Collapse of Baltimore Bridge Almost Got Even Messier

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, global trade patterns and U.S. offshore construction collided head on. A large ship, of That’s itjoined support for the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Crossing the middle of the Patapsco River and cut off the city’s port from the Atlantic Ocean. Eighteen hours later, around 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening, rescuers stopped the search, and the six missing people are presumed dead.

The damage that is about to be removed, the Port of Baltimore – the most difficult place for shipping – has stopped all water traffic, according to the Maryland Port Administration, although traffic is still moving goods in and out of the area. Baltimore is the ninth-largest port in the US for international trade, meaning the damage from the disaster will spread across the region, the US, and the global economy for as long as the 47-year-old bridge lasts, experts say. , is still unknown.

This will be a special pain for the industries of cars, agricultural equipment, and construction, because Baltimore runs ships “roll on, roll off” on the east coast of the US-a word of the company that is designed to transport goods on wheels. The port has specialized equipment to move these products, trained personnel, and, crucially, a location on the eastern seaboard’s densely populated and agricultural Midwest.

About 850,000 cars and light vehicles came through the port last year. So is 1.3 million tons of farm and construction machinery.

Fortunately for the manufacturing industry, there are alternatives for ships coming into port and cars crossing the river. Two roads pass through the Patapsco, and could take goods and people who passed through the Key Bridge, which was also part of Maryland Route 695. Nearby ports, including Norfolk in Virginia, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and Savannah in Georgia, should. able to receive most of the cargo that is usually handled by the port of Baltimore.

But the shipping picture will be more complicated the longer it takes for the disaster to end. Ships carry large, heavy cargo across many oceans, albeit slowly – meaning changes in their routes and destinations can add significant time to the journey. If a ship is carrying different goods for different companies, standing in the way will cause many people to scream for their goods.

“Everyone right now is saying, ‘We’ll just change the strategy, it’ll be fine,'” says Nada Sanders, an expert in supply chain management at Northeastern University. “If this takes time, it won’t be fine. It’s going to affect prices.”

Big Ships, Same Bridge

The destruction of the bridge also ensures that the boats are getting bigger. Increased trade flows across the seas it has tripled in the last thirty years. About 1,000 feet long, it is That’s it is a trademark of the balloon delivery business.

Boat development is based on simple economics: The more cargo on board, the more money you save. “The amount of inventory has gone up,” says Zal Phiroz, a logistics researcher at the University of California, San Diego. “This has been really affected by Covid, and post-Covid. Cargo prices went up a lot, container prices went up a lot. Everything went through the roof.”

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