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Disruption to supply chains after Baltimore bridge crash

  • March 27, 2024
  • 2 min read
Disruption to supply chains after Baltimore bridge crash

A significant disruption to global supply chains is among the fears after a container ship crashed into a bridge in Baltimore, Maryland in the USA. The ship, known as the Dali, collided with one of the support columns of the Francis Scott Key Bride in the early hours the morning on Tuesday.

The bridge spanned the entrance to the Port of Baltimore, the busiest port in America for car exports and the ninth-busiest overall. As many as six people are missing and thought to be dead.

The US Coast Guard suspended its search and rescue operations, having begun a recovery mission. The focus has turned to investigating what went wrong as a team of transportation safety experts hope to board the ship to recover its data recorder.

Officials have suspended maritime traffic through the port. Last year, more than 47 million tonnes of foreign cargo travelled through the port. The suspension would have a “significant ripple effect on global supply chains,” Marco Forgione, director general at The Institute of Export and International Trade, which represents British business involved in international trade said.

“Over 750,000 cars and vehicles transited through Baltimore in the last year,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight. Those are major US brands and UK and EU brands, from General Motors and Ford to [Jaguar Land Rover], Nissan, Fiat, and Audi. In addition, Baltimore is a significant exporter of liquified natural gas [LNG] and that has implications for the UK and the EU. Something around half a million tonnes of LNG leave Baltimore per month, so the implications of what’s happened are significant and will cascade before we’re able to get Baltimore back up and running again.”

The port is also responsible for 15,000 jobs and supports as many as 140,000 more.

Image: Patorjk

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