AAPA Seaports Advisory

Operations: Baltimore, Jacksonville, Port Manatee

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Baltimore Again Named America’s Most Productive Port by the Journal of Commerce

An independent analysis conducted by the Journal of Commerce rates the Baltimore the most productive container port in the United States in (JOC) for calendar year 2015. The result was announced at the recent JOC Port Performance North American Conference in Iselin (NJ). The Port of Baltimore averaged 71 container moves per hour per berth.

The JOC previously awarded Baltimore this honor for the first six months of 2015 and the entire year of 2014. The port productivity data are compiled by international shipping lines and not by individual ports or marine terminals. The JOC’s analysis rankings factored in elements such as a ships’ arrival time at a berth, the number of container moves per hour at that berth, and a ship’s departure time from that berth.

Seagirt Marine Terminal, Baltimore’s primary container facility is operated Ports America Chesapeake under a 50-year public-private partnership agreement signed in 2010 with the Maryland Port Administration. Among its assets are a 50-foot deep berth and 11 ship-to-shore gantry cranes, including four neo-Panamaxers capable of working some of the world’s largest container ships.

In 2016, the Port of Baltimore:

  • Welcomed its first container ship via the expanded Panama Canal
  • Signed its top forest-product customer, Finland-based UPM, to a 10-year contract extension
  • Extended its contracts with Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International
  • Received a nearly $1 million federal grant to continue reducing air pollutants by upgrading diesel equipment at the port

In 2015, the port’s public and private marine terminals processed 32.4 million tons of international cargo valued at approximately $51.1 billion.

JAXPORT’s New 100-Gauge Cranes Move First Containers 


Three brand new 100-gauge cranes have begun operations at the newly rebuilt Berth 35 at the Jacksonville Port Authority’s Blount Island Marine Terminal. Manufactured in the China, the cranes can hoist up to 65 tons and span 22 container rows – enabling them to service the wider, post-Panamax vessels currently calling JAXPORT via the expanded Panama and Suez canals.

On December 9, stevedores used two of the three cranes to move containers from Maersk Line's Sea-Land Comet.

JAXPORT invested $37.9 million in the purchase and installation of the three cranes, including a $15 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The port’s long-term strategic plan calls for the purchase of ten 100-gauge cranes for Blount Island during the next 10 years.

Port Manatee Opens Expanded South Gate

A December 15 ribbon cutting formally celebrated completion of Port Manatee’s $1.1 million South Gate expansion project.  The upgraded complex features new gates, guard kiosk, canopy and lighting, as well as reconfigured security fencing.  

Widened entry and exit lanes facilitate safe, efficient accommodation of extra-large project cargos, including massive liquefied natural gas heat exchangers manufactured at the nearby Air Products Port Manatee facility.

Three-fourths of the project funding came from a federal port security grant and the balance from the port.

 "This expanded gate complex literally opens up Port Manatee to a new era in the handling of oversized project cargos," said Port Executive Director Carlos Buqueras.

South Gate ribbon cutting, from left: Charles B. Smith (Manatee County Port Authority), Robin DiSabatino (Manatee County Port Authority), Angelina "Angel" Colonneso (Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court), Vanessa Baugh (incoming chairwoman, Manatee County Port Authority), Carlos Buqueras (Port Manatee executive director), Betsy Benac (outgoing chairwoman, Manatee County Port Authority), Priscilla Whisenant Trace (Manatee County Port Authority), Carol Whitmore, (Manatee County Port Authority), and Stephen R. Jonsson (Manatee County Port Authority)  
Photo/Port Manatee

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