Freight News, Sea

Baltimore Bridge was accident waiting to happen, says forwarding chief

[ April 2, 2024   //   ]

The Baltimore Key Bridge collision was preventable, caused by a systematic failure to implement safeguards and a long-term lack of investment in infrastructure, said executive director of the US Airforwarders Association (AfA), Brandon Fried.

He said lessons had not been learned from earlier incidents, such as the collision with the Tampa Sunshine Skyway Bridge in 1980, which underscored the need for protective barriers to safeguard against ship collisions.

The Key Bridge support towers did not have protective barriers, he said.

Moreover: “The failure to implement adequate safeguards raises serious questions about the oversight and accountability of both Federal and State authorities. Why were warnings from the past disregarded?

“Why were proactive measures not taken to protect critical infrastructure and the lives of those who rely on it?”

Fried added that, in the short term, supply chains would be significantly disrupted along the US East Coast, with ships destined for Baltimore forced to reroute to alternative ports.

“Cargo stranded within the Port of Baltimore compounds the challenge, necessitating swift action to retrieve containers and find alternative transportation routes.”

The AfA represents hundreds of companies moving cargo across all modes of transport throughout the global supply chain.

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