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Baltimore update: Trucking travel time increases

Baltimore update: Trucking travel time increases
Baltimore update: Trucking travel time increases

Recovery operations following the Baltimore bridge collapse are ongoing. CBS News reports that over the past week, teams have removed over 20 percent of the 178 containers they must take off the Dali to refloat the cargo ship. 

Data from the University of Maryland shows the bridge’s collapse has in some cases doubled and tripled travel times for trucks detouring around the Beltway or through the tunnels.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge on the Patapsco River in Baltimore was the scene of a maritime accident after a vessel, Dali, rammed into the bridge more than two weeks ago. Three workers who went missing following the bridge collapse are still unaccounted for. 

A Maryland congress delegation outlined a bill that would require the federal government to pay for the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. 

Shipping industry in Baltimore affected 

The US Chamber of Commerce says the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge has created enormous repercussions throughout the region and the country. 

Chamber senior vice president for policy Marty Durbin says the effects of the port’s inaccessibility will be felt throughout the country. “Shippers are looking to find different destinations for their shipments. If now they have to divert to ports along the eastern seaboard or on the West Coast, you may see delays or increases in costs just because of the increased trucking costs,” says Durbin. 

Recovery operations underway 

Dive operations have been deployed in the aftermath of the maritime incident at the wreckage site of the Dali. The extreme work conditions these divers face cannot be easy. 

Rick Benoit, Emergency Management specialist at the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) North Atlantic Division (NAD) says: “Beneath those waters, divers are moving as if playing an underwater game of Twister and Jenga with hundreds of tons of shattered concrete and twisted steel in complete darkness.” 

The agency adds that divers’ visibility is limited to only one to two feet in front of them. 

Port of Baltimore services US trade needs 

As one of the oldest ports in the United States, it has a long history of serving the nation’s trade needs and has evolved over time to adapt to changing shipping technologies and trade patterns.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that the Port of Baltimore is among the top 20 ports in the United States regarding tonnage and the number of containers handled. The report adds that it is the 10th largest port for dry bulk and a major hub for importing and exporting motorized vehicles. 

The port has specialized facilities for handling various cargo types, including automobiles, RORO cargo, containers, and bulk commodities. It’s particularly renowned for its handling of cars and RORO cargo. 

Photo Credit: The Maritime Post (Facebook)

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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