Thursday, December 22, 2011

Port Lands a Very Big Deal

The future prospects of the Port of Baltimore for container shipping got a big boost this week. The world’s fifth largest container shipping company, Hapag-Lloyd has chosen Baltimore over other east coast ports, to be a major US shipping hub. According to this story by Candus Thomson in The Sun, state officials, who had lobbied hard to woo Hapag-Lloyd to Baltimore, claimed this “will boost container traffic at the port of Baltimore by roughly 10 percent, increasing the number of waterfront jobs and further raising the region's profile within the maritime industry…,”

Good news indeed. There’s a HoCo loco angle to this story too.

“For stevedores and other workers at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, operated by Ports America Chesapeake, the additional containers will serve as a warmup for the expected arrival of the so-called post-Panamax ships, the world's largest cargo vessels that will use the Panama Canal after a widening project is completed in 2014.”

This is one of the reasons why a loco intermodal terminal could be a boon to some of the HoCo loco companies involved in the distribution of goods. There is approximately six million square feet of HoCo loco warehouse space housing a variety of distribution firms. I really don’t care if its Montevideo or Hanover as long as its here it will be good for those jobs.

CSX actually helped sell Baltimore to Hapag-Lloyd. James White, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration explained “a team that included Ports America Chesapeake and CSX as well as the port of Baltimore made a presentation to Hapag-Lloyd…”

“Ports America was able to emphasize the deep-water, post-Panamax berth and cranes, its efficiency in unloading ships and the open land next to Seagirt, on which a warehouse could be constructed. CSX outlined its $160 million commitment to finishing the National Gateway rail project, which will allow double-stacked freight trains to deliver goods to the Midwest.”
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