Baltimore Bridge Collapse May Effect Supply Chain

March 27, 2024
The port is closed until further notice

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden delivered remarks on the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, telling residents: “We’re going to stay with you as long as it takes.”

"It's my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstruction in that bridge. I expect the Congress to support my effort," Biden said from the White House.

"This is going to take some time," the president said. "We're not leaving until this job gets done."

The container ship that hit the bridge alerted the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of the vessel. Local authorities were able to close the bridge before it was hit, “which undoubtedly saved lives,” Biden told reporters.

Ship traffic has been suspended and the port of Baltimore has been closed until further notice.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said there would be “major and protracted impact to supply chains” following the closure of the port.

Biden called the bridge “one of the most important elements” supporting the economy in the north-east region of the United States. The collapse shut off access to one of the busiest and most important ports in the country.

All ships are currently trapped in the Baltimore Port.

Baltimore is the ninth busiest port in the nation and the busiest for car shipments, according to the Maryland Port Administration. Motor vehicles and parts accounted for 42% of all Baltimore Port imports.

While many industries are looking to reroute goods, some industries could be seriously affected.

In an interview with The Guardian, Richard Clinch, the executive director of the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute, said the potential long-term implications for the city’s vital transportation and logistics industry would “depend entirely on how long it takes to fix the bridge.”

“If it’s a six-month fix, which I don’t think it is, it’s a blip,” he said. “If it’s a two-year fix, it’s going to impact the growth of that sector long-term.”


Source: The Guardian, ABC News

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