International News

Dali Ship Crash Into Francis Scott Key Bridge

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Author : Bozhou Marine
Update time : 2024-03-29 11:17:26

In the early hours of Tuesday Eastern Time, a container ship named "Dali" collided with the "Francis Scott Key" bridge in Baltimore, USA, causing the bridge, which is about 2.5 kilometers long, to collapse within seconds.

Subsequently, Maersk issued a statement confirming that the involved container ship was rented by the company and loaded with goods from Maersk customers. Subsequent services will temporarily suspend stops at Baltimore Port, and goods will be transferred and delayed. CMA CGM, Evergreen, MSC and others have also announced that they will no longer accept new bookings at the port.

For the impact of this accident, analysis suggests that delay or loss of goods will be inevitable, and the Baltimore port will be indefinitely closed during the rescue period, or a series of chain reactions will occur, especially in the supply chains of automobiles, coal, etc., which will be greatly impacted and face the threat of transportation interruption.


Maersk announced that multiple routes will be affected by the bridge collision of the USS Dali, including transatlantic TA2 and TA5, transatlantic TP12, Amex (East Coast South Africa route), and AGAS route (East Coast Caribbean).
Maersk stated that due to damage to the bridge and the generation of debris, it is temporarily unable to reach the Helen Delich Bentley port in Baltimore. Given this, in the foreseeable future, Maersk will ignore Baltimore stops in all services until the area is considered safe for passage.
The container cargo that has sailed to Baltimore will be transferred to nearby ports for unloading and transported to the destination by truck or rail. Maersk is closely monitoring the safety situation in Baltimore and evaluating the feasibility of restoring traffic, while reminding customers that there may be delays in Baltimore cargo due to the need to unload at other ports.


Evergreen has issued a notice stating that for all export goods originally scheduled to be loaded in Baltimore, please contact the customer service team to provide alternative channels for reviewing all goods. The Maryland Port Authority recommends that the port be closed for at least one month. Therefore, Evergreen is arranging for all export goods originally scheduled to be loaded at the Baltimore port to be retrieved from the port as soon as possible. All costs involved in removing, storing, or arranging alternative locations must be borne by the shipper. We will cancel all confirmed Baltimore bookings starting from March 28, 2024.
For all imported goods currently in transit and usually handled by the Ports America Chesapeake terminal, the terminal is still open. The import berth can proceed as usual, and empty containers that have not been loaded onto the ship should also be returned as usual. Once there are any import cargo ships waiting to be unloaded at the Baltimore port, further notice will be given.

  CMA CGM   

CMA CGM stated in the announcement that for goods exported from Baltimore ports:
Containers inside the port will be retained until the port is reopened, unless otherwise instructed by the shipper.
Given the current situation, starting from 11:00 am on March 26, 2024, the port will cease accepting export goods until further notice. Please contact CMA CGM Americas customer service to find other loading options.
In either case, the cost of re routing the goods to an alternative loading port will be borne by the shipper.
Until further notice, Baltimore will no longer accept new export bookings. Alternative ports will include using Norfolk as much as possible or choosing New York Port.
For imported containers destined for Baltimore:
Those unloaded at other ports will wait for pick-up there, and the CMA CGM bill of lading will also terminate here.
For goods that have been booked but have not yet been loaded at the original port, please contact the original booking port to verify the situation.
Until further notice, we will not accept new import bookings to Baltimore. Alternative ports will include using Norfolk as much as possible or choosing New York Port.


MSC Mediterranean Shipping stated in an update: "We anticipate significant delays in cargo on board and currently at the Baltimore port." "With the port authority closing the port, we have no choice but to cease all services to Baltimore in the foreseeable future until the port passage reopens and safety is announced. We anticipate that this will take several months, during which all MSC customers' cargo will be diverted and unloaded at other ports."
MSC added that they are developing emergency plans and will directly contact each cargo stakeholder in the coming days, while closely monitoring the situation in Baltimore.

Serious Consequences Caused By Bridge Collision

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, which was hit, has a main span of 1200 feet (366 meters), making it the third longest span continuous truss bridge in the world and the longest bridge in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
The bridge is located on the shipping route to and from Baltimore Port, which is one of the busiest ports on the East Coast of the United States. Currently, traffic to and from the port has been suspended.
It is reported that approximately 12 large ships and a similar number of tugboats are currently trapped in the ports of Baltimore, including cargo ships, car transport ships, and an oil tanker named the Paranca Rio.
Baltimore Port will be closed indefinitely during rescue and salvage operations. Even if it's just clearing bridge debris and the wreckage of the nearly 300 meter long "Dali" ship from the river, it may take several weeks.
Maryland officials said when discussing how long shipping will be interrupted, "We have not estimated (the time) because our only focus is on saving lives."
Baltimore processed 52.3 million tons of goods last year, valued at approximately $80.8 billion, ranking ninth in port indicators and records in the United States. This means that for every day Baltimore is closed, $217 million in trade volume does not pass through its docks.
According to data from the Port Authority of Maryland, this is the busiest automobile transportation port in the United States, with over 750000 vehicles expected to be processed by 2023. The port handles import and export business for major car manufacturers such as Nissan, Toyota, General Motors, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volkswagen, including luxury models from Audi, Lamborghini, and Bentley. Currently, car manufacturers are racing to find alternative routes for importing and exporting vehicles.
It is also the largest port in the United States for handling farms, construction machinery, and agricultural products. In addition, cruise ships carrying over 444000 passengers depart from this port, which is the main destination for Norwegian cruise ships, Carnival cruise ships, and Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
This port was the second busiest port for coal exports last year, exporting 22 million tons of coal and a small amount of other metals and minerals. Ernie Thrasher, CEO of Xcoal Energy&Resources, a US coal company, said that the collapse of the bridge could cause a 6-week interruption in coal exports from Baltimore Port and result in transportation disruptions of up to 2.5 million tons of coal. | Marine Light
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