Port of Baltimore Adds RTGs to Handle Surging Container Volumes


By The Maritime Executive 2018-01-31 21:23:00

The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore welcomed six new Rubber-Tired Gantry (RTG) yard cranes today as the Port continues to experience record container volume 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 Port of Baltimore has seen remarkable growth for its container business over the past 18 months,” said Governor Larry Hogan.  “Last year our administration made the first significant purchase of land to be used for Port of Baltimore cargo business since 1987.  Working closely with our partner Ports America Chesapeake, our administration will continue to support the Port and the thousands of hardworking Maryland men and women who rely on this crown jewel to support their families.”

The six new RTG cranes will add to the 16 already in service.  Since 2016, when the Port of Baltimore welcomed its first big container ship to travel through the newly widened Panama Canal, the Port has seen double-digit container growth.  In 2017, the Port of Baltimore handled 596,972 containers, an 11 percent increase over its previous record of 538,567 set in 2016.   The total cost for the six RTG cranes was $12 million and each one weighs 325,500 pounds. 

The Port of Baltimore was recently named the fourth fastest-growing port in North America and has been recognized as one of the most efficient container ports in the U.S. for the past three years.  Last year the MDOT MPA announced the purchase of 70 acres of land adjacent to the Seagirt container terminal to handle its additional container business as well as other cargo-handling opportunities.  It was the first purchase of land in that capacity in 30 years.  

The Port of Baltimore handles more autos, light trucks and high and heavy farm and construction equipment than any other U.S. port. Baltimore’s port is ranked as the top among all U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery and imported sugar. Overall Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 14th for cargo tonnage for all U.S. ports.

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.

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