Business, Freight News, Sea

Port Scores with Best Ever First Quarter Performance

[ June 7, 2016   //   ]

It was a record first quarter of 2016 for the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore.  The Port’s public marine terminals managed by the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) handled a record 2.4 million tons of general cargo.  General cargo includes autos, containers, forest products, roll on/roll off equipment, and breakbulk. That surpassed the previous record of 2.3 million tons that was set in the first quarter of 2012.  Additionally, the Port of Baltimore saw its market share in several of its key commodities increase.

“The Port of Baltimore has had a record-breaking start to 2016 following a very successful 2015,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “As one of Maryland’s top economic generators, my administration will continue to work closely with Port officials to ensure this growing seaport continues to thrive.”

Here’s the port’s performance details for 1st Quarter 2015:

Roll on/Roll off — During the first quarter (January through March 2016), the Port of Baltimore had a 7% increase in market share for ro/ro off (farm and construction equipment).  Baltimore now has a 51% market share and remains the top roll on/roll off port in the U.S.  Last year the Port of Baltimore was successful in signing global shipping and logistics giant Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) to a new 30-year contract.

Autos—The port has handled more cars than any other U.S. port for five consecutive years. In the first quarter of 2016, the Port saw its market share increase 1.5% from 2015.   Baltimore has a 22% market share for autos.

Containers—Thanks in part to the new Maersk-MSC shipping alliance that began at the Port of Baltimore in 2015 and brings together the top two container shipping companies in the world,  Baltimore had the largest percentage increase in containers among Mid-Atlantic ports.   The Port of Baltimore has been recognized two years in a row for being the most efficient container port in the U.S.  With a 50-foot deep channel and container berth along with supersized cranes, Baltimore is one of only three East Coast ports ready today to handle the world’s largest container ships.

Cruise—The Port of Baltimore had an increase of more than 21,000 cruise passengers from 2015.  This was due to the return of the Carnival Pride ship after it had undergone significant renovations that took it out of service for part of the previous year.  The Port also just recently announced a new contract extension with its other cruise partner, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

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.