Baltimore bridge incident compounds shipping woes

Shippers have been forced to make further adjustments to schedules as the result of a vessel’s collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26. They have already made substantial changes to routes and timings because of the risk of attacks in the Red Sea region and ongoing restrictions in the Panama Canal.

Carrier CMA CGM reportedly issued a Force Majeure notice following the Baltimore incident; having done the same in December 2023 in response to the worsening situation in the Red Sea. The firm said rerouting containers – to nearby ports such as Norfolk or New York – would be done at the shipper’s expense.

Other carriers have been giving similar advice, with MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) stating that it could be months before normal services are resumed.

Two temporary routes, bypassing debris caused by the Dali vessel incident, have been opened, allowing limited traffic into the Port of Baltimore.

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