Baltimore Union Warns Of Job Loss Tsunami After Bridge Collapse Paralyzes Port

March 28, 2024   |   Tags:
Baltimore Union Warns Of Job Loss Tsunami After Bridge Collapse Paralyzes Port

A lengthy disruption at the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest ports on the US East Coast, will unleash supply chain snarls and resulting financial pressures for the local economy of Baltimore, Maryland, as it's only a matter of time before companies with direct and indirect exposure of the port fire workers. 

"I have 2,400 ILA members who are soon going to be without jobs," Scott Cowan, president of the International Longshoremen's Association Baltimore local chapter, said in an interview Wednesday, as quoted by Bloomberg

Cowan said, "Getting them on the payroll, and keeping their families fed, putting food on the table is my first and foremost thought on my mind."

Source: Bloomberg

On Wednesday, Pete Buttigieg, the US transportation secretary, said it was "too soon to be certain" how long it would take salvage crews to remove the mangled Francis Scott Key Bridge from the shipping channel after a container ship rammed it on Tuesday. The bridge collapsed into the only shipping channel entering and exiting the harbor. 

"Rebuilding will not be quick or easy or cheap, but we will get it done," Buttigieg said, adding the economic impact of the port shutdown would "ripple out" beyond the Baltimore metro area. 

"This is an important port for both imports and exports. No matter how quickly the channels can be reopened, we know that it can't happen overnight. And so we're going to have to manage the impacts," he said. 

On Thursday, Mediterranean Shipping Company, operator of the world's largest container ship fleet, warned customers it could be "several months" before port operations are completely restored. 

Cowan said since dock workers are based on what's needed at the port, an extended port closure will result in job loss and ripple through the local economy. He said the federal government has discussed with ILA and the port director how to assist if there's no work. 

"These longshore workers, if goods aren't moving, they're not working," Buttigieg said.

Can longshore workers expect stimmy checks? That could be a likely solution in an election year. 

Meanwhile, federal officials told Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis that replacing the bridge and salvage work could exceed $2 billion. 

According to Lloyd's of London Chief Executive Officer John Neal, insurance payouts are expected to be the highest ever recorded for marine insurance. 

Jim Monkmeyer, president of transportation at DHL Supply Chain, said there are some indications that the port could reopen in May. However, it could be 3-5 years before a new bridge is constructed, which only suggests local supply chains will be disrupted for years. 

We have detailed emerging supply chain disruptions: 

Some bridge engineers who spoke with the New York Times questioned why the 1.6-mile-long bridge had zero deflection safety systems to protect from ship strikes.  

Source: NYT

Why is that? Why did state and government officials neglect the safety of a bridge that spanned the only port exit and entry? Were they too busy focusing on woke policies?

Tyler Durden Thu, 03/28/2024 - 14:25


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