Baltimore is the biggest city in the state of Maryland. The current site on which Baltimore occupies was settled in the 1700s and established as a town in 1729. It got its name from Lord Baltimore who founded Maryland. It was officially designated as a city in 1997. One interesting fact is that Baltimore is an independent city, the largest of such in the United States.
Baltimore is a city rich in history, playing a significant role in the events surrounding the American Revolution. It was at some point effectively the capital of the United States while the Second Continental Congress assembled there in the later parts of 1776 up till February 1777. It witnessed a large growth in population in the early 1800s and began creating its identity as a “city of neighborhoods” from that time on.
As early as in the 18th century, Baltimore had become a very important shipping and manufacturing city owing to the construction of the National Road (now part of today's U.S. Route 40). The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also connected the city to the biggest markets in Midwestern U.S. Today, Baltimore’s economy is based on steel processing, automobile manufacturing and transportation.
Baltimore is the fifth largest ports in the U.S.A. It is one of the busiest seaports in the country and accounted for more than 29 million tons of cargo in 2014 with a value of more than $50 billion. The Port of Baltimore contributes about $3 billion annually to wages and salaries. It also employs more than 120,000 people directly or via different port jobs. Baltimore Port is the premier port in handling automobiles, farm and construction machinery, forest products, aluminium and sugar. It is also the second largest port for coal exports.
The continued growth of Baltimore as a major shipping centre in America has also barely slowed over the years with the government of Maryland expecting more growth with the completion of the Panama Canal expansion project. This will increase its functions as a terminal for car and truck shipments. One major advantage of the Port of Baltimore is that it has two different access routes to its port. There is an access route from the north through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canals. The second access route is from the south, via the Chesapeake Bay.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport is one of the largest cargo handlers for Mid-Atlantic U.S. It is ranked as the 22nd busiest airport in U.S. Most of the major logistics companies in the U.S. have strong bases there from where they service Mid-east U.S. There are seven major highways that connect Baltimore to other major cities. In fact, Baltimore is home to more than 100 trucking companies.
Baltimore today is still flourishing, its port increasing employment and income to Maryland. With the recent green projects established by the Maryland Port Administration, over 22 acres around the port will be cleaned and dredged in order to create an environmental education center.