Filter Articles

Companies play down logistical impacts of Baltimore bridge collapse

Major companies that normally use the Port of Baltimore for exports and imports have reacted to the impact of its temporary closure.

ASR Group, the largest sugar company in the US, said that it had six-to-eight weeks of raw sugar stocks at its Baltimore sugar refinery, which is supplied by vessels coming to the Port of Baltimore. The company said that it did not expect short-term impacts to its operations in the area.

Germany-based vehicle company BMW told Reuters that it did not expect any immediate impact other than short term traffic delays. BMW uses the Port of Baltimore to import vehicles, but the automotive terminal is located at the harbour entrance, in front of the bridge, which means that it can still be accessed, the spokesman added.

Ford CFO John Lawler said that the closure of the port would mean that the car and truckmaker would have to divert parts to other ports, which could have a temporary impact on its supply chain. Ford told Reuters that “where workarounds are necessary in the short term, our team has already secured shipping alternatives.”

General Motors said that it was working on rerouting its vehicle shipments. It expected minimal impact from the bridge collapse.

Home Depot said that its distribution centres in the Baltimore area were “open and operating”.

Mercedes Benz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis said on CNBC that it was too early to see an impact from the Baltimore bridge collapse in the carmaker’s activities.

Volkswagen said that its port operations in Baltimore were unaffected by the bridge collapse due to the location of its facilities. “We do not anticipate any impact on vessel operations but there may be trucking delays as traffic will be rerouted in the area”, the German vehicle maker said.

Sweden’s Volvo Group, which makes trucks, construction equipment and engines, said it was looking over its inventory in its US production facilities to see if and when there could be a disturbance in worst-case scenarios. “We are currently looking over inventory in our US production facilities to see if and when there might be a disturbance given a worst case scenario (no access to port, no other ports or very limited access to other ports) but don’t foresee a huge impact at this stage,” the company said.