Containers and autos lead the way as port business continues to surge

BALTIMORE, MD – The Hogan Administration today announced that 2017 was a record year of business for the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s state-owned public marine terminals. Last year, the Port handled more containers and autos than any time in its history. The Port also set a new record by handling 10.7 million tons of general cargo from its public marine terminals, the second consecutive year for more than 10 million tons of general cargo. General cargo includes autos and light trucks, containers, roll on/roll off (farm, mining and construction equipment), forest products (rolled paper and wood pulp) and breakbulk cargo.

“There has been no better example of Maryland being open for business than the Port of Baltimore,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration will continue to make the necessary investments in the Port to help this vital asset grow and succeed. As one of our leading economic engines, the Port generates good-paying, family-supporting jobs for tens of thousands of Marylanders, and will create even more jobs and economic activity as its cargo operation continues to expand.”

International cargo records of key targeted commodities established at the Port of Baltimore In 2017:

General Cargo:

  • baltimoRecord: 10.7 million tons (up seven percent from 2016)


  • Record: 596,972 containers (up 11 percent from 2016)

Autos/Light Trucks (Public and Private Marine Terminals):

  • Record: 803,999 (Most in the U.S. for seventh consecutive year)
  • Up 10 percent from 2016

Recent significant achievements for the Port of Baltimore:

  • Named the fourth fastest-growing port in North America;
  • Recognized for the third consecutive year as one of the most efficient U.S. container ports;
  • Purchased 70 acres of land near the Seagirt Marine Terminal to handle the increased container business and other cargos. This was the Port’s first new significant land purchase for cargo since 1987.

Recently, the Port of Baltimore welcomed six new Rubber-Tired Gantry (RTG) yard cranes to help with its booming container growth. RTG cranes are used to lift and place containers onto trucks. The cranes were purchased by Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Port’s Seagirt container terminal for the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA). The six new RTG cranes will add to the 16 already in service.

Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs, while about 127,600 jobs in Maryland are linked to Port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local tax revenues.