Baltimore becomes fastest growing US port after de-emphasising containers
CARGO throughout at the Port of Baltimore last year made it the fastest growing port in the US, up 15 per cent to reach a record 37.8 million tonnes year on year. Thursday, 03.May.2012, 01:18 (GMT+3)
CARGO throughout at the Port of Baltimore last year made it the fastest growing port in the US, up 15 per cent to reach a record 37.8 million tonnes year on year.
"When other ports with a container-only focus were down 30 to 40 per cent, Baltimore was only down about 15 per cent. Baltimore is currently the number one port in the US for cars, ro-ro and imported forest products," said Maryland Port Administration spokesman Richard Scher.
The value of the cargo was more than US$51.4 billion, the port's highest total ever and a 24 per cent jump from 2010, reported London's International Freighting Weekly. Other records included the port's highest ever exports - 24 million tonnes - and 551,000 vehicles last year, the highest of any US port.
"We've followed a strategic plan that we put into place in the late 1990s, that has led us to diversify our cargo instead of concentrating on one particular commodity like containers," said Mr Scher.
He added that the port expects continued success in 2012, due in part to a 50-foot container berth constructed earlier this year, which will feature four super postpanamax cranes expected to be running by September.
"Baltimore is now only one of two east coast ports with a 50-foot berth and 50-feet channel," said Mr Scher.
"Super-sized ships that will soon transit the Panama Canal after its expansion will only be able to visit ports with a large enough berth and channel. This puts Baltimore in a very good competitive position."