Fri. May 24th, 2024

Fear of economic ramifications after Baltimore bridge damage

By ki0nk Apr9,2024
News

The Port of Baltimore was rendered inaccessible as a result of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Quite a few companies, both large and little, are dependent on it.

When the Francis Scott Key Bridge fell on March 26, it was a piece of Dundalk’s history that ended up in the waters of the Patapsco River. The collapse was caused by a container ship. Some of the people who live in this town, which is just next to the structure, may recall the year 1977 when it first opened its doors.

They witnessed it being constructed and then demolished! Tasha Gresham-James screams, “Imagine the shock!” over the situation.

Currently serving as the Director of Dundalk Renaissance, a local development organization, she is striving to mitigate the disruption that the tragedy has caused to the economy.

To be more specific, the bridge, which served as a significant communication axis, was situated at the entrance to the port of Baltimore, which is among the twenty largest ports in the United States. This has been put to an end. One that poses a threat to the 140,000 jobs that are dependent on it.

Things have been in a state of disarray ever since then. For the purpose of assisting economic participants in the region, low-interest emergency loans have been made available.

Since Monday, April 2, representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), a federal organization that is committed to small and medium-sized businesses, have been present at the Dundalk Renaissance grounds in order to meet with those who are concerned about the situation.

To this point, the door has been opened to CEOs from trucking companies as well as proprietors of restaurants. Over the next few days, it is anticipated that the number of visits will continue to rise.

People, in contrast to the pandemic, do not wait until they are in a bad situation before they learn about the support that is available to them. The statement is made by Tasha Gresham-James. “They are very proactive.”

Despite the fact that the halt of marine traffic compels businesses in the region and beyond to adjust, the overall mobilization of the authorities, which includes the city of Baltimore as well as the government of Joe Biden, guarantees a speedy return to normalcy.

In point of fact, the port of Baltimore serves as a significant exchange platform (hub) for the import of automobiles and, more specifically, the export of energy. Businesses who make use of it are compelled to reroute their products to other ports, which are frequently smaller and less suited, resulting in higher expenses and delayed delivery times.

It is possible that the coal industry will be affected particularly hard because the transportation of the fuel, which is more practical by rail than by road, cannot be redeployed in a timely manner.

Due to its proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, which are an area abundant in high-quality coal, the port is ranked second in the nation in terms of rock exports. India has been the primary receiver.

Consol Energy, which is one of the companies that were impacted, issued a statement in which it stated that it had implemented “contingency plans,” which included rerouting supplies to other facilities on the East Coast. As was the case with its rivals, the company’s stock price dropped after the event that occurred on March 26.

Ayman Omar, a professor at American University (AU) in Washington and an expert in supply chains, thinks that the interruptions created by the suspension of port operations would not endure for more than six months. This is despite the fact that there is a deficiency.

Businesses and the state of Maryland will undoubtedly incur costs as a result of inaction, as the state will lose a portion of the revenue it receives from taxes. Not to mention the costs associated with cleaning up the mess, which will amount to several billion dollars. On the other hand, it is not the epidemic, which had been affecting flows for somewhere between two and three years.

On the other hand, he has high hopes that the event would encourage businesses and public actors to reconsider the way in which they manage their supply chains and infrastructure in order to raise their level of resistance to risks of all categories. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of big catastrophes, including health crises, boats that have been redirected due to disputes or obstructed, such as in the Panama Canal in 2021, and the drying up of waterways as a result of climate change.

Observations made by the expert include the following: “A boat will not destroy a bridge every year, but disruptions of all kinds, with similar repercussions, are continuous.” Both public and private actors are required to include this reality into their decision-making processes.

Both a human tragedy and an economic calamity have occurred as a result of the recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore, which was caused by a cargo ship colliding with the concrete structure. When the bridge collapsed into the icy Patapsco River, it claimed the lives of six construction workers who were working on repairing it.

Due to the fact that the wreckage of the bridge is currently located in the channel that connects Baltimore Harbor to the Chesapeake Bay, the Port of Baltimore has been effectively close down. The economic repercussions of the accident, as well as the possibilities for re-constructing the bridge, are discussed by Joe Kane, a fellow in the Brookings Metro Foundation.

The recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which occurred as a result of the bridge being struck by a container ship, brings about both a tragedy for the people and a catastrophe for the economy.

When the bridge collapsed into the icy Patapsco River in the early morning hours, it claimed the lives of six construction workers who were working on the bridge span to make repairs. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico were among the countries from which they had immigrated.

Due to the fact that the wreckage of the bridge is currently located in the channel that connects Baltimore Harbor to the Chesapeake Bay, the Port of Baltimore has been effectively close down. Joe Kane, a fellow at the Brookings Metro Regional Center, is here to discuss the effects that the shutdown of the bridge has had on our economy as well as the possibilities for re-building the bridge. Hello, Joe, and thank you for joining us here at The Current.

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By ki0nk

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