The Port of Baltimore has had its share of blows over the past few years but now the momentum is swinging the other way, with Baltimore on the offensive. Maersk Line, the port's most important customer, gave Baltimore a huge vote of confidence this week when it signed a 10-year lease to continue doing business here. The port's long-term strategy seems to be working.
Key to the port's success is the state of the art Seagirt Marine Terminal. Already, one of the world's largest steamship companies, Orient Overseas Container Line, has decided to return to Baltimore to take advantage of Seagirt's ultra-modern facilities speeding cargo handling. And Seagirt's growing popularity has given port officials a chance to achieve another long-cherished goal: revamping the hodge-podge configuration of the Dundalk Marine Terminal.
Port officials are carving out two private terminals inside the 570-acre Dundalk site, one of which will be run by Maersk's stevedoring subsidiary. This will permit Maersk to centralize the use of workers, equipment and space for the numerous steamship lines that will operate from the private terminal. Vastly improved security will now be possible as will large-scale private investments to create computerized gates and to achieve economies of scale and speed not possible today at Dundalk.