At least 10 ships bound for Baltimore drop anchor after traffic stopped, shipping data


A U.S. Coast Guard vessel secures the perimeter, after the Dali cargo vessel crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., March 26, 2024. REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson

LONDON (Reuters) -At least 10 commercial ships that were sailing to the U.S. port of Baltimore have dropped anchor in waters nearby, data from ship tracking and maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic showed on Tuesday.

A container ship smashed into a four-lane bridge in the port on Tuesday, causing it to collapse and sending cars and people plunging into the river below.

Port traffic was suspended until further notice, Maryland transportation authorities said.

The vessels that anchored included container and bulk carrier ships that were signaling their destination as Baltimore, the MarineTraffic data showed.

Baltimore port’s private and public terminals handled 847,158 autos and light trucks in 2023, the most of any U.S. port.

The port also handles farm and construction machinery, sugar, gypsum and coal, according to a Maryland government website.

“While Baltimore is not one of the largest U.S. East Coast ports, it still imports and exports more than one million containers each year, so there is the potential for this to cause significant disruption to supply chains,» said Emily Stausbøll, market analyst at Xeneta, an ocean freight shipping rate benchmarking and intelligence platform.

«Far East to U.S. East Coast ocean freight services have already been impacted by drought in the Panama Canal and recent conflict in the Red Sea, which saw rates increase by 150%, so this latest incident will add to those concerns.»

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