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Port of Baltimore Welcomes Largest Container Ship Ever

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By The Maritime Executive 2019-05-24 21:03:21

The 14,000 TEU Evergreen Triton arrived Friday at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, setting a new record as the largest container ship to ever visit Maryland. The Neopanamax ship was able to call at Baltimore thanks to the port's recent dredging work.

The previous record-holder as the largest container ship to visit the Port of Baltimore was the 11,000-TEU Gunde Maersk, which arrived in October. Thanks to a public-private partnership between the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake, the Port of Baltimore is one of the few ports on the East Coast to have a 50-foot deep channel and a 50-foot deep berth, which are necessary to accommodate the mega-ships that now transit the New Panama Canal. Ports America Chesapeake operates Seagirt Marine Terminal, the port’s container terminal.

“Thanks to Maryland’s investment in a 50-foot berth, every year we are seeing larger and larger container ships choosing the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in a statement. “Maryland truly is open for business. The Port of Baltimore fuels the state’s economy and supports thousands of jobs throughout the freight industry.”     

The first round of dredging deepened one berth at Seagirt. In December, MDOT MPA and Ports America Chesapeake announced a $33 million project to develop a second 50-foot-deep container berth at the facility to allow two Neopanamax ships to call simultaneously. Construction on the new berth is expected to commence by the end of 2019, and it is expected to become operational by early 2021. 

The Port of Baltimore is coming off a record-breaking year. In 2018, a record 43 million tons of international cargo was handled by the port's state-owned and privately-owned marine terminals, surpassing the previous high mark of 40.9 million tons in 1974. The value of the cargo passing through the Port in 2018 was also a new benchmark - nearly $60 billion - and the port saw record high numbers for containerized cargo and ro/ro moves. Baltimore ranks first in the nation for ro/ro vehicles and ro/ro heavy equipment.