In News
James J. White

James J. White. Photo by Bill McAllen.

James J. White, who led the Port of Baltimore to new heights, has resigned as Executive Director of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) effective Dec. 31.

No successor has been named.

White has held the position of Executive Director for a total of 18 years. He was initially hired in 1999 and held the position through 2005. After a brief hiatus, White returned to MDOT MPA in 2007.

Under White’s leadership, the Port emerged as the leading maritime destination for automobiles and has consistently broken records for handling cargo. The Port leads the nation in handling autos and light trucks, roll-on/roll-off heavy farm and construction machinery and 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.

“Maryland has been fortunate to have him at the helm of the Port of Baltimore for so long,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “I congratulate him on an outstanding career and thank him for leaving the Port of Baltimore in fantastic shape for his successor.”

Last year, the Port handled more containers, cars, construction equipment and other types of general cargo than ever before, a record 10.9 million tons. It was the third consecutive year the Port exceeded the 10-million-ton mark.

In addition, individual cargo records were set for containers, cars and imported roll-on/roll-off machinery.

“There is no better job that I have had in my life than being Executive Director of the MDOT MPA,” White said. “Gov. 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.”

In 2010, White led an effort to execute a 50-year lease and concession agreement with Ports America Chesapeake to operate the Port’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The landmark deal included the construction of a 50-foot-deep container berth, four state-of-the-art supersized cranes, the creation of 5,700 new jobs, more than $15 million annually in new taxes and a potential long-term value of about $1.8 billion to Maryland.

The Port is one of the only U.S. East Coast ports able to handle the largest ships in the world and is a major container port. “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,” former Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn said.