​February 12, 2020​


Richard Scher

Charles Schelle
MDOT MPA (410) 385-4483

New Benchmarks Also Reached for Cars and Containers

(BALTIMORE, MD) – The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore recorded another record-breaking year in 2019. Figures released this week show new high marks for cargo tonnage passing through the Port's public and private marine terminals, as well as new benchmarks for containers and the number of cars and light trucks handled. Among the highlights, the Port of Baltimore handled a new record 43.6 million tons of cargo, including more than 11 million tons of general cargo at the state-owned public terminals for the first time ever. In addition, the number of vehicles – 857,890 – ranked first among all U.S. ports in that category for the ninth consecutive year.

“There's no better example of Maryland being open for business than the Port of Baltimore," said Governor Larry Hogan. “The Port has never been more productive, and this record-breaking year shows its tremendous value as a regional economic engine creating good-paying, family-supporting jobs for tens of thousands of Marylanders."

Details of the records set at the Port of Baltimore in 2019:

  • Total International Cargo – 43.6 million tons at the public and private marine terminals, surpassing the previous record of 43 million tons set in 2018.
  • General Cargo – 11.1 million tons at the public marine terminals, surpassing the previous record of 10.9 million tons set in 2018.
  • Cars/Light Trucks – 857,890 vehicles at the public and private marine terminals, surpassing last year's record of 850,147 vehicles.
  • Containers – 657,059 units handled at the public marine terminals, surpassing last year's record of 626,046. The Port also handled a record 1,073,749 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2019, surpassing the previous year's total of 1,023,152.

In addition to providing stellar numbers for cargo and containers, 2019 included significant achievements for the Port of Baltimore involving growth, security and environmental stewardship.

  • Howard Street Tunnel Moving Forward: The Hogan Administration's success in identifying funding sources will help lift the Port of Baltimore over a longtime hurdle: the lack of rail capability to handle double-stack containers. Construction is expected to begin in 2021 to renovate the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore to accommodate double-stack container rail cars, with completion targeted for 2024. The project will create thousands of construction jobs, plus additional jobs to handle the anticipated 100,000 additional containers that could come through the Port.
  • Largest Ship Ever Visits Port: In May, the Port welcomed its largest visiting ship ever, the Evergreen Triton, which can handle 14,424 TEU containers. The massive vessel was able to call Baltimore because of the Port's 50-foot-deep channel and supersized Neo-Panamax cranes.
  • Top Security Rating: The Port's public marine terminals received a top rating for the 11th consecutive year in a security assessment performed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Each year Coast Guard Sector Maryland conducts an inspection to ensure compliance of federal security regulations.
  • Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Restoration: An agreement reached in 2019 between the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, will restore two long-eroded islands and provide about 90 million cubic yards of dredged sediment placement over a 30-year period.
  • Reducing Emissions: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Port of Baltimore $1.8 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace older diesel-powered equipment with newer, cleaner versions in approximately 44 dray trucks and four pieces of cargo-handling equipment. Replacements under the recent DERA Grant are anticipated to result in the lifetime emission reduction of approximately 14 tons of particulate matter (PM2.5), 290 tons of nitrogen oxides, 96 tons of carbon monoxide and 15 tons of hydrocarbons.

While 2019 was a banner year for the Port of Baltimore, the future looks even brighter. Work is underway on a second 50-foot-deep berth, and four additional supersized cranes are expected to be in place and operational in 2021. These additions will allow the Port of Baltimore to handle some of the world's most massive ships at the same time, greatly enhancing the ability to handle more cargo.

In addition to its national leadership for volume of autos and light trucks, the Port of Baltimore ranks first among U.S. ports for roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, and for imported gypsum. It ranks 11th among major U.S. ports for cargo tons handled and ninth nationally for total foreign cargo value. The Port generates about 15,330 direct jobs, with nearly 140,000 jobs overall linked to Port activities. The average salary for people with direct jobs at the Port is 9.5 percent higher than the average annual wage in Maryland. The Port is responsible for nearly $3.3 billion in personal wages and salaries, $2.6 billion in business revenues and $395 million in state and local tax revenues annually.​​