Container Ship Blocking Baltimore Port Refloated And Moved After Nearly Two Months

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 20, 2024 - 12:18 PM

Update (0818ET): 

According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the massive container ship refloated and became "buoyant" around 0640 ET. 

"As of 7:00 a.m., it is currently being moved by tugboats under favorable environmental conditions" to the Seagirt Marine Terminal in the Port of Baltimore, USACE wrote on X. 

USACE shows tugs are moving the Dali container ship.

Bloomberg data of ship traffic shows the current route. 

The Francis Scott Key Bridge is without the Dali for the first time in nearly two months. 

The major shipping lane in and out of the harbor is expected to reopen in weeks. As for the rebuilding of the bridge, well, that's going to take years. Local supply chain disruptions will persist. 

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Baltimore officials announced that the "refloat and transit" of the container ship that toppled the Francis Scott Key Bridge nearly two months ago will begin around 0500 ET on Monday. 

Unified Command wrote in a Saturday statement:

Optimum conditions call for the transit of the M/V Dali to commence at high tide, predicted to be Monday at 5:24 a.m. The vessel will be prepared at 2 a.m., allowing the M/V Dali to catch the peak high tide for a controlled transit.

Five tugboats will tow and push the Dali about two and a half miles to the Seagirt Marine Terminal in the Port of Baltimore. The 984-foot, 106,000-ton ship will travel at one mph to the marine terminal and take an estimated three hours. 

 Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said on Sunday that the deep water shipping lane will reopen by the end of the month.

 "I'm proud that we're on track that by the end of May we'll have that federal channel reopened," Moore said on NBC's Meet the Press, adding, "And within days, we're going to have that massive vessel, the Dali, out of that federal channel."

The collision of the Dali with the bridge in the early hours of March 26 has caused severe disruptions at the port and the local economy. This incident underscores the need for state and federal governments to increase protections for critical infrastructures. 

The FBI and Coast Guard are investigating what caused the ship's loss of propulsion system minutes before the bridge strike.