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Maersk prepared to divert Baltimore-bound vessels to Eastern Canada gateways


In a customer advisory note, Maersk Line has indicated it is prepared to offer special provisional services to several gateways in eastern Canada as long as the Port of Baltimore remains closed to ocean-going vessels following the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Bridge that was struck by the Dali containership. It did not name the Canadian gateways concerned, but Halifax, Montreal and Saint John are Canada’s three ports handling container traffic on the east coast.

“While we remain unable to accept new bookings into or out of the Port of Baltimore, we continue to serve greater Baltimore via alternative ports such as Newark, Norfolk and Philadelphia via road and rail subject to available capacity,” Maersk said, adding: “We continue to work with customers to determine the best solution for their Store Door service to and from Baltimore and surrounding areas.

“As many customers look to utilize the entire Eastern seaboard port infrastructure, we are also prepared to offer services through a number of gateways from Eastern Canada down to the South Atlantic and Gulf. Ports and rail operators have been very supportive and collaborative to develop solutions to support cargo temporarily diverted to alternative ports.”

Maersk noted in its customer advisory on April 1 that while the captain of Baltimore port has stated that a makeshift alternative channel is being readied for “commercially essential vessels”, this channel is just 11-feet deep – too shallow for oceangoing container ships.

(USACE photo)