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Baltimore Harbor is one of the nation's leading deep water ports. The Capella and the Antares are normally at Pier 1, Clinton Street.

The Port of Baltimore has 45 miles of waterfront of which 25 miles are industrially developed. There are 94 covered and open overseas piers for the loading and discharging of 173 ships, providing 84 general cargo, 65 specialized cargo, and 24 public bulk cargo berths. The existing ground storage is equivalent to 53,700 railroad cars of cargo. There are 31 public general merchandize warehouses, with 4.9 million square feet of storage space and 4.7 million cubic feet of cost storage space. Eight ship-building, ship repair and ship dismantling yards are available for handling up to 90 vessels. The two grain elevators in the port have a capacity of about 8 million bushels.

The harbor is situated on the Patapsco River Basin on the west side of upper Chesapeake Bay about 172 miles north of the Virginia capes. Since 1980, over one-half billion dollars has been spent on maritime improvements in the Port of Baltimore. It is primarily a bulk-cargo port. The port has four large modern ore piers, three coal piers, two waterfront grain elevators with more than an 8,000,000-bushel total capacity and extensive facilities for handling such commodities as fertilizer and chemical products, break bulk, general, and containerized cargo.

The three coal terminals are capable of loading vessels drafting 47 feet. The four public terminals are equipped with the latest in cargo-handling equipment, a large auto terminal and numerous privately-owned facilities capable of handling a multitude of cargoes. Reported commerce for 1989 included 44,883,667 tons and 267,458 commercial passengers.

Through a combination of modern facilities and an experienced labor force, Baltimore has emerged as one of the nation's leading ports for automobile imports and exports. During the 1990s more than 3.5 million cars and small trucks have rolled across Baltimore piers. The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) developed the first phase of the Fairfield Marine Terminal complex in conjunction with Toyota Motor Sales, US A. Opened in 1988, the 50-acre (20.2 ha) facility features an 832-foot (254 m) long pier, with a width of as much as 114 feet (34.7 m). It is controlled by the MPA. Three modern building house a car wash, body shop and accessory shop for installing options such as air conditioning and stereos. Toyota, which signed a 15-year lease when the terminal opened, uses 44 acres (17.8 ha) at Fairfield for processing automobiles and trucks bound for its more than 100 dealers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Fairfield's custom design and layout have enabled Toyota's Baltimore operation to record some of the lowest damage rates of any of the company's US facilities. Adjacent to Phase I lies a 150-acre (60.7 ha) undeveloped site known as Masonville. The MPA has graded 42 acres (17 ha) for automobile storage and plans to complete the Fairfield complex by developing the entire Masonville location. This state-of-the-art automobile terminal will feature marginal berths especially designed to accommodate the needs of today's and tomorrow's Roll On/Roll Off vessels.

The Seagirt Marine Terminal stands as a working monument to the Port of Baltimore's innovative and progressive spirit. Opened in 1990, Seagirt features the latest in cargo-handling equipment and systems. The design behind this high-tech facility systems from one simple principle: keep the cargo moving. The computerized gate complex serves as the nerve center for the 275-acre (112 ha) container terminal. Seagirt's automated system consolidates the steps necessary to generate the Trailer Interchange Report (TIR). When trucks enter Seagirt, an electronic sign-bridge over 13 of the 14 inbound lanes directs the drivers to the appropriate lane, where a remote intercom system allows them to quickly exchange information with clerks in the gate house. The $220-million terminal's seven 20-story high-speed computerized cranes dominate the port's skyline. In the hands of the port's skilled International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) operators, these 100-foot gauge (30.5 m), post- Panamax cranes are among the most productive in the industry, averaging 33 to 35 containers an hour. Three of the cranes feature the latest dual-hoist systems, which lift two containers simultaneously to expedite the loading and discharge of the vessel. Capable of handling 150,000 containers a year, Seagirt's practical yard layout places the storage area directly behind the berths, further increasing the productivity of the vessel loading and discharge operations. The Port of Baltimore's Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) moves cargo between bulkhead and railhead in record time. Adjacent to Baltimore's modern Seagirt Marine Terminal, the 70-acre (28.3 ha) ICTF allows cargo to catch a train to almost anywhere. CSX Intermodal (CSXI) operates the port's on-dock railyard, which has steadily increased its volume since opening in 1988. Baltimore's ICTF has quickly emerged as an integral link in CSXI's impressive nationwide intermodal system. With six trains daily, CSXI offers direct service to the Southeast and Midwest, and seamless connections to the rest of the continental United States and Canada. CSXI also operates a service between the ICTF to Montreal and Toronto.

