WASHINGTON (7News) — There is no backlog of ships at Maryland’s marine terminals. In fact, the Maryland Port Administration is using the crisis on the West Coast to lure new business here.
In the last eight weeks, two new shipping lines have announced they’ll be landing in the Port of Baltimore. Over the last 14 months, nearly two dozen unscheduled container ships have made what is called Ad Hoc port calls in Baltimore.
“Those ships were actually diverted to the port of Baltimore because other ports were congested,” says MPA Executive Director William Doyle.
Doyle says the port of Baltimore has the 50-foot water depth required by the biggest container ships and with 4 new massive cranes can handle higher cargo volume than ever before.
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He is selling his port as a solution to the supply chain crisis.
“We are expanding and helping with the supply chain by attracting new services and container ships into the port of Baltimore so we can help alleviate the strain,” he says.
Unloading ships, however, is just the first step in the import supply chain. All that cargo needs to go on trucks or trains. Doyle says they can always use more drivers but are doing okay.
Truckers 7News spoke to at a truck stop in Jessup agree the cargo is moving here but say they’re running hard.
A driver named Abdi says, “Every time we deliver a load there is already a load waiting for me to pick up.”
Another driver, who says his name is Stephen, says the overall driver shortage will be tough to overcome,
“Wages are going up because of the demand but nobody wants to be over the road drivers. It’s hard on both family and driver.”