The Port of Baltimore is the largest auto port in the United States, handling 750,000 cars in 2013 and almost 800,000 in 2014. In order to deal with the rising number of import cars arriving at the port, the Port of Baltimore recently opened a new auto berth at its Masonville/Fairfield Marine Terminal.
At almost 360 metres long and 40 metres wide, the new berth is 90 metres longer and 6 metres wider than the current berth. The new structure is also equipped to handle rail transport. More importantly, the new layout should improve the operational efficiency of cargo operations. Increased berth strength offers the capability to shift heavy cargo pier side without waiting to call the other terminal. Additionally, the new berth allows for a reduction in non-steaming time, which will permit vessels to steam slower down the coast and across the Atlantic and burn less fuel, reducing emissions.
While the existing berth, Fairfield 4, is 70 years old, it’s still fully operational. Having two working berths will allow OEMs at Fairfield to receive and load product faster due to less congestion and schedule conflicts. For WWL, the new berth will help support factory to dealer services for both cars and heavy equipment as well as running a terminal and offering specialty services for breakbulk customers.
"Having two working berths should improve efficiency, allowing auto manufacturers at Fairfield to see their cars quicker, to load out quicker, to deliver out quicker," says Michael Rye, Port Manager of WWL North Atlantic Operations. "This will also lead to less berth conflicts and less scheduling conflicts."