Ships trapped by the Baltimore Key Bridge

Josh Ruth uses binoculars to view the Dali cargo vessel, following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., March 28, 2024. In the background is what appears to be one of the two Algol-class fast sealift vessels. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse halts shipping in Baltimore Harbor, with port terminals inaccessible except Tradepoint Atlantic's. The Port of Baltimore, a major US port, serves as a significant import/export hub. Vessels trapped behind the debris include bulk, cargo, tanker, and MARAD ships, with tugboats aiding. Join gCaptain Club for exclusive insights.
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The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has caused a halt in shipping in and out of the harbor. Most of the port’s terminals are inaccessible due to the collapsed bridge, with Tradepoint Atlantic’s bulk and break-bulk terminal being the only exception. The Port of Baltimore is a significant hub for cargo transportation, ranking among the top 20 ports in the U.S. for tonnage and container throughput, and serving as a major hub for vehicle imports and exports.

The stranded ships behind the collapsed bridge include bulk carriers, general cargo carriers, a vehicle transporter, a tanker, and U.S. Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Force ships. These vessels, along with tugboats and smaller ships, are unable to move until the canal is cleared of debris. The U.S. Department of Transportation and Ministry of Transport are working to identify and monitor the stranded vessels using AIS data, public databases, and other resources.

The Ready Reserve Force ships are part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet and provide sealift capabilities to the Department of Defense. Once activated, these ships will be under the control of the Military Sealift Command. The situation has caused disruptions to shipping schedules and operations in the Port of Baltimore, with ships being diverted and those already in port stranded indefinitely. Efforts are ongoing to address the bridge collapse and resume normal shipping activities in the area.

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