Baltimore County’s transportation network is one of our greatest comparative advantages. A well-defined road network offers access to I-695, I-70, and I-95, the major north/south artery serving the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast. Direct CSX and Norfolk Southern heavy rail service serve the east side of the County.
Nearby are deep water port facilities at the Port of Baltimore’s Dundalk and Seagirt Marine Terminals, the Mid-Atlantic’s center for transporting bulk, container and automobile products both domestically and internationally. Furthermore, the Port of Baltimore is the closest seaport to the Midwest.
When you combine the geographic advantage with our low costs and interconnected multimodal system of transportation, the advantages add up to make sense for any business.
Baltimore County's is a hub of connecting north/south and east/west highways providing excellent and efficient access to any area. The Baltimore Beltway (I-695) surrounds the city and connects with I-95 and I-70. The John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) provides for rapid transportation from Baltimore County to any location on the East Coast. Heading north I-95 links up with the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the New Jersey Turnpike.
I-70 provides access to western markets through western Pennsylvania and into Ohio. I-83 heads north linking to I-81 in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. The new MD43 will improve I-95 access to Eastern Baltimore County and White Marsh, providing access to Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and further north to New York and New Jersey The Northwest Expressway (I-795) parallels Reisterstown Road and links with Westminster Pike and Hanover Pike. This expressway creates easy access to Owings Mills, one of Baltimore County’s two growth areas. The County’s road system is supplemented with the Harbor Tunnel, Fort McHenry Tunnel and the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge – all of which cross the Patapsco River joining east and west Baltimore County
From Baltimore County, goods can easily be transported anywhere on the East Coast via I-95, and west through Ohio. All industrially zoned land in Baltimore County lies less than 5 miles (8km) from an interstate highway
Well-maintained state and county roads, covering more than 2750 miles (4,300 kilometers), serve areas which are not reached by the extensive expressway system. More that 2,224 miles (3,759km) of these roads are maintained by Baltimore County.
Highway Distances from Baltimore County
(from York Road exit)
Source: Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, “By the Numbers” 1998-1999.
Through the extensive local highways system, people can easily live and work across the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Approximately 50 percent of jobs in Baltimore County are filled by non-County residents and 50 percent of County residents work in another jurisdiction.
With ridership above 27,000 trips daily, the Baltimore Light Rail now runs 30 miles from the new Hunt Valley Town Centre in Baltimore County, through the heart of Baltimore City, past Oriole Park at Camden Yards, to BWI Airport. The Light Rail travels 32 stops from Hunt Valley. There is also service to Amtrak’s Baltimore Penn Station. The $191 million Light Rail Double Track Project has increased the convenience and speed of the system through doubling 19 miles of the line. The project was completed in 2006.
The Baltimore Metro provides service from the Metro Center at Owings Mills to the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Baltimore Metro Subway, a 15.5-mile, 14-station rail line, links the Baltimore Central Business District, Owings Mills, and Johns Hopkins Medical Campus with a number of residential communities. The Metro Center at Owings Mills, a transit-oriented development is under construction on a 43-acre site surrounding the terminus of the Baltimore Metro System. The largest transportation-oriented development in the Baltimore metropolitan area, the $280 million project will provide 1.2 million square feet of office space, 235,000 square feet of retail space, nearly 500 residential units, a hotel, and a public library and community college building.
The MARC train offers two commuter train lines between Baltimore and Washington. One line connects Washington’s Union Station to Baltimore’s Penn Station; the other connects Washington’s Union Station to Baltimore’s Camden Station. The MARC train is used frequently and gives access to commuters in suburbs between Baltimore and Washington.
Baltimore County and Baltimore City also offer an extensive commuter bus transportation networks.
Overnight Trucking Area
Maryland's strength as a distribution hub begins with its central location in the densely populated Northeast Corridor of the United States. The state's strategic location allows overnight truck access to 32 percent of the nation's population and 34 percent of the country's manufacturing establishments. The major markets of the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast intersect in Maryland, and can be reached conveniently from a Baltimore County location. The consumer market within overnight reach of Maryland represents:
- 80 million people (32% of the population);
- 30 million households (32% of the US total);
- $1.2 trillion in effective buying income (35% of the US total); and
- $566.2 billion in retail sales (33% of the US total).
Source: Maryland Distribution Council. http://www.mdc.org
Note: All time unit in hours.
Source: Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
Over 5,000 private haulers and independent, common, and contract carriers operate within and from Maryland. These companies represent a collective fleet of more than 16,000 vehicles.
In addition to dry freight carriers, specialized carriers are readily available to handle structural steel, heavy machinery, liquid and dry commodities in bulk, and refrigerated temperature controlled cargos.
