5 April 2024Article
Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse - Update

Find out the latest developments and impact of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, USA, in our dedicated newsfeed.

Following Tuesday’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, we will provide regular updates on the global supply chain implications in this dedicated news feed.


The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, USA, was struck by an outbound vessel leading to the collapse of its central section into the Patapsco River 10 days ago. As a result, the port remains closed with the expectation being that it won’t fully reopen until mid- to late May.

The vessel is still stuck under bridge debris with a high-pressure gas line, which previously ran across the span of the bridge, now below it, and requiring steel cutting to be done underwater before the vessel can be towed to a safe berth. In addition, many containers are dislodged and dangerously unstable with several hazardous units having been damaged in the wreckage, and recent stormy weather further slowing clean-up operations.

A small passage with a limited draft of just 15 feet has been opened now, and is reserved for salvage craft. A larger channel for small barges and watercraft with drafts up to 25 feet may open in the coming days.

A limited single lane channel may open by the end of April, allowing passage for all barges and possibly some deep-water vessels with priority access given to the ships currently inside the port, draft and beam permitting.

The US Army Corps of Engineers aims to reopen the 700ft wide / 50 ft deep Federal Navigation Channel by the end of May.

It is possible there may be draft limits to contend with once operations first resume.

Please be reminded of our alternative transport solution for all cargo below.


Supply Chain Solution to Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Following the recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, and the resulting impact on supply chains including delays, diversions, and an increase in cost to shippers, we have been working hard to source an immediate solution for those impacted.

Live now to those shipping to or via North-East USA, our dedicated transload team will redirect containers via our own warehouse close to the port of New York/New Jersey, and arrange onward delivery via full truck load.

This will:

  • Save hundreds of dollars per container in fees and charges,
  • Save significant time thanks to faster transit and more carrier routing options into New York.
  • Provide an alternative option to possible congested rail services from New York and Norfolk.

We do not need to be the agent for the international ocean leg to be able to provide this transload solution to you.

Please contact us should you want to make use of this solution - we have an emergency team available to support your immediate needs.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any questions or concerns.



Carriers and port authorities announce contingency plans

Authorities are still assessing the damage to the cargo onboard the vessel “Dali” which collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge and caused its collapse early Tuesday morning.

As anticipated, supply chain disruptions, including delays and diversions, are arising from the incident but experts say that no supply chain crisis is in sight. Port authorities are advising on impact and plans, with carriers adjusting their operations as a result. Please find below more details:

  • Services at the Seagirt, Dundalk and Fairfield port terminals in Baltimore are suspended until further notice. Estimates suggest that it will be a matter of months before passage will be declared safe and the port will be fully operational again.
  • Any bookings with carriers based on through rates to inland rail terminals will be converted to port rates only.
  • Any export containers currently in the port of Baltimore will need to be transferred to another port of loading.
  • Import containers bound for Baltimore are being diverted to mostly New York or Norfolk. Some carriers are giving the option of which one to divert to, whereas others are simply advising customers on the new port of discharge.
  • Carriers are now operating under 'force majeure', meaning any additional costs associated with the rerouting of cargo, such as increased drayage cost between the alternative port of discharge/loading and collection/delivery point, are for the account of the shipper.

We will be in contact with all customers directly affected and we will work with you on the best solution for your cargo to minimize any additional cost associated with re-routing of cargo and delays.

We share our heartfelt thoughts to all the victims, their families and all those affected.


On Tuesday morning a container ship carrying around 4900 containers collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, USA, causing a large section of it to collapse and multiple vehicles to fall into the water. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

Significant impact to East Coast freight movements is expected with traffic to the port of Baltimore suspended and flow of traffic on surrounding roads affected. At least 10 commercial ships were reported to have stopped their journeys towards the port of Baltimore, known for handling a large volume of imports and exports and an important hub for US East Coast shipping, in particular for transporting farming and construction machinery as well as road vehicles. The state’s governor has declared a state of emergency, and with the immediate hard work and vital focus on rescue operations, no official communication has been issued by authorities or carriers on their plans to resume or redirect operations.

As always, we will try to minimize the impact on our clients and provide further updates. Our thoughts are with all those affected, as we hope for speedy and successful rescue operations.

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