Port Truckers Complain About Queues at Baltimore Container Terminal

Container trucks at a terminal
Updated Published

Truck drivers camped out in front of the container terminal at the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday to protest what they claim are ongoing pickup delays that are being disregarded on purpose by management in order to save money.

As delivery and pickup trucks drove in and out of the entry to the business, protesters waited outside the address holding placards and waving at the drivers to blow their horns. The truckers have been protesting over the same issue since 2019. According to protesters, they wait in their vehicles for up to eight hours to pick up a single container of freight and aren't paid hourly. 

“I love my job. I got my own truck two years ago. I love what I do. I have a bunch of kids. I got a family I can provide for, but one thing about my job that I hate is coming here. I hate this place,” said John Richardson-Allaire, owner of Turnpike LLC. “We’re the only ones asked to work for free. It comes down to management.”

A large portion of the protesters are hired to transport containers into and out of the port for clients.

“If that ship sits out in the water over a certain amount of time, they have to pay thousands of dollars to the ship,” said protestor Kirt Elsey. “We’re getting screwed from the top all the way down to the bottom. If Ports America would hire more people to work the yards, we’d be in and out.”

“All I want is to get in and out. That’s all I want and have us being serviced properly,” added Elsey. “They’re deliberately doing it to save money. We used to be able to turn boxes in the yards.”

The truck drivers must follow management guidelines since Seagirt Marine Terminal is Ports America Chesapeake's playground; otherwise, they risk being barred, often without being given a reason, according to the demonstrators.