Baltimore Bridge Collision Highlights Need For Resilient Export Options

The search continues Wednesday morning for six people presumed dead following Tuesday’s collision between a cargo vessel and the Francis Scott Key Bridge that carried Interstate 695 around Baltimore.  Soy Transportation Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek says the incident highlights the critical role ports play in our supply chain.

Steenhoek says while just 350,000 tons of soybeans went through the port of Baltimore in 2020, the commodity did rank second to sugar among agricultural products handled there.  He adds that the incident shows why America needs multiple transportation options to ensure a resilient flow of goods.

WBAL-TV in Baltimore reports that vessel traffic into or out of Port of Baltimore is suspended indefinitely, while trucks are still able to be processed at the terminals.

Farmers and retailers dealt with significant delays in May 2021 when the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River into Memphis was closed following the discovery of a fracture.  The discovery resulted in barge traffic on the river being suspended for three days, while the bridge itself would not reopen for three months.