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Salvors continue working to clear the Francis Scott Key Bridge wreckage, May 23, 2024, in an effort to reopen the full 700 ft wide Fort McHenry Federal Channel. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Christopher Rosario

Salvors continue working to clear the Francis Scott Key Bridge wreckage, May 23, 2024, in an effort to reopen the full 700 ft wide Fort McHenry Federal Channel. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Christopher Rosario

Dwell Times Stabilize as Port of Baltimore Resumes Full Operations

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 824
June 12, 2024

The Port of Baltimore has officially reopened and resumed operations at full capacity, marking a major milestone in the massive cleanup effort after the M/V Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, causing it to collapse.

The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has now officially reopened the Fort McHenry Channel to commercial vessel traffic for 24-hour availability without restrictions.

Supply chain visibility platform Project44 has provided some insights into current port operations and the impacts resulting from the extended closure. Their data revealed that vessel berthing times significantly decreased after the Federal Channel was partially reopened on May 20 following the refloating and removal of the Dali. While export dwell times at the Port of Baltimore remain high due to clearing the backlog of containers, import container dwell and vessel berthing times are now stable, indicating healthy labor force and operations at the port, according to Project44.

Median Weekly Import and Export Dwell for the Port of Baltimore. Chart courtesy Project44

During the closure, many containers that were initially destined for the Port of Baltimore were redirected to other ports. Project44’s analysis shows that the ports that received the most volume were New York (46%), Norfolk (20%), and Newark-Elizabeth (9%). The data shows that dwell times at these ports have remained stable, however, the rerouted containers experienced higher dwell rates due to bottlenecks in finding drayage coverage for out of network transit lanes.

The extended dwell times also resulted in demurrage charges, which are fees levied by ports when containers remain at the port for an extended period. The estimated demurrage costs due to the crash could be as high as $85 million, according to Project44. However, as containers are no longer rerouting around Baltimore, further demurrage costs are not expected.

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