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Port Of Baltimore Spends Millions To Stay Competitive

October 7, 2014 5:28 PM By Alex DeMetrick
Filed Under: Baltimore port, Port Authority, Port Of Baltimore, Port Of Baltimore Cars, Port Of Baltimore Investment

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — You could say it’s a $22 million hole in the water but the Port of Baltimore says it’s the cost of staying competitive.

Alex DeMetrick reports it all comes down to staying on top.

It may be gentle enough to ripple light but water at the Port of Baltimore’s new bigger and deeper auto berth is strong enough to support one thousand pounds per square inch—important when each piece of cargo can weigh two tons or more.

“We’re going to have bigger ships, more cargo—and we’re ready,” said Maryland Secretary of Transportation Jim Smith.

Baltimore already handles more car imports and exports than any other ports in the US: 750,000 last year and maybe 800,000 this year. But to stay on top, it needs an addition to a 70-year-old berth that has been handling car cargo.

“Its useful life is almost expended and we needed to bring this new terminal on,” said Port Authority Executive Director Jim White.

A $22 million terminal to stay ahead of other ports chasing the same business.

“Absolutely. It is fiercely intense,” White said.

A new rail line will also be added to this berth, speeding car deliveries from ships to dealerships.

“We will be very, very competitive because we will have speed, speed in unloading ships,” Smith said. “Time is money.”

Ships don’t make money sitting in port. The faster cargo is turned around, the more attractive a port becomes to shippers and the more money a port makes.

Baltimore’s port generates $3 billion in wages and salaries and $300 million a year in tax revenues.

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Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ Eyewitness News since September 1984. Alex began his journalism career in California. Alex has received many awards from United Press International and The Associated Press.  He...
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