Source: Maryland Distribution Council. http://www.mdc.org
CSX, Norfolk Southern and Maryland Midland Railway all service Baltimore County. Both Norfolk Southern and CSX directly service Baltimore’s port, offering efficient intermodal transportation. Our railways easily link to the country’s vast network providing connections to everywhere in the US and Canada. As the closest port to the Midwest, our strategic location reduces rail travel time and the related expenses.
Source: Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
Baltimore County is served by three major airports and a private aviation center. Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Ronald Reagan National (DCA), and Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) all provide domestic and global service for both passengers and cargo. BWI is only 4 miles from the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), while DCA and IAD are 40 and 50 miles respectively. These airports combine to meet the growing needs of our region.
The Glenn L. Martin State Airport in eastern Baltimore County is growing to facilitate many private and charter flights.
Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport(BWI)
Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the second-fastest growing airport in the country, handles 20.95 million passengers annually. BWI handles flights with non-stop service to 59 domestic and 12 international destinations. 354 non-stop flights depart daily. BWI handles 221 million pounds of cargo annually. Over the next five years, the State of Maryland will be dedicating a record $1.8 billion to improving BWI. This will mean easier road access, improved parking, new terminals and gates, moving walkways, faster connections to rail service. The centerpiece of the expansion is the $264 million Terminal A/B, which holds 26 Southwest gates.
Accommodating one-third of the passenger traffic in the Baltimore-Washington metro area, BWI offers:
- 24-hour air-cargo services with 395,000 square feet.
- Foreign trade zone.
- Services including convenient customs clearance, international banking, over 100 freight forwarding and handling firms and seven air freight carriers.
Travel from BWI to other East Coast locations is facilitated by:
- Passenger rail with easy access to more than 25 Amtrak trains operating between Washington, D.C. and New York City.
- Commuter rail system (MARC) with 39 trains serving Baltimore-Washington.
- Light rail service from BWI airport offering access to downtown Baltimore, Camden Yards, Penn Station, and employment centers in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.
- An interstate highway link, I-195, connecting the airport to I-95 and I-695.
Ronald Reagan National (DCA)
Located on the Potomac River, Ronald Reagan National is Greater Washington's downtown airport. It offers easy access to the Nation's Capital and the surrounding suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. Serving as a "short-haul" facility, Ronald Reagan National primarily serves North American East Coast routes, no further than 1,250 miles from Washington D.C. In 2005, DCA served over 18 million passengers. DCA is currently undergoing a $1 billion Capital Development Program to improve service. Nonstop service is offered daily to 72 U.S. cities.
Washington Dulles Airport (IAD)
Washington Dulles Airport is a large international airport just south of Washington. This airport handles a large amount of international passengers and cargo. In 2005, Washington Dulles Airport handled almost 27 million passengers, with over 4 million coming from abroad. IAD also handled 637 million pounds of freight, 50 percent of which was international. Dulles offers 71 non-stop flights to US cities and direct service to 37 foreign cities.
Glenn L. Martin State Airport
Glenn L. Martin State Airport in eastern Baltimore County is one of the nation’s largest general aviation facilities, providing a convenient home for corporate jets. Corporate aircraft located in the 190 T-Hangers includes Black and Decker, Marriott, McCormick Spice, Sinclair Broadcasting, and the Rouse Corporation. Lockheed Martin has built a $7 million hangar facility at MSA, with one hangar is dedicated to fractional ownership aircraft.
The Maryland 43 extension provides direct access to I-95 and I-695 from Martin State. Opened in 2006, the $60 million 3-mile extension opened 1,000 acres of industrially-zoned land for development, adjacent to the airport.
Sources: www.bwiairport.com, www.mwaa.com, Air Service Planning and Development, Baltimore County Department of Economic Development.
Founded in 1706 on the banks of the Patapsco River, the Port of Baltimore has grown to become one of the top 14 busiest ports on the Eastern Seaboard. Originally established to transport crops, today the port moves more than 33 million tons of cargo annually, from automobiles to zinc, from Akron to Zhenjiang. It ranks #1 in Roll-On Roll-off cargo on the East Coast.
One of the Port of Baltimore's greatest advantages is its strategic Mid-Atlantic location and inland setting. As the western-most East Coast port, Baltimore minimizes transport costs for goods to and from the Midwest. In addition to its geographical location, the Port of Baltimore has long maximized its enviable locale by combining on-site, state-of-the-art facilities and technologies with efficient connections to points north, south and west.
