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The Port of Baltimore supports 15,330 jobs and 139,180 additional jobs in related services, and it generates approximately $3.3 billion in personal income. The port imported $59 billion in goods in 2023 and is first in the nation for automobiles, farm and construction machinery, and sugar and gypsum. In 2022, the port ranked second in the country for exporting coal and sixth for importing coffee. The Baltimore economy could stand to lose $15 million per day from the collapse.

The March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge blocked maritime access to and from the port. The port contains five main terminals. All five terminals are blocked within the harbor including, The North and South Locust Point Terminals, Fairfield Marine Automobile Terminal, Dundalk Terminal and Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The ships carrying vehicles and heavy equipment are being diverted to competing ports, including Norfolk, VA. The diversions will increase shipping times and may put upward pressure on inflation. It is assumed that ports along the East Coast will absorb the traffic, but the question remains for how long. Some experts say the rebuilding of the bridge could take four years, but how long will it take to clear the harbor after investigations?

The Baltimore Harbor channel is 50 feet deep and relies on maintenance dredging. Shipping lanes need to be 60 feet or deeper. Therefore, it may take weeks to remove the wreckage of one of the longest truss bridges in the world. The ship named Dali will also need to be removed, as well as the 4,700 cargo containers that it was carrying.

Tradepoint Atlantic in Sparrows Point, a neighboring terminal located on the outside of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, may also be poised to absorb some shipments. It is currently the only operating terminal with a 50-foot channel and access to major highways and railways. On Wednesday, they received their first shipment with thousands of Volkswagen cars.

The Port also is home to cruise line traffic, hosting an estimated 444,000 travelers in 2023. Those vacation plans may be on hold or diverted to other neighboring ports, with additional bus transportation to supplement. All eyes will be on the Port of Baltimore, neighboring ports and rail, and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

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