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Baltimore port to start upgrade of 14,000-TEU berth in early 2020

THE port of Baltimore's container terminal operator will launch work early next year on upgrading a US$120 million berth to enable the port to handle two 14,000 TEU box ships simultaneously when the project is finished in 2021

17 December 2019 - 19:00

THE port of Baltimore's container terminal operator will launch work early next year on upgrading a US$120 million berth to enable the port to handle two 14,000 TEU box ships simultaneously when the project is finished in 2021.

Ports America Chesapeake (PAC) will start underwater substructure work at berth three at the Seagirt Marine Terminal in the first quarter, followed by construction of a steel-sheet pile wall in the second quarter that will enable dredging of the berth to 50 feet from an existing 45 feet, said Ports America vice president Joe Greco.



Seagirte has four berths, including one that can already handle 14,000-TEU vessels and three berths that can handle vessels of 8,000 to 9,000 TEU, a spokeswoman for Ports America said. One of the smaller berths will be upgraded to 14,000 TEU, reported IHS Media.



The berth upgrade is part of an ongoing project to free up space in the terminal and raise its capacity from 900,000 TEU to 1.1 million TEU. In the first phase, the terminal moved its chassis depot to an off-terminal location at the start of 2019 and upgraded the empty container operation.



PAC will move its maintenance and repair facility off the terminal in the first quarter of 2020, Mr Greco said.



Ports America will also add four super-post-Panamax cranes of 165 feet in height, with a reach of 23 containers, bringing the port's total to eight.



The port has seen a 3.8 per cent increase in container volumes handled in the first nine months of the year, to 558,238 loaded TEU, compared to the same period in 2018.



While port officials expect cargo to rise across the board in the future, they see gains in discretionary cargo moving to and from the Midwest by rail as a key driver. The port announced it has secured commitments to cover all of the $466 million needed to raise the Howard Street Tunnel that would enable double-stacked trains to go in and out of the port.


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