Ports America Chesapeake and CSX Intermodal Terminals today announced a new agreement designed to immediately enhance the competitiveness of the Port of Baltimore and position it to capture additional freight business through more efficient service. The new agreement transfers operational responsibility for the intermodal container service at the port from CSX Intermodal Terminals to Ports America Chesapeake, consolidating management of the operation and enhancing service through Ports America's on-dock handling and operational expertise.
"With the expansion of the Panama Canal, we see tremendous growth opportunities at the Port of Baltimore," said Ports America CEO and President Michael Hassing. "Having direct on-dock access to rail service is a significant competitive differentiator for the Port of Baltimore, enhancing its attractiveness as one of only three East Coast ports equipped to handle super-post-Panamax ships, which will expand our ability to attract new freight."
"CSX remains committed to working with the port, the state and the city to support the continued growth of intermodal freight movements and to connect Maryland businesses and consumers to new markets in the Midwest and the south via CSX's extensive rail network," said CSX Intermodal Terminals President Wilby Whitt. "Our agreement with Ports America will ensure that the port's needs are continually met today and in the future."
In 2010, Ports America Chesapeake assumed operational control of the Seagirt Marine Terminal through a public-private partnership and began an aggressive $500 million investment program, making the Port of Baltimore one of the most efficient East Coast ports. Ports America's improvements allow more efficient use of the waterfront areas available at the Seagirt terminal, eliminating the requirement to move rail operations to a new, off-dock facility to create space for the hundreds of thousands of container movements that occur there each year.
Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration Jim White stated, "This agreement between CSX and Ports America Chesapeake is the first step in creating a business model that will work long term. It provides the frequency needed and its on-dock where it belongs. This also will help us become more competitive with attracting discretionary cargo destined for the Midwest."
The Seagirt Marine Terminal is a 284-acre facility featuring berthing with a 50-foot draft that is serviced by four super-post-Panamax cranes; seven post-Panamax cranes (including three dual-hoist cranes); and 16 rubber-tired gantry cranes. The facility boasts an average of 38 container moves per hour at this terminal, the fastest and most efficient in the United States.
The Port of Baltimore is ranked as the top port among all U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported forest products, imported sugar, and imported aluminum. Overall, Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 13th 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 more than $300 million in state and local tax revenues.
Ports America is the largest U.S. terminal operator and stevedore with operations in 42 ports and 80 terminals. With a highly skilled and trained labor force, Ports America has the experience and expertise to manage all types of cargo handling. Handling more than 13.4 million TEUs, 2.5 million vehicles, 10.1 million tons of general cargo and 1.7 million cruise ship passengers annually, Ports America has operations ranging from pure container terminals to "under-the-hook" stevedoring. Operations also include bulk and breakbulk facilities, world-class cruise terminals, intermodal facilities, maintenance and repair and quality care auto/ro ro handling. For more information, please visit www.PortsAmerica.com.
CSX, through its railroad subsidiary, CSX Transportation, Inc., and its intermodal terminal subsidiary, CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc., combines the superior economics of rail transportation with the short-haul flexibility of trucks and offers a competitive cost advantage over long-haul trucking. Through a network of more than 40 terminals, the intermodal business serves all major markets east of the Mississippi and transports primarily manufactured consumer goods in containers, providing customers with service similar to trucking for longer shipments.