Maryland opens new auto berth at Port of Baltimore
Baltimore, October 13, 2014 (STAT):- Maryland Port Administration (MPA) Executive Director James J. White was joined by Maryland Transportation Secretary James T. Smith Jr. and members of the Maryland Port Commission to officially open a new auto berth at the Port of Baltimore’s Masonville/Fairfield Marine Terminal. The new berth replaces an old berth that has been in operation for more than 70 years. The event coincided with the 300th meeting of the Maryland Port Commission. “This new auto berth will further bolster the Port of Baltimore’s already strong reputation as the leading auto port in the U.S. and is welcome news for the nearly 1,100 direct jobs that are generated by the Port’s auto business,” said Transportation Secretary Smith. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Maryland will continue to make the necessary facility and infrastructure investments to ensure the Port of Baltimore remains the premier auto port in the country.” The new berth at 1,175 feet in length is nearly 300 feet longer than the old berth and at 130 feet wide is 20 feet wider. The new berth can support 1,000 pounds per square inch compared to only 100 pounds per square inch for the old berth. The new berth is also equipped to handle rail transport. The Port of Baltimore last year handled more than 750,000 cars, the most among any U.S. port. Nearly 1,100 direct jobs at the Port are generated by the Port’s auto business. The Maryland Port Commission today had their 300th meeting. The six-member Commission establishes policies directed toward improving the competitive position of the Port of Baltimore within the international maritime industry. Current members of the Commission are William Dockser, Donald Fry, Peta Richkus, Theodore Venetoulis, Charles White, Jr., and Rev. Donte Hickman. The Port of Baltimore is ranked as the top port among all U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported forest products, imported sugar, imported aluminum and imported gypsum. Baltimore ranks second in the U.S. for exported coal. Overall Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 14th for cargo tonnage for all U.S. ports. Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 14,630 direct jobs, while about 108,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local taxes.