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal just completed a nine-year, $5 billion project to create a new set of wider and deeper locks to allow for larger ships to pass through.

“The arrival of the Evergreen Ever Lambent at the Port of Baltimore is a signal that the Port of Baltimore is the dominant force in container shipping,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “With only three other East Coast ports able to handle ships of this size, we look forward to the arrival of many more megaships as we continue to grow cargo opportunities at the Port and create jobs for Maryland.”

The Maryland Port Administration entered into a public-private partnership with Ports America Chesapeake in 2010. Under that agreement, Ports America Chesapeake agreed to construct a 50-foot deep berth and install four Super Post-Panamax cranes. Both of those elements, in addition to the 50-foot deep channel that the Port of Baltimore has had since 1990, are necessary in order to handle some of the world’s largest ships.

With the completed expansion of the Panama Canal, it is expected that larger ships will travel to East Coast ports that have the required infrastructure to handle them instead of West Coast ports. Using an East Coast port like the Port of Baltimore is a more efficient and cost-effective option that using a West Coast port which would then require the manufacturer to send their products by rail to markets throughout the country.

07.20.16 MPA Evergreen Lambent Event_McAllen1980

State officials welcomed the first container ship to arrive at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore through the newly expanded Panama Canal.

Last year the Port of Baltimore was named the most efficient container port in the U.S. by the Journal of Commerce. Baltimore averaged 75 container moves per hour per berth, the faster rate of handling containers among all U.S. ports. During the first quarter of 2016, the Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals handled a record 2.4 million tons of cargo.

Combining both the public and private marine terminals, the Port of Baltimore saw 32.4 million tons of international cargo cross its docks last year which was valued at approximately $51.1 billion. Baltimore is ranked as the top port among all U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported gypsum, imported sugar, and imported aluminum. Overall Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 13th for cargo tonnage for all U.S. ports. Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs, while more than 127,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $310 million in state and local tax revenues.

Source: The Maryland Port Administration | Photo credit: Bill McAllen

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