With 13 berths, 10 container and two gantry cranes and direct rail access, the 570-acre (230 ha) terminal remains the Port of Baltimore's largest and most versatile general cargo facility. Containers. Automobiles. Farm, construction and other Roll On/Roll Off (RO/RO) equipment. Wood pulp. Steel. Breakbulk. Liquid Bulk. Project cargo. If it moves on a vessel, Dundalk can handle it. Universal Maritime Service Corporation operates a private terminal within Dundalk, further enhancing the port's efficiency. Opened in 1993, this private terminal feature many of the same automated efficiencies first introduced to the port in 1990 at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, which is generally regarded as the finest container terminal in the country. Approximately 110 acres, this private terminal (Universal) includes a 14-lane computerized gate complex that consolidates and improves the Trailer Interchange Report (TIR) process. Using remote intercom systems, truck drivers can communicate directly with clerks in the gate house, who instantaneously type the necessary information into a computer.

While all of the port's general cargo terminals enjoy excellent highway access, South Locust Point has Interstate 95 -- the "Main Street" of the East Coast -- literally running past its front door. From South Locust Point, trucks can travel almost anywhere in the country without hitting a single traffic signal. The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) opened South Locust Point in 1979 to meet the growing needs of the port's customers. South Locust Point can handle any type of general cargo, whether it rolls, comes in a box or crate, or just needs a lift. The MPA completed a major expansion of South Locust Point in 1988, doubling the size of the terminal to almost 80 acres (32.4 ha) and creating four general cargo berths. The multi-million-dollar project increased the terminal's productivity and efficiency by developing another container berth and adding a third container crane. South Locust Point features three 40-long ton (40.6 M.T.) container cranes, as well as a 100-short ton (90.7 M.T.) revolving gantry crane for handling heavy breakbulk and project cargoes. The facility's size and versatility make it ideally suited to handle the needs of medium-sized steamship lines, multi-purpose vessels and any cargo that needs to hit the road in a hurry.

The Port of Baltimore has two deep water routes to the sea. The northernmost route is through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal to Delaware Bay. The canal, operated by the Corps of Engineers, provides a short, protected route to Baltimore from other leading North Atlantic ports. The main 50-foot shipping channel extends from the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Henry, north through the Chesapeake Bay to the Port of Baltimore.

Rukert Terminals Corporation is a privately owned and operated company which specializes in the handling of metals, ores, fertilizers, alloys and other dry bulk, breakbulk and other primary materials. Services include terminal operations, stevedoring by Beacon Stevedoring Corp., warehousing and transfer to and from vessel, rail or truck and general distribution services. Local trucking services are also available. The terminal encompasses 100 acres (40.47 ha) of waterfront property which includes.

Baltimore Metal & Commodities Terminal is an operating extension of C. Steinweg (Baltimore), Inc. and is focused on handling metals, soft commodities and project cargo shipped as breakbulk. The terminal is located adjacent to Fort McHenry (I-95 exit 55), & encompasses almost 14 acres (5.67 ha) of secured, US Customs Bonded pier of which slightly over 9 acres (3.64 ha) is fast land. The water depth varies to a maximum of 38 feet (11.58m). Pier No. 1 is 970 feet (295.66m) in length of which 580 ft ( 176.29m) adjoins fast land and the remaining 390 ft (118.54m) is a finger pier with a width of 40 feet (12.19m).

The "Baltimore Harbor Anchorages and Channels" feasibility study was initiated in June 1993 and was completed in April 1997. The study was funded by the Baltimore District Corps of Engineers and the Maryland Port Authority to determine whether there is federal interest in pursuing potential improvements to the anchorages and branch channels serving the Port of Baltimore. Many large, deep draft vessels are unable to anchor within the Port of Baltimore due to their extreme size and, therefore, are required to use anchorage areas 25 miles south of Baltimore at the Annapolis Anchorage Grounds. In addition, many of these larger vessels require additional time to maneuver in the narrow branch channels, thereby increasing operating costs to shippers. The goal of the study was to determine whether an economically justified project can be constructed to alleviate these problems and recommend further study in a feasibility report. Potential improvements investigated included constructing a larger and deeper anchorage area within the Port of Baltimore to accommodate larger vessels as well as widening some of the existing branch channels which serve the public terminals.

In 1997 the US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, conducteda Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact on Baltimore Harbor Anchorages and Channels. The study recommended the widening and deepening of various channels, construction of a turning basin at the head of Fort McHenry Channel, assumption of maintenance responsibilities by the federal government for certain channels and the placement of 4.4 million cubic yards of dredged material at Hart-Miller Island.

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