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Port of Baltimore Holds 17th Annual Ro/Ro Rodeo Training

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Schuh Mike 370x278 (2) Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–More rolling cargo comes through the Port of Baltimore than any other dock in America. And keeping vehicles undamaged is one reason for that success.

Mike Schuh has more on the port’s 17th annual Ro/Ro Rodeo.

Just on the other side of the ships at the port are rows and rows of cars, trucks and machinery that can move on its own power.  Ro/Ro (Roll on/Roll off) is cargo that can be driven on and off a ship.

Driving one of them is a lot different than a car.

“Well, there is a lot of machinery we don’t know how to drive,” said Heather Spindler, longshore worker.

Some 200 drivers at Port of Baltimore received four hours of hands-on training, which is keeping millions of dollars of heavy metal from being damaged and damaging the port’s reputation.

“A simple bump can mean a lot of damage, especially if one of these machines comes up against an automobile,” said Steve Jarczynski, Maryland Port Administration Trade Development.

This is the 17th time the port and the shippers paid the drivers to be here.

“Some of it I’ve never seen,” said Michael Hitchens, longshore worker.

Now he’s seen and driven it. So when the time comes he can put it on the dock damage free, keeping the shippers happy.

“Obviously this is not the only selling point for this port, but obviously it’s one of the big ones,” said Richard Scher, Port of Baltimore.

Good for the port.

Good for the drivers.

“Well, it will give me more opportunities to do more jobs,” said Spindler.

“The more things you know how to do, the more things you know how to drive, the better you’ll be,” said Tom Scharn, longshore worker.

Right now Baltimore is the only port in the country doing this kind of training.

The port saw a 17 percent increase on rolling cargo last year and set an all time record.

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