The Port of Baltimore's public marine terminals enjoyed a record-setting year in 2012, with dock workers handling their highest numbers ever in automobiles, shipping containers and roll-on/roll-off cargo (farm and construction machinery and equipment), according to a statement issued by port authorities.
In addition to setting local records, the port's numbers in autos and roll-on/roll-off cargo were tops among the nation's ports.
Overall general cargo handled also reached an all-time high, post officials said. In total, the port's public and private marine terminals handled 36.8 million tons of cargo last year. The total value of that cargo—$54 billion—placed the Baltimore port ninth nationally for dollar value of foreign cargo handled, officials said.
“The Port of Baltimore continues to prove that it is one of the most productive seaports in the U.S.,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in the statement. “The Port has successfully withstood a challenging economy and has outperformed many other major U.S. ports thanks to shrewd infrastructure investments, unique job-creating business partnerships, and long-term contracts with major international shipping companies."
A tentative national labor contract, a new 50-foot deep container berth with four super-sized cranes and healthy overall business growth positions the Port of Baltimore for an even brighter future, according to O'Malley.
Records established at the Post of Baltimore in 2012:
- Autos (public and private terminals): 652,000 cars (Highest among all U.S. ports and up 18 percent from 2011) The previous record was 551,000 cars in 2011.
- Roll On/Roll Off (farm and construction machinery—public terminals): 1.09 million tons (Highest among all U.S. ports and up 16 percent from 2011). The previous record was 969,272 tons in 2008.
- General Cargo (public terminals): 9.59 million tons (up eight percent from 2011). The previous record was 8.96 million tons in 2008.
- Containers (public terminals): 6.29 million tons (up seven percent in 2011). The previous record was 5.83 million tons in 2011.
- Coal (private terminals): 19.6 million tons of exported coal (up 2 percent from 2011). The previous record was 19.2 million tons in 2011.
The Baltimore port is ranked at the top of 360 U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported forest products, imported sugar and imported aluminum and imported gypsum, according to the statement.
Baltimore ranks second in the U.S. for exported coal and imported iron ore. Overall, the local port is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 11th for cargo tonnage.
Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 14,630 direct jobs, while about 108,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities, according to the statement. The port is responsible for $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local taxes.