The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore handled nearly 10 percent more cargo last year than the previous year, making it the fourth fastest-growing port in North America, according to a recent study by the Journal of Commerce, an industry publication.
In 2016, he port handled the equivalent of 648,770 20-foot containers, the truck-sized boxes that can be readily moved between ships, trucks and railroads and typically come in 20- or 40-foot leangths.
The port’s public marine terminals handled a record number of containers last year and for the first time surpassed 10 million tons of general cargo. The port also announced a record first quarter of this year for general cargo tonnage, including cars, containers, farm and construction machinery, forest products and breakbulk, or goods loaded individually.
“The Port of Baltimore continues to be a major economic engine for Maryland, achieving a record-setting year in 2016 and continuing to post even more records in 2017,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in an announcement.
The Maryland Port Administration, part of the state transportation department, has purchased 70 acres near the Seagirt Marine Terminal that will be used to handle additional cargo including containers. Since last July, when the first large container ship arrived at the port through the newly expanded Panama Canal, the number of containers increased 7 percent.
The port generates about 13,650 direct jobs and a total of 127,000 jobs with links to port activities. The Journal of Commerce recently recognized the port as he most efficient container port in the U.S. for the third straight time.