Updates regarding Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

On the early morning of March 26, 2024, a collision occurred between the Singapore-flagged MV Dali container ship and Maryland’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in the collapse of the bridge and significant disruptions at the Port of Baltimore.

On Friday, March 29, Geoff Powell, President of CH Powell Company and Chair of the NCBFAA Transportation Committee, joined a call hosted by Jonathan Daniels, the Executive Director of Maryland Port Administration, to inform local business stakeholders about the channel closure resulting from the Key Bridge collapse.

There are three priorities at this time:

1. Get the shipping channel open.
2. Secure the vessel
3. Conduct the salvage operation.

Currently, the vessel carries a substantial weight of 3000 to 4000 tonnes of the collapsed bridge. On-site engineers are meticulously devising strategies to minimize steel movement during cutting operations, prioritizing the prevention of further vessel damage or environmental hazards, especially considering the presence of a high-pressure gas line beneath. Although breaches in the vessel exist, they remain above the waterline. There are 56 hazardous material containers on the vessel, and they understand how critical it is that any salvage operations do not cause any ecological impact.

Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating the required channel width for vessel passage and exploring alternative routes for smaller vessels. With three salvage companies actively engaged on-site, supported by Corps vessels and cranes, the situation is evolving rapidly with the backing of numerous federal, state, and local resources.

It is premature to determine the imposition of draft restrictions or their specifics. The Maryland Port Administration will have regular updates to the trade community, with the next scheduled update will be on Monday or Tuesday.

For ongoing updates, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has launched the Key Bridge Response 2024 website.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic incident.
For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your CH Powell representative.