Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: What to know about the Dali

Francis Scott Key Bridge

BALTIMORE — The cargo ship, the Dali, crashed into a support that held up the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday morning.

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Here are six things to know about the massive ship.

1. The Dali is a neo-Panamax ship, according to Ship Atlas by Maritime Optima. A neo-Panamax is also sometimes called a new-Panamax ship and is “designed to fit exactly in the locks of the expanded Panama Canal,” according to the website Transport Geography.

There are several types of configurations from having 17 to 22 bays in a ship’s length or 19 or 20 containers across.

According to Inbound Logistics, new-Panamax ships can carry up to 13,000 TEU, or 20-foot equivalent units, which is the the volume of a 20-foot-long container. That’s three times the capacity of the original cargo ships used to transverse the Panama Canal. Inbound Logistics said that neo-panamax ships can be a bit larger than the new-panamax vessels.

The video below shows the Triton passing through the Panama Canal four years ago after the locks were expanded. You can see how tight the fit is for the massive ship.

2. The Dali was built in 2015, according to Shipatlas. Its IMO number is 9697428, an identifier that was assigned when the ship was launched. The number will stay with the vessel until it is scrapped, according to The Pew Charibilte Trusts, even if the ship changes owners. It has MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identities) number 563004200 and callsign 9V5283. MMSIs “are nine-digit numbers used by maritime digital selective calling (DSC), automatic identification systems (AIS) and certain other equipment to uniquely identify a ship or a coast radio station,” according to the Federal Communications Commission. The AIS transmits a ship’s position, according to NATO.

3. The Dali was sailing under the flag of Singapore. It was sailing to Colombo, Sri Lanka when it hit the bridge. It was scheduled to arrive in Colombo on April 22, according to VesselFinder.

It has a gross tonnage of 95,128. It is 300 meters long with a 48-meter beam. A beam, for lack of a simpler term, is the width of the ship.

It had 22 crew members on board, according to The New York Times.

4. The owner of the Dali is Grace Ocean PTD, LTD, based in Singapore, and is managed by Synergy Marine Group, also based in Singapore. The Dali had been chartered by the shipping company Maersk, Reuters reported, and was carrying Maersk’s cargo, but none of Maersk’s crew or personnel.

5. Prior to docking at the Port of Baltimore, the Dali had been in Norfolk on March 22 and the Port of Newark from March 19 to March 21. Prior to being in the U.S., the ship had been in Panama, traveling through the canal; South Korea; China; Malaysia; and Oman. It had last been in Baltimore in December for three days, according to Shipatlas data.

Last year the ship made 45 port calls and traveled 195,823 nautical miles, according to VesselFinder. In 2022, it made 52 port calls, traveling 200,986 nautical miles.

6. The ship had been part of a previous impact incident. The New York Times reported that the Dali hit a stone wall in the port of Antwerp in 2016, a year after it was launched. The ship was damaged but no one was hurt.

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