The Port of Baltimore is regarded as one of America's top container terminals, providing technological advances that have transformed port operations from clipboard to keyboard. The port boasts computerized gate complexes, hand held computers and scanners and the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) - all which greatly increase the port's efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The Port of Baltimore is a significant economic engine for the entire region, generating $2.4 billion in wages and salaries, $2.0 billion in business revenues, $278 million in municipal, county and state taxes
and $507 million collected by the U.S. Customs Service. More than 42,000 jobs are generated by Port activities, and of that, nearly 19,000 are direct jobs and over 23,000 are indirect or induced jobs. Approximately 80,000 other jobs are related to activities at the Port.
Facilities & Infrastructure
- One of the leading U.S. ports of entry for foreign-made automobiles, and the second highest-ranking port nationwide for auto exports.
- Dundalk Marine Terminal, the second largest marine terminal on the East Coast with 13 berths spanning 570 acres.
- The 275-acre Seagirt Marine Terminal, the newest and most modern container terminal on the East Coast,
- Main shipping channel depth of 50 feet to accommodate the largest modern containerships.
- Two modern container terminals with a combined 845 acres.
- On-dock 70-acre Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) to expedite intermodal cargo shipments via rail.
- Pier-side rail access allows for direct ship-to-rail transfer of oversized cargos.
- “Big Red” – a Manitowoc heavy-lift crane capable of lifting special project cargos.
- On-dock services include fumigation, auto and ro-ro processing and railcar securing.
- Advanced and electronic cargo data system, NAVIS and Dockworks.
- A 100,0000-square foot paper shed.
- The Mobile Sea Container System uses an x-ray to scan shipping containers through solid steel.
- 82 firms performing freight forwarding and/or customhouse brokerage services.
- Comprehensive international banking services.
- Cargo consolidation services.
- Export packing and crating.
- Over 23 million square feet of general warehousing.
- Nearly 9.5 million cubic feet of cold storage space.
- Seven million bushels of grain storage.
- A computerized trade data bank.
- Interstate Highway System.
Intermodal Transportation: Mileage Comparison
Kansas City, MO
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
St. Louis, MO
Intermodal Advantages of the Port of Baltimore:
- Closest inland port to the Midwest than any other East coast port.
- Excellent intermodal connections by water, rail, and truck.
- Convenient highway connections to all regions in the US. I-95, the east coast’s main interstate, is within a 5-minute drive of all port terminals.
- On-dock rail service at all terminals provided by CSX and/or Norfolk Southern.
- Intermodal trains daily from the ICTF and via CSXI & NS to major population centers in the U. S.
- Excellent trucking services whether it’s a local dray or a long haul.
Automobile Roll on/Roll Off
As one of the leading automobile ports in the U.S., the Port of Baltimore relies on many different partners to get the job done right. NS and CSX Transportation are both doing their part to keep the port ahead of the pack.
The service these two rail leaders provide to the port makes Baltimore attractive to automobile manufacturers in the U.S. looking to export their vehicles. The railroads' ability to transport automobiles across the country also makes Baltimore popular with overseas car makers who use the port as their primary distribution center east of the Mississippi River.
Bulk and Break-bulk Cargo
Since everything doesn't come in a box, ports need to offer more than intermodal service. Both Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSXT provide direct service to the port for special break-bulk/project cargoes, as well as steel. Baltimore is one of the major ports in NS's specialized steel-handling program, which provides door-to-door service for steel importers and exporters using the Dundalk Marine Terminal. With pier-side service at North Locust Point Marine Terminal, CSXT's direct discharge or loading of steel between railcar and vessel minimizes handling, eliminates costly delays and has your steel shipment on its way quickly and safely.
Our advantage as the westernmost port for cargo on the East Coast is an advantage for cruising too! And as the cruise lines expand their appeal to all types of families, they have come to appreciate, as many Americans have, Baltimore’s strategic mid-Atlantic location for easy access.
Baltimore's $13 million South Locust Point Marine Terminal is located just off I-95. The new easy-access 60,000 square foot building is situated on 14 acres of land with on-site parking for 500 vehicles as well as passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. The cruise industry's impact on the Maryland economy was $3.7 billion in wages and salaries, #3.2 billion in business revenues and local purchases, and $392 million in municipal, county and state taxes. Approximately 50,700 jobs are generated by all Port activities, and of that, 16,700 are direct jobs and 34,000 are indirect or induced jobs. In addition, 68,300 other jobs are related to activities at the Port.
Cruise traffic rose nearly 20 percent in 2011, the fourth consecutive year of consumer increases according to the Maryland Port Authority. More than a quarter-million people sailed on 105 cruises. Port officials estimate the value of cruising to the state economy at $90 million.
Source: Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Distribution Council.
Revised February 1, 2012
Revised April 6, 2016