BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Local and state officials gathered at the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday to welcome ZIM Shipping Line, an e-commerce-focused ocean carrier, to the port.
The Israel-based company will begin service from China and Southeast Asia to the US East Coast with stops at Baltimore’s Helen Delich Bentley Port every two weeks, according to the Maryland Port Authority. Department of Transportation. Eventually, officials hope the service will run weekly.
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The service is known as Zim e-Commerce Baltimore express. Bayard Hogans, vice president of operations for Ports America Chesapeake, said the service will have the fastest transit time between Asia and Baltimore. Products will go directly from the port to warehouses and other states.
Governor Larry Hogan met with ZIM President and CEO Eli Glickman last December to encourage him to bring the company to Baltimore.
“Significant and export demand for containerized cargo has grown significantly over the past year and the Port of Baltimore continues to lead the way in responding to the supply chain crisis by bringing in more and more vessels and more and more goods into the country,” Hogan said. . “And the addition of the Zims business is another sign of Baltimore’s unprecedented growth.”
Why is this important to you?
Think about supply chain issues….
Officials say this will get products to store shelves faster and then to your doorstep. @wjz
— Avajoye Burnet (@AvajoyeWJZ) May 11, 2022
To accommodate even more massive container ships, the port makes more space to put them down. After dredging a second 50ft berth at the port, Hogan said they were pursuing a third 50ft berth, which is used for mooring ships.
“This is a continuation of our ongoing and concerted efforts to make the Port of Baltimore significantly more competitive against other ports for this highly sought after containerized cargo market,” Hogan said. “And all that hard work and investment is definitely paying off here today.”
The new service comes after the arrival of four new cranes, which became operational last week, and the inauguration of the Howard Street Tunnel expansion project to allow double-stacked freight on trains traveling to and from the port.
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This year the port also added a new Maersk line to Southeast Asia, Vietnam and China and a Mediterranean Shipping Co. line with calls in the Indian subcontinent and the Mediterranean.
The new shipping service comes at a time when Americans are facing supply chain issues. When consumers order items online, products can take longer to arrive and in cases when they go to stores, they find that some shelves are empty.
Ports of America Chesapeake has provided additional cranes to the Port of Baltimore that will be able to unload up to 30 containers per crane.
Bayard Hogans said this new agreement between the Port of Baltimore and ZIM Shipping Line will help alleviate product scarcity.
“I know we’ve struggled for the past two years,” he said. “There are times when we arrive in stores and certain things are not on the shelves. It really helps to bring them to these fulfillment centers. »
The new shipping line will make Baltimore the first stop on the route, then New York and Boston and back to China. Officials say the line will serve as a critical pit stop in a world still struggling to make deliveries.
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“We don’t have a problem like the rest of the country on the supply chain. We have the least congested port in the United States of America,” said William Doyle, Port of Baltimore Executive Director.