May/June 2013
The Port of Baltimore
he cover of this issue says “Game Changer.” With a new
50-foot deep container berth and four super-post-Panamax
cranes, the Port of Baltimore is ready today. Through our
public-private partnership with Ports America Chesapeake,
we have put ourselves in a very enviable and competitive position
to attract bigger ships and more cargo. The Port of Baltimore is
now one of only two East Coast ports able to accommodate some
of the largest ships in the world.
There is no mistaking how big this is for the Port of Baltimore.
The new berth and cranes were vital to our long-term future. It
allowed us to retain existing business and jobs, while positioning
us extremely well to welcome new business and to create new jobs.
Simply stated, it is one of the largest milestones in the 307-year
history of our great port.
Since our public-private agreement began in 2010, I could not
have asked for a better partner than Ports America Chesapeake.
First, they completed construction on the new berth in 2012, two
years ahead of its original schedule. Seagirt Marine Terminal also
has never been busier. Last year, Seagirt handled more containers
than ever while averaging 37 container moves per hour per crane,
one of the most efficient rates in the nation.
This unique agreement could not have happened without
four individuals: Governor Martin O’Malley, Christopher Lee and
Maryland’s last two transportation secretaries, John Porcari
and Beverley Swaim-Staley. Gov. O’Malley knew how critical the
need was for this port to construct a deep berth and he knew
the thousands of jobs that would result from this. The State of
Maryland did not have the necessary funding to go forward and he
had the foresight to strongly encourage us to seek the involvement
of private industry. From there, we were fortunate to partner with
Christopher Lee of Highstar Capital/Ports America Chesapeake.
He is a true visionary and expert on public-private partnerships.
Secretaries Porcari and Swaim-Staley were both outstanding
through this process. Both of them were very involved and brought
their own unique strengths to the table, which helped us form
the foundation of what would become our agreement with Ports
America Chesapeake.
This team effort, led by Gov. O’Malley, helped to ensure the
long-term future of the Port of Baltimore and created thousands of
new jobs that maintained the Port’s standing as one of Maryland’s
main economic generators.
James J. White,
Executive Director
Maryland Port Administration
n May, we officially dedicated four new supersized cranes and
a new 50-foot-deep container berth at the Port of Baltimore’s
Seagirt Marine Terminal thanks to our unique public-private
partnership with Ports America Chesapeake. While the gigantic
cranes were the visual focus of the day, we’re looking forward to
the bigger ships that will bring more business and more jobs to
The Port of Baltimore is now one of only two East Coast ports
able to handle some of the largest container ships in the world.
While other ports are fighting for federal dollars to deepen their
channels, Maryland has already made strategic decisions to grow
business and position our state to compete and win. Our main
channel is 50-feet deep, our berth is 50-feet deep and our cranes
are the largest available in the industry. This gives us a tremendous
competitive advantage.
The public-private partnership is protecting existing jobs
and creating 5,700 new jobs in Maryland. Some of these jobs
have already been realized, including jobs to construct the new
berth as well as jobs to maintain infrastructure on our highways,
bridges, tunnels and toll facilities. Many other jobs are directly
and indirectly tied to the increase in container business at the
Seagirt Marine Terminal that we expect to see after the Panama
Canal expansion project is completed in 2015. That project will
allow huge freighters to transit the canal and head to East Coast
ports that can accommodate them — and Baltimore is now one
of those ports.
Even during the toughest of times, Maryland has made better
choices to invest in our economy, and the results are evident. Over
the past 12 months, Maryland has created more than 34,000 jobs,
with our dynamic private sector leading that growth. Maryland’s
unemployment rate is now at a four-year low, and in the first
quarter of 2013 our state led the region in job creation. With the
recently signed Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of
2013, and the 57,200 jobs this act supports, Maryland is trending
up, putting people back to work and creating a safer, more efficient
and competitive 21st-century transportation network.
Martin O’Malley,
Heralding a Competitive Advantage with Seagirt Partnership
Celebrating a Great Milestone in Port History
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