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Biden to survey collapsed Baltimore bridge, meet families of workers who died. REUTERS/Nathan Howard

View of the Dali cargo vessel which crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 4, 2024. REUTERS/Nathan Howard

Maersk Gives Update Following Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 16249
April 17, 2024

Global shipping giant Maersk has released a detailed update on its operations following the collapse of Baltimore’s Key Bridge.

The company, which chartered the MV Dali, has now confirmed that the vessel owners have invoked the General Average (GA). Maersk has urged customers with cargo aboard the Dali to promptly inform their cargo insurers about the GA declaration.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Captain of the Port has announced the opening of two temporary alternate channels for “commercially essential vessels” in the Port of Baltimore. However, at just 11- and 14-feet-deep, it is nowhere near deep enough to accommodate the large oceangoing container vessels that Maersk and other carriers use for port calls in Baltimore and other ports on the U.S. East Coast.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District is planning a third alternate channel due to open later in April. At 35-feet-deep, this would provide additional limited access to the Port of Baltimore and be deep enough to accommodate some larger vessel. However, for perspective, the main Fort McHenry Channel is 50-feet-deep, and the maximum draft for vessels transiting the Panama Canal’s Neopanamax locks is currently 44 feet, set to increase to 45 feet starting June 15.

Maersk says it is awaiting confirmation from the Baltimore Captain of the Port via Unified Command regarding details about this third channel.

While new bookings into or out of the Port of Baltimore are currently not being accepted, Maersk continues to serve the greater Baltimore area via alternative ports such as Newark, Norfolk, and Philadelphia. The company is working with customers to determine the best solution for their cargo service to and from Baltimore and surrounding areas.

Customers who plan to make their own arrangements for their Baltimore cargo are asked to inform their Maersk representative to allow for system updates and operational planning. Furthermore, all new Maersk SPOT ocean bookings to and from Baltimore are temporarily suspended.

“We understand your need for clarity on your cargo, as well as future changes to our routes regarding Baltimore. We are working diligently to identify solutions and will inform you as soon as possible of changes to current and future cargo to Baltimore,” Maersk said.

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