Warwick Fulfillment Solutions recently visited the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt terminal. The Panama Canal's expansion is reported to increase the strategic role of the Port of Baltimore and add to its competitive advantage over West Coast ports. After visiting with key personnel and touring the port Mike Wilt, President of Warwick Fulfillment Solutions stated, "We were impressed not only by the technology but by the user friendly approach to business at the Port of Baltimore."
For many years the West Coast has served as the primary entry point for product coming from Asia. However, with over 60% of the US population located east of the Mississippi and this population accounting for 60% of the U.S. GDP, product arriving in California must then be transported via the U.S. land bridge to points east. With congestion and limited land to build warehouses and distribution centers on the West Coast, an alternative is needed to facilitate cost effective, timely delivery of product. Greater utilization of East Coast ports is one such alternative.
This is where the Panama Canal expansion takes on impact. Experts are predicting a shift of containerized cargo from West Coast ports to East Coast ports of 20-25%. The Panama Canal's expansion will allow for better access to East Coast ports, especially ports such as the Port of Baltimore and the Port of Norfolk with deep water 50 foot berths to accommodate the large and mega vessels voyaging through the Panama Canal Expansion. The new locks being constructed in the Panama Canal will handle vessels as large as 12,600 TEUs which are currently utilizing West Coast ports of entry.
Warwick is not the only one with an eye on the Port of Baltimore. The port was recently visited by Vice President Biden who, when speaking about the Port of Baltimore said "…the rest of the country will have to catch up with you." The Port of Baltimore was recently awarded at $10 Million Dollar Federal Grant for expansion and other infrastructure improvements.
"The Port of Baltimore not only provides the technology and accessibility that the larger vessels traveling the Panama Canal expansion will require, but also offers quality service and customer care that make it an added value destination for our clients shipping product into the US" stated Jack Dellose, EVP/CFO of Warwick Fulfillment Solutions. "We were also very impressed by the sustainability programs in place at the Port of Baltimore which make it a Port of Entry our clients can feel corporately responsible about selecting" continued Jack Dellose.
Warwick sees its location near the Ports of Baltimore and Norfolk as a strategic advantage as its clients look for ways to increase speed to market and reduce logistics and distribution costs.
1. WBAL News
2. "Economic and Fiscal Impact of the Panama Canal Expansion on the Port of Baltimore" prepared by Towson University and Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.