DredgeWire Exclusive: Maryland Transportation Secretary gives “State of the Port” speech to the World Trade Center Institute 30th anniversary celebration

Article Image

Posted November 25, 2019

By Peter Bowe - Publisher, DredgeWire

MD Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn was the keynote speaker at the World Trade Center Institute’s 30th anniversary event in Baltimore. His address focused on progress by the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore.

Highlights included:

Baltimore is completing its eighth consecutive year as the number one car import port in the United States, and is also number one for RO/RO.

Baltimore received its first 14,000 TEU post Panamax ship, the Evergreen Triton this year. Baltimore is now the only Mid-Atlantic port capable of handling these new ships.

Plans are underway to build a second 50ft (16m) deep dock so the port could handle two 14,000 TEU ships at the same time.

Rahn noted that “the Port has not seen much impact from trade wars though China exports are down somewhat.”

Rahn mentioned that the Port’s Masonville Cove facility just celebrated its 10th anniversary of the student educational center focused on beneficial reuse of dredged materials.

More than 35,000 students have visited to learn about how dredging and restoration and international trade all go together.

The Port is now in planning stages for a major new facility for dredged material placement, restoring the James and Barren Islands in the Chesapeake Bay. This will be the third such island restoration project undertaken by the Port, following the Hart-Miller Island and Poplar Island projects. Commencing in 2022 it will add 2000 acres (800 hectares) of restored land area.

In September the Port received an environmental award from the AAPA and has continued to invest in trash collecting wheels.

Finally Rahn suggested that the Port was making good progress in putting together a consortium to finance a new tunnel to accommodate double stack trains leaving the port.

Rahn noted proudly that Maryland is the only state in the US which owns both its own major port and major airport.

In separate but related news,

New technology enhances efficiency at the Port of Baltimore

Ports America Chesapeake (PAC) the private sector partner of the Port of Baltimore, recently went live with a new, industry-leading terminal operating system (TOS) that will be the backbone for future enhancements at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt and Dundalk marine terminals. The new Navis N4 system is the first time the port has utilized a single platform for all cargo handled at its terminals and is part of a $142 million investment in equipment and infrastructure initiatives to keep competitive in the region. “We strive to be ahead of curve with technology advancements to foster continued success in the Port of Baltimore, adding to Maryland’s economy,” said Ports America Chesapeake Vice President Bayard Hogans.

About Ports America:

Ports America is a leader in generating Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the U.S. seaport industry. Ports America has successfully created two PPP’s, including Baltimore, merging private capital alongside commercial terminal operating expertise in partnership with public port authorities or local municipalities.