Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: What to know about the Port of Baltimore

Francis Scott Key Bridge

BALTIMORE — The impact of collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore will no doubt be felt when it comes to importing and exporting goods.

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According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Port Administration, “Cargo is the lifeblood of the Port of Baltimore.”

Just hours after the Key Bridge collapse, several ships were held outside of the port. According to the website Marine Traffic, delayed cargo ships were already stacking up with at least eight bulk carriers and one vehicle carrier waiting outside of the port.

The state said that it is one of the country’s top ports for total cargo tonnage and value of the cargo.

Key Bridge, Baltimore map

According to the governor’s office, the port handled 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo in 2023. The value of the cargo was $80 billion, setting a new record. Crews moved 1.1 million 20-foot containers last year along with 847,158 cars and light trucks, leading all other ports for the 13th consecutive year.

“The Port of Baltimore is the best port in the nation and one of the largest economic generators in Maryland,” Gov. Wes Moore said in the news release from February. “Together, we aren’t just breaking records—we are creating jobs, growing our economy, and building new pathways to opportunity. We must continue our work to make Maryland more competitive by investing in our greatest assets, including our world-class port.”

The port provides more than 15,000 jobs directly and supports another 140,000 jobs linked to the port, which has six public marine terminals.

Some of the cargo that is handled includes “autos, roll on/roll off, containers, forest products, and project cargo,” state officials said.

Baltimore, according to MDOT, is the No.1 port for vehicles in the country.

It is close to several interstates and has on-dock rail service with Norfolk Southern and CSX that connects directly with the Midwest.

In addition to the cargo services, the Port of Baltimore is also home to Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival cruise terminals, offering year-round voyages.

Port of Baltimore Cruise Schedule 2024 by National Content Desk on Scribd

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