(BALTIMORE, MD) --- The Port of Baltimore is preparing for the arrival of four supersized container cranes that will be installed on the new 50-foot container berth at the Seagirt Marine Terminal. The cranes, the largest of their kind in the maritime industry and known as Super-Post Panamax, can reach 22 containers across on a container ship, lift 187,300 pounds of cargo, and stand 140 feet off the ground while in a working position. The cranes were manufactured in China and are now traveling to Baltimore by ship for an expected arrival on or about June 12.
“These cranes represent the future of the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Their arrival is another major step toward reaching the goal that we established in 2010 with our private sector partner, Ports America Chesapeake, to create jobs and build a new deep water container berth capable of handling the larger ships that will pass through the Panama Canal when it is widened in 2014. Together, we can maintain our competitive position and provide additional stability for our port labor force.”
Each crane weighs about 1,550 pounds, is tall enough to clear a 14-story building, and being fully electric they will emit no diesel emissions. Seagirt Marine Terminal, which is the port’s primary container facility, currently has seven cranes that are called Post Panamax and that can reach 18 containers across a ship.
The new cranes will arrive disassembled and will be installed and operational by September. Construction on the Port of Baltimore’s new 50-foot container berth was completed earlier this year. The port is now only one of two East Coast ports to have a 50-foot berth and 50-foot channel, two key factors in being able to attract some of the largest container ships in the world.
The new cranes and 50-foot berth are key elements of the 50-year agreement between the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake that was signed by Governor O’Malley in 2010. Under the agreement, Ports America is running daily operations at the 200- acre Seagirt Marine Terminal and is investing in necessary infrastructure improvements at Seagirt including funding the new berth and cranes, saving the State hundreds of millions of dollars.
The partnership between the MPA and Ports America is expected to produce 5,700 new jobs, while the total investment and revenue to the State of Maryland has the potential to reach up to $1.8 billion over the life of the agreement, including $15.7 million per year in new taxes.
Massive New Container Cranes On Their Way to Baltimore
The Port of Baltimore saw a 15 percent increase in the amount of cargo it handled in 2011, the greatest increase of growth by any major U.S. port last year. It established seven major cargo records in 2011. The Port of Baltimore ranks 11th nationally for the total dollar value of cargo and 12th for the amount of cargo tonnage handled out of 44 port districts in the U.S. In 2011, the Port of Baltimore ranked as the top port in the nation out of 360 U.S. ports for handling farm and construction machinery, autos, trucks, imported forest products, imported sugar, imported gypsum, and imported iron ore. Baltimore ranked second in the U.S. for exported coal, imported salt, and imported aluminum.
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.