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Port of Baltimore Sets Records in 2023

[ March 1, 2024   //   ]

Maryland’s Port of Baltimore handled record cargoes in 2023, as the region rebounded from pandemic impacts and worldwide supply chain issues.
The 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo for 2023 was 18.3 percent higher than the previous record of 44.2 million tons in 2019, while value improved 8.7 percent to US$80 billion compared to the previous record of US$74.3 billion in 2022.
The ports 1.1 million 20-foot equivalent units of containers bettered the previous record of 11.3 million tons in 2019.
The Port of Baltimore maintained its position as top U.S. vehicle port for the 13th consecutive year ,handling 847,158 cars and light trucks in 2023. Ro-ro farm and construction machinery set a record of 1.3 million tons, bettering the previous record of 1 million tons in 2012). General cargo topped the 2022 record of 11.3 million, reaching 11.7 million tons in 2023.
Among 2023 achievements for the Port of Baltimore was:
• ZIM Shipping Lines doubled its service, increasing its frequency from bi-weekly to weekly calls, and increasing the size of its ships by nearly 50 percent.
• The 15,000-TEU Evergreen Ever Max, the largest container ship to ever enter the port, arrived, demonstrating Baltimore’s ability to handling supersized vessels, including ultra-large Neo-Panamax cranes and deep channel.
• The port’s 444,000 cruise passengers was the third-highest total for the port and the most since 2012. Norwegian Cruise Line began a new fall and winter cruising schedule in 2023, with sailings to New England and Canada as well as the Bahamas and Caribbean.
• The Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration construction began, which will use dredged sediment from Port of Baltimore shipping channels to restore eroding James and Barren Islands and protect Dorchester County’s shoreline.
Construction on the CSX-owned Howard Street Tunnel expansion project began, which will allow for double-stacked container rail cars and enable seamless double-stack capacity from Maine to Florida by improving clearance in the 127-year-old tunnel and at 21 other locations between Baltimore and Philadelphia.
The tunnel expansion will enable double-stacked containers by rail into the Ohio Valley and on to Chicago, and will increase container capacity by about 160,000. To be completed in 2027, the project netted public-private investment from the U.S. government, Maryland, CSX, and others.

Construction on the CSX-owned Howard Street Tunnel expansion project began in 2023. PHOTO: Maryland Port Administration