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Colombian Exports Threatened After Baltimore Bridge Accident


baltimore brigde
The disruption in the shipping industry after the vessel collision with the Baltimore Bridge impacts Colombian exports. Credit: AFP

After last Tuesday’s accident in which a container vessel collided with the Baltimore bridge in The United States, the shipping industry is facing significant disruption. Colombia is one of the countries expected to be impacted in terms of its exports.

Javier Diaz, the president of the Colombian National Trade Association (Analdex), explained via his official account on X that the closure of the Baltimore port “will affect some Colombian exports that enter there. Of the total 138,858 tons, 37% correspond to asphalt manufacturing, another 20,000 tons of baby food, 14,000 tons of coffee, 2,500 tons of mango pulp, and 5,000 reams of paper, in addition to candy and tiles.”

Considering alternative ports for Colombian exports

Colombian exports to the United States represent between 25% and 30% of the country’s total exports, with the Port of Miami serving as the primary entry point for Colombian products to the United States. Given the current situation, it is crucial to analyze whether it has sufficient capacity to accommodate all the exports that must now enter through the East Coast.

Diaz also explained to Blue Radio on March 27, that after the merchandise destined for export is loaded and departs from Colombian ports such as Cartagena, it is the importing country that manages the transportation contracts with shipping companies. Therefore, the alternatives in this situation must be discussed directly with the buyers.

Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice

The port of Baltimore, which closed due to the incident, is the tenth largest in the US in terms of container movement, with almost 600,000 passing through last year alone. Currently, all vessel traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice. Ports in Norfolk, Virginia, and the New York and New Jersey area are expected to absorb the majority of the diverted shipping traffic.

According to the latest information published by CNN, the bodies of two of the six workers who died in the tragedy have been recovered. In the same report, Governor of Maryland, Wes Moore, mentioned that the collapse of Baltimore’s Key Bridge is a “global crisis,” reiterating the bridge’s importance to global trade.

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