MPA Executive Director
James J. White
Maryland Port Administration
James J. White was appointed executive director of the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) by Governor Martin O'Malley, effective August 1, 2007. As executive director, Mr. White returned to a position he previously held from 1999 through 2005. In this role, Mr. White oversees the six public marine terminals at the Port of Baltimore. Throughout his career, Mr. White has been successful in securing long-term contracts that have sustained and grown good-paying jobs at the port. He has overseen marked improvements in cargo operations, a tremendous boom in cruise business, and significant progress in the areas of port security and environmental management. Listed below are some key milestones achieved in Mr. White's tenure:
- The Port of Baltimore's public terminals established several cargo records in 2012 including 9.6 million tons of general cargo, 6.3 million tons of containers, and 1.1 million tons of farm and construction machinery. The Port's public and private terminals handled 652,000 cars in 2012, most among all U.S. ports.
- The Port had its one millionth cruise passenger sail from its South Locust Point cruise terminal since the facility opened in 2006.
- The Coast Guard gave the MPA an excellent security assessment of the Port of Baltimore's six public marine terminals for the fifth consecutive year.
- More than 240,600 people sailed on 101 cruises from the Port of Baltimore in 2012, the port's second highest total ever.
- The Port of Baltimore was selected by the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation as its 2012 Renaissance Anchor of the Year. The port was honored for being one of Maryland's leading economic engines and job creators and for its efforts at working closely with Dundalk communities.
- The MPA opened the 11-acre Masonville Cove nature area on a site that used to be one of the most contaminated areas in Baltimore Harbor. Following the removal invasive plants, unhealthy trees, and dangerous and hazardous debris, now the area is capped with clean soil with native trees, shrubs, and wetland plants. Allowing for passive recreational use, the nature area includes walking trails, fishing from a designated pier, and bird-watching. The nature area is adjacent to a new dredge containment site that will eventually become a marine terminal.
- The Port of Baltimore saw a 15 percent increase in the amount of cargo in 2011 marking the greatest increase of growth of any major U.S. port.
- The Port had a record year for containers and autos, handling more autos than any other U.S. port.
- A record 251,800 people sailed on a record 105 cruises from the Port of Baltimore.
- Carnival Cruise Lines signed a five-year extension to remain at the Port of Baltimore.
- The MPA was awarded an Environmental Achievement Award by the EPA for several green initiatives.
- The Seagirt Marine Terminal's public-private partnership agreement won 'North American Logistics Deal of the Year for 2010' by Project Finance Magazine and 'North American Infrastructure Deal of the Year' by Infrastructure Investor Magazine.
- The Masonville Environmental Restoration Project won its third national environmental award in two years.
- Ground was broken for a new 50-foot container berth at Seagirt Marine Terminal.
- Under a new contract, BMW began shipping 50,000 new cars annually for the next five years through the Port of Baltimore. The agreement will generate about 200 new jobs.
- For the second consecutive year, the Port of Baltimore established records for most cruise passengers (210,500) and cruises (91).
- The Port of Baltimore handled 42,830 cars in October, surpassing the record for most cars handled in one month for the second time in 2010.
- Through a partnership with the EPA to reduce diesel emissions, seven locomotives, 24 pieces of cargo handling equipment and one dray truck at the Port of Baltimore were retrofitted with cleaner engines.
- The MPA announced a 50-year lease and concession agreement with Ports America Chesapeake to operate the Seagirt Marine Terminal. The landmark deal included a 50 foot berth for the Port, the creation of 5,700 new jobs, a $3.2 million annual payment to the port, $15.7 million annually in new taxes, and a potential long term value of about $1.8 billion to Maryland.
- The Mediterranean Shipping Company signed a six-year extension to continue serving the Port of Baltimore and also began a new direct, weekly service between Baltimore and the Far East.
- The Port of Baltimore began year-round cruising for the first time.
- The Masonville Environmental Education Center, one of Maryland's premier environmental projects built as part of a larger restoration effort using dredged material, was opened for the public. More than 2,000 children and adults would visit in the first year.
- Through MPA's guided efforts, a new zoning law was enacted which protects thousands of deepwater acres surrounding Baltimore industrial waterfront from development through 2024 and maintains good-paying, blue-collar maritime jobs.
- The MPA and Panama Canal Authority sign a memorandum of understanding to increase economic growth and commercial activity.
- General cargo through the public terminals in 2008 reached nearly nine million tons for the first time while the total dollar value of foreign cargo through the public and private terminals was a record $45.3 billion.
- A new 10-year contract was signed with Finland-based paper manufacturer UPM that marks the first long term contract awarded to a forest products customer.
- The MPA announced a 10-year contract with international container shipping giant Evergreen Marine Corporation.
- The Port of Baltimore more than tripled its amount of federal port security grant funding from 2007 to 2008.
- The MPA helped to initiative a research project that will test the effectiveness of systems designed to safely treat ballast water before its discharge from ships.
- Royal Caribbean International awarded the Port of Baltimore with their "Best First Turn" award for customer satisfaction. The award recognized a passenger's pre-board experience at all international cruise ports served by Royal Caribbean.
- Baltimore's public terminals handled a record-high amount of cargo in 2007. Exports reached their highest levels since 1996.
During Mr. White's first term as executive director, he led the MPA and the Port of Baltimore to tremendous heights, establishing records in cargo volume and value. He was also successful in securing several long-term contracts that kept many good-paying jobs at the Port. Following the events of September 11, 2001, Mr. White oversaw the development of a security program that transitioned from a focus on preventing port-related crimes to preventing acts of terrorism.
After leaving the MPA in 2005, Mr. White served as 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.
Mr. White joined the MPA in 1993 as director of operations and executive vice president of Maryland International Terminals (MIT), the MPA's private operating company that offers cargo-handling services to ocean carriers. From 1995 until his appointment as executive director in 1999, Mr. White served as MPA's deputy executive director, director of operations and president of MIT. In his role as deputy executive director and director of operations, he was accountable for all day-to-day operations at the Port of Baltimore and directed lease negotiations with all Port customers. He acted as a liaison with ILA labor leadership and port customers to promote a cooperative partnership with all the Port's clients.
Mr. White's extensive maritime experience began with Puerto Rico Marine Management, Inc. (PRMMI) in 1975 and included subsequent work with Sea Train (1977 to 1982), where he was North Atlantic operations manager; and Concorde Nopal (1982 to 1985), where he served as vice president of operations. Before joining the MPA in 1993, Mr. White re-joined PRMMI and became that company's general manager for North America. In that capacity, he was responsible for a budget of $123 million. He negotiated all stevedoring, terminal and port authority contracts and determined operating standards and procedures for North America.
Mr. White is a past president of the North Atlantic Ports Association. He is a graduate of Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Economics. He resides with his family in Stevensville, Maryland.