With the arrival Saturday of the 15,432 TEU Evergreen Ever Max at its Seagirt Marine Terminal, the Port of Baltimore has welcomed the largest containership ever to call Maryland.
Previously, the largest containership to visit the Port of Baltimore was another Evergreen vessel, the Triton, which first visited in 2019 and has a capacity of 14,424-TEU containers.(The Ever Forward, which grounded in the Chesapeake Bay after leaving Baltimore back in March last year, has a capacity of 12,118 TEU).
The Ever Max arrived in Baltimore after successfully making its inaugural transit through the Panama Canal’s neopanamax locks on August 1. Current weather and draft conditions at the Panama Canal meant that, to effect the transit, the ship had to leave part of its cargo at the Port of Balboa and and reload it at the Colon Container Terminal, on the other side of the locks, after it has been transported by road.
The Port of Baltimore is able to handle ships in this size category thanks to both a 50-foot-deep channel and the ultra-large, Neo-Panamax cranes needed to serve these vessels.
“It’s no secret why these massive containerships want to call on the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “They know Maryland’s port is a valuable resource and a terrific partner in moving goods efficiently across the state and throughout the region.”
“Ships like the Evergreen Ever Max are able to come to the Port of Baltimore because of the work of every link in our supply chain,” said Maryland Port Administration – Port of Baltimore interim acting executive director Brian Miller. “From our great International Longshoremen’s Association to our incredible truckers, pilots, tugs, freight forwarders, terminal operators and private marine terminals, the Port of Baltimore succeeds because we all pull in the same direction.”
“Welcoming the new Evergreen vessel, Ever Max, to Seagirt Marine Terminal is an example of continued growth for the Port of Baltimore,” said Mark Schmidt, vice president and general manager of Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Seagirt Marine Terminal. “Ever Max was completed this year, and comes to Baltimore from the Samsung shipyard in Korea. Thank you Evergreen, for adding vessel capacity to the Port of Baltimore.
The Port of Baltimore reports that it continues to have a strong 2023. The most recent figures through May show major commodities at the state-owned, public marine terminals such as roll-on/roll-off farm and construction equipment, containers and general cargo are all up year to date compared to 2022. Roll-on/roll-off cargo is up 30%, containers are up 10% and general cargo is up 8%.
The 2023 start follows a 2022 in which when the port handled a record $74.3 billion in foreign cargo and established other new records for roll-on/roll-off, containers, general cargo and forest products despite worldwide supply chain issues.
The port’s rising container business will be further buoyed by the ongoing CSX-owned Howard Street Tunnel expansion project in Baltimore, which will allow for double-stacked container rail cars, clearing a longtime hurdle for the port and giving the East Coast seamless double-stack capacity from Maine to Florida. The project involves clearance improvements in the 127-year-old tunnel and at 21 other locations between Baltimore and Philadelphia. With the tunnel expansion project, Baltimore will be able to send double stacked containers by rail into the Ohio Valley and on to Chicago.