A key to reopening the Port of Baltimore will take weeks

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Approximately 140 containers in all are expected to be removed to lighten the Dali so the grounded vessel can be refloated and moved by tugs.
CSX was the first rail to start a rail service for diverted containers resulting from the accident and closure of the Port of Baltimore.
Once the Dali is refloated and no longer listing, tugs will move the vessel to the CSX terminal at the Port of Baltimore.
It is still to be determined how many tugs will be needed to move the Dali, according to the JIC.
The removal of the debris and the vessel is key to the reopening of the Port of Baltimore, which is the largest port for auto imports and exports in the country, as well as a key trade hub for clothing, household goods, construction materials, electronics and appliances, and produce.
Last week, engineers said the goal is to restore “normal capacity” access to the main 700-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep channel and the Port of Baltimore by the end of May.
“Once you see plans of moving the Dali away from the port, that’s when you know the channel is ready to be open,” Roth said.
A tugboat pushing a fuel barge was the first vessel to use the alternate channel to bypass the wreckage of the bridge.


Although the task of removing shipping containers from the 984-foot-long Dali has started, it will likely take several weeks to finish, tow the listed ship, and reopen the Port of Baltimore for marine traffic following the March 26 bride collapse.

As of Sunday, when Unified Command began the process of cleaning up the canal and eventually reopening it for container traffic, seven containers have been removed, an official from the Key Bridge Response 2024 Joint Information Center informed CNBC. The first objective is to remove ten or twelve containers in order to make a safe working space for the crews that are doing the debris removal and worker recovery exercises. The crew members working in the vicinity are at risk due to the overturned containers on the port side of the Dali’s bow.

The management company of the Dali, Synergy Marine, is part of Unified Command. s. Coast Guard, U. s. Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority, Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

To lighten the Dali and allow tugs to refloat and move the grounded vessel, an estimated 140 containers will be removed in total. To empty every container is anticipated to take about two weeks.

The initial seven containers were transported to Sparrows Point, the location of a former massive industrial complex owned by Bethlehem Steel, on a single barge. Sparrows Point is a peninsula spanning 3,100 acres that extends into Baltimore Harbor. The JIC stated that until “further disposition is approved and coordinated,” the containers will remain at Sparrows Point. ****.

According to JIC, the container-carrying capacities of the barges being loaded with containers vary.

Cleared container logistics are still being worked out; the JIC informed CNBC that its “current intent” is to ship the containers to the CSX Terminal.

Conversations are ongoing, a CSX spokesperson told CNBC, adding, “We have no significant updates to report at this time. However, the freight rail company has expressed a willingness and desire to help with the recovery efforts in Baltimore.”. “.”.

Following the accident and closure of the Port of Baltimore, CSX was the first railroad to begin offering rail service for containers that were rerouted.

Tugs will transport the refloated and non-listing Dali to the CSX terminal at the Port of Baltimore. The JIC states that the number of tugs required to move the Dali is still unknown. It responded to CNBC via email, saying, “That is currently pending and is being planned out.”.

The Port of Baltimore, which is the nation’s busiest port for car imports and exports and a major trading hub for produce, apparel, home goods, electronics, and appliances, will reopen only after the debris and vessel are removed. By the end of May, according to engineers’ announcement last week, “normal capacity” access to the Port of Baltimore and the main 700-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep channel should be restored.

Prior to the channel’s launch, CNBC was informed by retired Coast Guard captain and Chertoff Group principal Aaron Roth that there will be one telltale sign.

The channel is prepared for opening, according to Roth, “once you see plans to move the Dali away from the port.”. “The system will adjust in the interim, as we witnessed with the Red Sea. “The economy is the best judge and it will take it all in,” he remarked.

Smaller commercial vessels—including those engaged in the recovery effort—that are noticeably lighter and smaller can now use the new channel. The vessel Dali, which struck and destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge after losing navigational control, is 984 feet long, while the vessels the Coast Guard is permitting are only 96 feet long.

The first ship to use the alternate channel to avoid the bridge wreckage was a tugboat towing a fuel barge. Dover Air Force Base in Delaware was the initial destination of the barge that was transporting jet fuel for the Department of Defense.

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