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For Immediate Release:

STATE OFFICIALS WELCOME FIRST CONTAINER MEGASHIP
ARRIVING AT THE HELEN DELICH BENTLEY PORT OF BALTIMORE
THROUGH THE NEWLY-EXPANDED PANAMA CANAL

Supersized Cranes & Deep Channel and Berth
Accommodate World’s Largest Vessels

July 19, 2016

(BALTIMORE, MD) --- Standing at the Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore today, state officials hailed the arrival of the first container ship through the newly expanded Panama Canal.  
 
The Evergreen Ever Lambent arrived in Maryland carrying about 8,400 20-foot-long containers after recently traveling through the canal.  The Panama Canal recently completed a nine-year, $5 billion project to create a new set of wider and deeper locks to allow larger ships to pass through.
 
“As one of only a few East Coast ports able to welcome a ship of this size means the Port of Baltimore is a force to be reckoned with in container shipping!” said Governor Larry Hogan.  “We look forward to the arrival of many more megaships as we continue to grow cargo opportunities and jobs at the Port. Maryland is taking yet another step forward to show we are truly OPEN FOR BUSINESS.”
 
Under a public-private partnership the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MPA) entered in 2010, Ports America Chesapeake agreed to construct a 50-foot-deep berth and install four Super Post-Panamax cranes.  Those elements, in addition to the 50-foot-deep channel the Port of Baltimore dredged in 1990, allow the 310-year-old port to handle some of the world’s largest ships.  The Port of Baltimore
is one of only four U.S. East Coast ports able to handle ships of this size.  
 
With the completed expansion of the Panama Canal, larger ships are anticipated to do business with East Coast ports that have the necessary infrastructure to handle their size, rather than with West Coast ports.  Utilizing East Coast ports would be more cost-efficient as ports on the West Coast could require a manufacturer to transport products by rail after arrival.
 
Last year, the Journal of Commerce named the Port of Baltimore the most efficient container port in the U.S.  Baltimore averaged 75 container moves per hour per berth – the fastest rate of handling containers among all U.S. ports.  During the first quarter of 2016, the Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals handled a record 2.4 million tons of cargo.
 
Media Contacts:
Richard Scher,
Matthew Scales
410-385-4480

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