Jim White, Port of Baltimore Executive Director to Resign After 18 Years

ebroadcast_header_071317Seagirt Terminal Aerial

December 04, 2019

Dear Subscriber,



 White Oversaw Long-Term Shipping Contracts and Infrastructure Improvements that Made Baltimore’s Port One of America’s Busiest  

 BALTIMORE, MD – James J. White, who has guided the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore during a period of record revenue, cargo and job growth as executive director of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA), has announced his resignation effective December 31. Executive Director White led operations for 18 years as the Port of Baltimore improved its national rankings, upgraded security procedures and completed infrastructure projects that made it one of the few ports in America capable of receiving the largest ships in the world.

“Jim White is widely regarded as one of the finest port directors in America,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland has been fortunate to have him at the helm of the Port of Baltimore for so long. I congratulate him on an outstanding career and thank him for leaving the Port of Baltimore in fantastic shape for his successor.”

“Jim’s legacy is not only in the tremendous amounts of cargo and revenue that have passed through the Port of Baltimore under his leadership, but in the many careers he has created in Baltimore and around the state,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

Under Executive Director White, the Port of Baltimore leads the nation in handling autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, as well as imported sugar and gypsum. Generating some 15,330 direct jobs and 139,180 jobs linked to its overall activities, the Port drives nearly $3.3 billion in wages and salaries, $2.6 billion in business revenues and $395 million in state and local tax revenues.   

“There is no better job that I have had in my life than being executive director of the MDOT MPA,” said Executive Director White. “Governor Hogan’s support for the Port of Baltimore from day one has set the course for the future of the Port from the Howard Street Tunnel to key infrastructure investments. I’ve also been lucky to have had an outstanding executive team helping me every step of the way. But the heart and soul of the Port of Baltimore are the thousands of men and women who work here every day, rain or shine, who have helped propel this Port to incredible heights. I will forever be grateful for their efforts.” 

Executive Director White joined MDOT MPA in 1993 as director of operations. From 1995 until his appointment as executive director in 1999, he also served as MDOT MPA deputy executive director. In those roles he was accountable for day-to-day operations at the Port of Baltimore and directed lease negotiations with customers.                                                              

After becoming executive director, he led the Port of Baltimore as it established new records for cargo volumes and dollar value. He also secured several long-term contracts that kept good-paying jobs at the Port. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he oversaw development of a security program that transitioned from a focus on preventing port-related crime to preventing acts of terrorism.

Executive Director White left MDOT MPA in 2005 to become senior vice president and chief operating officer for New Jersey-based Ceres Terminals, a stevedoring and terminal operations company with major port operations in North America.

He returned as MDOT MPA executive director in 2007 and led the effort to execute a 50-year lease and concession agreement with Ports America Chesapeake to operate the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal. The landmark deal included construction of a 50-foot deep container berth and four state-of-the-art supersized container cranes. Under this agreement, the Port of Baltimore greatly enhanced its overall standing as a major container port.

Recently, Executive Director White has focused on the efforts to reconstruct Baltimore’s 125-year old Howard Street Tunnel to allow for double-stacked container trains to travel to and from the Port of Baltimore. This project would create thousands of jobs in Maryland and break a significant rail bottleneck that has long inhibited the Port’s container business.

Other milestones at the Port of Baltimore achieved under Executive Director White include:

  • Repeated recognition for the Port as the No. 1 port in the U.S. port for several cargo categories;
  • Long-term contracts with many cargo accounts, including the Port’s two largest container customers;
  • Ten consecutive years of “outstanding” port security reviews from the Coast Guard;
  • Several record-breaking years for specific commodities handled;
  • A year-round cruising program;
  • A nationally renowned and award-winning dredging program that uses innovative strategies to be the largest creator of wetlands in Maryland;
  • An internationally recognized environmental management program;
  • Zoning protections for thousands of deep-water acres surrounding Baltimore’s industrial waterfront that help maintain good-paying, blue collar maritime jobs.
  • Average annual salaries for direct Port jobs that are 9.5 percent higher than Maryland’s average wage.

In 2018, a record 43 million tons of international cargo was handled by the combined state-owned public and privately-owned marine terminals at the Port. The value of that cargo was also a benchmark: $59.7 billion. Last year the state-owned public terminals handled a record 10.9 million tons of general cargo and more than a million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit containers. The Port also handled a record 850,147 cars and light trucks in 2018, the most in the U.S. for the eighth consecutive year.

Executive Director White’s began his maritime career with Puerto Rico Marine Management Inc. (PRMMI) in 1975. He subsequently worked with Sea Train (1977-1982), where he was North Atlantic operations manager; and Concorde Nopal (1982-1985), where he served as vice president of operations. Before joining the MPA in 1993, he re-joined PRMMI and became the company’s North America general manager.


# # #