East Coast Shipping Expansion Could Affect Hagerstown

East Coast Shipping Expansion Could Affect Hagerstown

"We have a lot of container commodities coming through this county imitating from the port of Baltimore and ending up here for distribution," said Joseph Greco, Deputy Director of Marketing for the Maryland Port Administration
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - More economic development could be coming to Hagerstown from the Port of Baltimore. During the annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast on Wednesday port officials talked about their distribution and shipping expansion and how Washington County could play a big role.

The Port of Baltimore is one of two East Coast Ports - making Hagerstown a crossroads for transporting goods.

"We have a lot of container commodities coming through this county imitating from the port of Baltimore and ending up here for distribution," said Joseph Greco, Deputy Director of Marketing for the Maryland Port Administration

Port officials say Washington County is an ideal location for distribution centers -- since it's only an hour and half drive.

"So what we're hearing in the industry is that beneficial cargo owners or these shippers are now looking to locate their distribution centers in closer proximity to ports that have these capabilities and can handle these bigger ships and so Washington County obviously fits into that," said Greco.

Plans to expand the Port of Baltimore's cargo handling capability could mean more opportunity for economic development in Washington County.

"We have some assets here that are specifically geared toward transpiration and logistics and we're working with the port, we should be able to leverage those assets and move forward and build on that from an economic development point of view," said Brien Poffenberger, Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce President.

And as the port expands in the future, officials hope Washington County's development grows too. 

"We want to make sure they're aware of what we're doing for the future, how it'll affect them and where the growth of opportunities are and how we can work in a cohesive way to meet our mutual goals and grow business here in Washington County and as we continue to grow in the Port of Baltimore," said Greco.

Officials also say the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 could triple the shipping capabilities from the Port of Baltimore.

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