ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan this week welcomed the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s newest container line service, the ZIM e-Commerce Baltimore Express (ZXB) from China and Southeast Asia.
ZXB is part of Israel-based ZIM Shipping Lines, one of the top ocean carrier container companies in the world, and the service will begin with bi-weekly frequency and build up to weekly within a few months. The addition of ZXB complements the Port’s strong e-commerce capabilities and the proximity of regional distribution centers.
“In December, I met with Ellie Glickman, the CEO and president of ZIM, to encourage their business to move shipping through the state of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “Now, we are excited to announce that the ZIM e-Commerce Baltimore Express, or ZXB, will offer customers the fastest transit time from Asia to Baltimore guaranteed space and equipment and expedited rail, air, and road connections to inland destinations. Our port truly is open for business and today is the next exciting step forward.”
ZIM operates a fleet of close to 100 vessels with a global footprint including trade lanes in the Transpacific, Cross Atlantic, Cross Suez, Intra-Asia and Latin America. The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) worked with public-private partner, Ports America Chesapeake, in order to bring ZIM to Baltimore.
ZXB is operated exclusively by ZIM and offers customers the fastest transit time from Asia to Baltimore, as well as guaranteed space and equipment, and late cutoff times from Asia ports. The service also provides a dedicated out-of-gate lane and expedited rail/air/road connections to inland destinations.
In addition to ZIM, the Mediterranean Shipping Company, a new Indian Subcontinent and Mediterranean service, recently began at the Port of Baltimore.
“We are proud and happy to mark the first arrival of our new ZXB line to Baltimore,” said ZIM President and CEO Eli Glickman. “ZXB is part of a wider vision for ZIM—to provide efficient, fast and innovative logistic solutions to our customers, especially during a period of severe supply chain disruptions. The Port of Baltimore offers unique opportunities to make our vision a reality.”
The Port of Baltimore—the largest e-commerce port and one of the busiest ports in the United States—generates about 15,300 direct jobs, with more than 140,000 jobs overall linked to Port activities. The Port ranks first among the nation’s ports for volume of autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, and imported gypsum. It ranks 11th among major U.S. ports for foreign cargo handled and ninth for total foreign cargo value.
“This is huge news for the Port of Baltimore,” said Port of Baltimore Executive Director William P. Doyle. “The ZXB is an e-commerce-based service and reflects Baltimore’s strong capabilities as the leading e-commerce port in the nation. With our second set of ultra-large Neo-Panamax cranes becoming operational, our future double-stack rail capabilities being addressed, and our incredible network of regional distribution, fulfillment and sorting centers, the future has never been brighter for the container business in Baltimore. I want to thank Governor Hogan and all our friends and colleagues in the Port of Baltimore and the great state of Maryland for their support, hospitality and friendship.”
The Port recently added a second 50-foot berth and welcomed four new massive Neo-Panamax container cranes to provide even greater capacity and efficiency, and to help handle increases in container volume traffic. In November, the governor broke ground on the Howard Street Tunnel expansion project, which will reconstruct the tunnel to accommodate double-stacked container trains to and from the Port.
Video from the event can be viewed below.