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With Baltimore out, Maersk plots alternative services through eastern North America

Maersk Line is ready to offer services through several gateways from eastern Canada, down to the southern Atlantic Ocean and US Gulf, as it is impossible to ship goods into Baltimore after Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on 26 March.

The Danish carrier said on 1 April that port and rail operators on the eastern coast of the US and Canada have been “very supportive and collaborative” to develop solutions to support containers temporarily diverted to alternative ports.

Maersk noted in a customer advisory 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, making it too shallow for oceangoing container ships.

The carrier said, “As many customers look to utilise the entire Eastern seaboard port infrastructure, we’re also prepared to offer services through a number of gateways from eastern Canada. We ask customers who intend to make their own arrangements for their Baltimore cargo to notify their Maersk representative so that we can update our systems and operational plans. We also ask that customers with import cargo originally destined for Newark and/or Norfolk that is currently sitting in terminal to arrange to pick up your containers as soon as possible to assist with increased flows of containers.”

Maersk added that while it is unable to accept any loaded containers in Baltimore port, the terminal can accept the return of empty containers and is releasing such containers for exports. Store door service continues to be provided to and from Baltimore and surrounding areas.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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