Ports America Chesapeake and CSX Intermodal Terminals have announced that in order to take advantage of the growth opportunities present from the expanded Panama Canal, both companies have opted into a new agreement to transfer intermodal responsibilities from CSX Intermodal Terminals to Ports America at the Port of Baltimore, according to the American Journal of Transportation.
Michael Hassing, CEO and President of Ports America, said: “With the expansion of the Panama Canal, we see tremendous growth opportunities at the Port of Baltimore. Having direct on-dock access to rail service is a significant competitive differentiator for the Port of Baltimore, enhancing its attractiveness as one of only three East Coast ports equipped to handle super-post-Panamax ships, which will expand our ability to attract new freight.”
Wilby Whitt, President of CSX Intermodal Terminals, said: “CSX remains committed to working with the port, the state and the city to support the continued growth of intermodal freight movements and to connect Maryland businesses and consumers to new markets in the Midwest and the south via CSX’s extensive rail network. Our agreement with Ports America will ensure that the port’s needs are continually met today and in the future.”
Jim White, Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration, said: “This agreement between CSX and Ports America Chesapeake is the first step in creating a business model that will work long term.
“It provides the frequency needed and its on-dock where it belongs. This also will help us become more competitive with attracting discretionary cargo destined for the Midwest.”
The expanded Panama Canal is anticipated to be open in April, 2016, with a number of US ports hastening to increase infrastructure, with most spending billions to ensure that they are ready for the surge in container volumes.