Newsletter 20/2024: Container ship crash in Baltimore port

Newsletter 20/2024: Container ship crash in Baltimore port

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, tragedy struck the Port of Baltimore when the container ship Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The bridge's subsequent collapse into the shipping channel blocked marine vessel access to the port and caused widespread impacts to shipping and commerce.

OCEAN TRANSPORT

Container ship crash in Baltimore port

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, tragedy struck the Port of Baltimore when the container ship Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The bridge's subsequent collapse into the shipping channel blocked marine vessel access to the port and caused widespread impacts to shipping and commerce.

The container terminal in Baltimore has been forced to stop receiving exports as of March 26 and will be completely closed as of Friday, March 29. The New Vail Street gate is closed until further notice and all truck traffic into the terminal is routed only through the main gate at 2600 Seagirt Broening Highway. Shipping to/from Baltimore is currently impossible and it will take several weeks, possibly months, for normal port operations to resume.
 
The Dali crash has also affected container movements. Containers already on the water will be diverted to an alternative port. In the case of containers, the booking office at the origin (or port of departure) must be contacted to decide on rerouting to an alternate port in the USA. New import reservations to Baltimore are not accepted until further notice.

For export containers already in Baltimore or en route to Baltimore, you must contact the booking office and select an alternate port of loading in the USA. New export bookings from Baltimore are also suspended until further notice.
 
The Dali accident also carries significant insurance implications. The total cost of this event could reach $2 billion to $4 billion, breaking records set by the Costa Concordia (2012) and Ever Given (2021) incidents.
 
The Dali's voyage data recorder revealed a power outage on the ship lasting 1 minute and 3 seconds. Although the chief pilot attempted to avert the collision by dropping the port anchor, his efforts were unfortunately unsuccessful.

There were 56 containers of dangerous materials on board the ship, some of which were damaged. This further complicates the situation and requires careful assessment and resolution.
 
The tragedy in the Port of Baltimore highlights the importance of safety in shipping and the need for preventive measures to avoid similar disasters. The impact of this event will be far-reaching and it will take considerable time for port operations to return to normal.
 
At the moment, the situation is still unclear and the investigation is ongoing. We are continuing to monitor all developments and will update you with further details as they become available.

The following video captures the tragic moment of the Baltimore bridge collapse.

 

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