Port of Baltimore 2023 Business Activity

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The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s state-owned public marine terminals and private terminals handled a record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo, worth $80 billion, in 2023, according to the Maryland Port Administration (MPA).

The port’s new record illustrates the rebound from pandemic impacts and worldwide supply chain issues facing the international maritime shipping industry.

Maryland’s Port of Baltimore generates about 15,300 direct jobs, with nearly 140,000 jobs linked to port activities.

It ranks first among the nation’s ports for volume of autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, imported sugar, and imported gypsum; ninth among major U.S. ports for foreign cargo handled; and ninth for total foreign cargo value.

Port of Baltimore Shipping Records Set in 2023:

  • 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo
  • $80.8 billion in foreign cargo value
  • 1.3 million tons of roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery
  • 1.1 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit containers
  • 11.7 million tons of general cargo tons

In addition to the records, the Port of Baltimore handled 847,158 cars and light trucks in 2023, the 13th consecutive year it has led all other U.S. ports in that commodity.

2023 Significant Achievements for the Port of Baltimore:

  • ZIM Shipping Lines, one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, doubled its service in Maryland in 2023, increasing its frequency from bi-weekly to weekly calls. ZIM also increased the size of its ships coming into Maryland by nearly 50 percent.
  • The Evergreen Ever Max, the largest container ship to ever enter the port, arrived with capacity to handle more than 15,000 20-foot equivalent containers. The arrival of ships of this size continues to demonstrate Baltimore’s capabilities of handling supersized vessels, including its ultra-large Neo-Panamax cranes and deep channel.
  • More than 444,000 individuals cruised out of the Port of Baltimore, representing the third-highest passenger total in the port’s history, and the most since 2012.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the top cruise lines in the world, began a new fall and winter cruising schedule in 2023 from the Port of Baltimore. Norwegian offered sailings to New England and Canada as well as the Bahamas and Caribbean. Norwegian will return later this year.
  • The Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration construction began, which will use dredged sediment from Port of Baltimore shipping channels to restore eroding James and Barren Islands and protect Dorchester County’s shoreline.
  • The port’s rising container business will be additionally supported by the CSX-owned Howard Street Tunnel expansion project, which will allow for double-stacked container rail cars and enable seamless double-stack capacity from Maine to Florida. The project involves clearance improvements in the 127-year-old tunnel and at 21 other locations between Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Upon completion of the Howard Street Tunnel Expansion project, Baltimore will be able to send double-stacked containers by rail into the Ohio Valley and on to Chicago.

The Howard Street Tunnel project is predicted to generate about 6,550 construction jobs, and an additional 7,300 jobs from increased business. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2027.

source: Maryland Port Administration

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