The Far-Reaching Effects of the Key Bridge Collapse

March 29, 2024
The tragedy will have an economic impact globally

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday and the subsequent indefinite closing of the Port of Baltimore will have economic impacts far beyond the city of Baltimore.

As one of the busiest ports in the U.S., the unexpected halt of vessels through the vital waterway is expected to affect the flow of commerce in the U.S. in ways that are predictable and somewhat unpredictable.

The Port of Baltimore is the top handler in the U.S. of imports and exports of cars and light trucks, according to a statement from Maryland Gov. Wes Moore's office last month. Moore’s office called it "one of the largest economic generators" in the state.

It ranks ninth among U.S. harbors for both tonnage and dollar value of foreign cargo passing through.

"The collapse of the Key Bridge is a global crisis," said Gov. Moore in a statement. "The national economy and the world's economy depends on the Port of Baltimore. The port handles more cars and more farm equipment than any other port in the country."

By the numbers: In 2023, the port handled a record 52.3 million tons of international cargo, worth about $80.8 billion, according to state's archives.

The port supports more than 15,000 direct jobs and more than 139,000 indirect jobs connected to the port, generating almost $3.3 billion in total personal income.

Maryland Senate president Bill Ferguson announced Wednesday that he would be introducing an emergency bill to pay workers impacted by the bridge collapse.

"The economic and stability loss to the thousands impacted in the days ahead cannot be understated," he said in a statement on X.

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Source: AXIOS

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