Baltimore Bridge Collapse Sparks Concerns over Delayed Shipments, Increased Shipping Costs

  • April 12, 2024
  • News

The closure of the Port of Baltimore in the US due to the collapse of the Baltimore Key Bridge is anticipated to cause delays in shipments and increased shipping expenses.

Robert Young, president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines stated that the group foresees approximately $150 million worth of apparel exports to the US facing delays, with cargo vessels stuck in the vicinity of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. He also added that the export deliveries to chain stores and end buyers will experience significant delays. Young noted that the estimated value of apparel shipments from the Philippines, including those currently in transit on cargo vessels, is expected to be impacted by the incident. He mentioned that cargo ships originating from Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, are currently stationary in the port area. Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., highlighted in an email that the bridge collapse and subsequent port closure could result in shipment delays and increased shipping expenses for the Philippines. He mentioned the possibility of port traffic being redirected to alternative ports on the East Coast, such as those in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as other ports on the West Coast.

This redirection could, directly and indirectly, cause congestion or delays in international trade and supply chains involving the US and other parts of the world.

Ricafort noted that these disruptions could indirectly impact Philippine external trade, particularly through delays and potential increases in shipping costs in the Red Sea area that led to longer shipping routes and higher costs.

He highlighted potential disruptions in global supply chains for vehicles and parts, as the Port of Baltimore is a significant hub for American automakers. Additionally, the closure of the port, which is a major terminal for US coal exports, could affect exports to India and have indirect repercussions for other countries globally.
John Paolo Rivera, president and chief economist at Oikonomia Advisory and Research Inc., emphasized in an email that the incident would strain supply chains and cause disruptions in deliveries along the US East Coast, potentially affecting international markets.