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 Port of Baltimore closed indefinitely infographic
Graphic maps and charts industry affected by the closure of the Port of Baltimore.


Baltimore port closure will hit supply chains hard

By Ninian Carter

March 27, 2024 - Baltimore is the busiest port in the U.S. for car exports, and also ships industrial supplies of coal and asphalt. Its closure is likely to cost over $200 million a day in lost revenue.

While the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore will have a limited impact on the broader U.S. economy, the city does handle around 3% of all container ship traffic in the country, and is the largest importer/exporter of automobiles.

It’s also the main hub for importing construction equipment and, given its proximity to the Midwest, is the main importer of farming machinery, such as combine harvesters, tractors and hay balers.

Total trade via the port in 2023 amounted to $80 billion – every day Baltimore is closed, $217 million of commerce will not cross its docks.

Industry experts believe the flow of goods in the U.S. will change dramatically as a result of the port’s closure, with importers likely to send their cargoes through west coast ports and then move them on trains eastward to avoid bottlenecks in the east.

The rerouting of goods is likely to cause delivery delays and increase costs.

PUBLISHED: 27/03/2024; STORY: Graphic News