Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It takes something really big to change a skyline. But that’s exactly what’s happening at the Port of Baltimore.
Alex DeMetrick reports four gigantic cranes that barely fit under the Bay and Key Bridges are about to climb higher.
Using a tug boat for a photo-op, two years ago Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the Port of Baltimore would be growing to grow jobs.
“It’s going to support 2,700 permanent jobs to handle the increased container traffic that comes through our port,” O’Malley said.
Last week, the steel backbone of that growth barely fit under the Bay Bridge.
Four enormous cranes built in China on their way to a new deepwater berth to handle a new generation of gigantic container cargo ships. They are the largest such cranes in the world.
“That really just put the Port of Baltimore in a very enviable, competitive position,” said Richard Scher, Port of Baltimore spokesman.
Only one of the cranes still sits aboard the ship. It will move onto the pier on temporary rails.
To get an idea of the sheer size of these machines, which will move containers between ships and trucks, it takes something to give it scale. Something the size of us.
At 40 stories tall, they will dwarf existing cranes.
“Basically, what it’s going to do is sustain the port and allow it to grow into the future with regards to the container business,” Scher said.
These new cranes will mean jobs beyond the port. Because bigger ships will be unloading more containers, more trucks and drivers will be needed.
“Absolutely, I think it’s a great idea. Anything to improve the economy, improve jobs for people is definitely what we need to get the economy going where we need to be,” said Dave Cleveland, trucker.
And things are definitely looking up, way up.
Ports America Chesapeake, which runs the port for the state, has invested more than $100 million for the new cranes and deep water berth.