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Trapped vessels freed a week after Baltimore bridge collapse 

Trapped vessels freed a week after Baltimore bridge collapse 
Trapped vessels freed a week after Baltimore bridge collapse 

Contingency plans are underway to clear the debris from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. It’s reported that a temporary alternative channel has been opened for vessels to help clear the debris from the crash as part of an elaborate plan to clear the main shipping channel. 

On Tuesday morning, the United States Coast Guard received information that a “948-foot Singapore-flagged container ship” collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Subsequently, the bridge collapsed when the ship crashed into the steel and concrete bridge. Preliminary investigations suggest the container ship lost power and crashed into a supporting column. 

Reuters reports that the cargo vessel stuck under steel bridge debris is fully loaded with over 4,000 containers still trapped. 

Eight construction workers were working on the bridge during the crash. While two have been rescued, rescue workers found two other bodies in the water. Four others are still missing. The bodies can, however, not be removed yet while the wreck is not yet cleared. 

Impact on the industry

As clean-up operations are currently underway, a week after the deadly collapse, trapped vessels are starting to move out of Baltimore. It’s caused a logistical headache, but experts say it’s unlikely to “trigger a major new US supply chain crisis.”

Officials could not give a date for when the “enormous” mop-up operations would be finished. According to reports, twisted steel is hidden beneath the murky waters under the volume of debris. 

What is the impact on the supply chain? Massive cargo ships use the Patapsco River, which runs under the Francis Scott Key Bridge, to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Not being able to access the river has a ripple effect on the logistics sector.  

Delays, postponements and uncertainty

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), one of the world’s largest ocean carriers, has terminated delivery of diverted containers outside the Port of Baltimore, CNBC reports. It notified customers that cargo bound for Baltimore was rerouted to other ports. 

But this came at “additional costs for storage and on-carriage to the intended destination.”

CMA CGM, COSCO, and Evergreen have also taken the same measures. This is due to the uncertainty of how long the impact could last, weeks or months. 

The crisis only seems to exacerbate existing challenges for ocean carriers, already battling vessel overcapacity and distribution from the Red Sea attacks. 

NOW READ:Trade turbulence: Costs surge as shipping giants avoid Red Sea

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand. Do you have a story you would like her to expose, report on, or consider? Please send your request to Newsdesk@locate2u.com.

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