Container ship in catastrophic Baltimore bridge collision

By Paul Kelly in News Posted: 26th, March, 2024

This morning at 05:30 GMT, the containership “Dali” collided with the mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, with a significant section of the bridge collapsing into the Patapsco River and at least seven people unaccounted for, with search and rescue efforts underway.

The 10,000 TEU vessel is on lease to Maersk for operation on the 2M service between Asia and the US East Coast, and is understood to have had two pilots on board at the time of the collision.

The press is reporting that an unclassified memo from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency suggests that the Singapore-flagged vessel “lost propulsion”, which would very quickly lead to a loss of steerage and these ships are so huge that even if the speed is slow, the momentum would be immensely powerful.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said the preliminary investigation into the bridge collapse “points to an accident”, with the vessel currently wedged into debris from the Bridge.

The bridge collapse will mean that for the time being it will not be possible for vessels to depart or berth at container terminals in Baltimore, so inbound vessels will need to re-route through other ports in the region.

Cargo already gated into Baltimore terminals will have to either wait an unknown period for the waterway to reopen, or be gated back out and shifted to a different port.

While there is no Global Forwarding cargo on this vessel, we do have customers that import through Baltimore and will be in contact with them directly to implement contingency planning.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this dreadful accident and particularly those with missing loved ones. 

If you have concerns or questions regarding this breaking news and evolving situation, please EMAIL Adam Davies, Global Forwarding USA, Vice President.

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