What to know about Baltimore bridge collapse and its economic impact

The collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday after being struck by a cargo ship has raised questions about who owns and manages the ship, as well as on the potential impact on one the busiest ports in the U.S.

Called the Dali, the vessel that hit the bridge is managed by Synergy Marine Group, a Singapore-based company with a worldwide presence and over 660 vessels under management, according to its website. The group said the ship was operated by charter vessel company Synergy Group and chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk at the time of the incident, which sent vehicles and people tumbling into the Patapsco River.

“We are horrified by what has happened in Baltimore, and our thoughts are with all of those affected,” Maersk said in a statement to CBS News Tuesday, in which it also confirmed the ship was carrying cargo for Maersk customers. The company had no crew or personnel aboard the ship.

The Dalil, which can carry up to 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, was carrying nearly 4,700 containers at the time of the collision. It was operated by a 22-person, Indian crew. It was not immediately clear what kind of cargo the ship was carrying. 

Synergy Group’s parent company, Unity Group Holdings International, an investment holding company, was founded in 2008 and is Hong Kong-based. 

Ship chartered by Maersk

The Dali is owned by Grace Ocean Private, another Singapore-based company that provides water transportation services. 

While the incident remains under investigation, the ship lost power before hitting the bridge, according to an unclassified Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency memo reviewed by CBS News. The ship was time charted by Danish container shipping company Maersk at the time of the collision.

Where was it headed?

The outbound ship had left Baltimore and was headed for Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, Synergy Marine Group said in a press release. 

How busy is the Port of Baltimore?

In 2023, the Port of Baltimore handled a record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo, worth $80 billion, according to the office of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore. The port is also a significant provider of local jobs. 

The top port in the U.S. for sugar and gypsum imports, it is the ninth busiest U.S. port by the total volume and value of foreign cargo handled. All vessel traffic into and out of the port is currently suspended, although it remains open and trucks continue to be processed within the port’s terminals, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

What will the economic impact of the port’s closure be?

Directly, the port supports 15,300 jobs. Another 140,000 are related to port activities. The jobs and their salaries represent $3.3 billion in personal income, according to a CBS News report

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