840,000 new cars will need to find a new port.

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Baltimore’s Port is a linchpin in the East Coast’s shipping infrastructure. Annually, the port handles millions of tons of cargo, translating to billions of dollars in value.

On Tuesday, shipments including automobiles, agricultural machinery, and construction equipment are marooned, prompting a scramble for alternate ports to offload the goods. Last year, more than 840,000 new cars and trucks shipped through the Port of Baltimore — the most of any American seaport.

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The port’s closure could affect the more than 15,000 jobs tied to Baltimore’s shipping industry, as well as an additional 140,000 jobs indirectly connected to it across the county, according to state officials. The Port of Baltimore generates approximately $400 million in tax revenue for Maryland each year.

Del. Clippinger said the goal with the legislation is to give Gov. Wes Moore the tools necessary to make sure that families who rely on the port for income will “at least be able to keep food on the table” while the port is closed.

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