Research Briefing | Mar 27, 2024

The economic costs of the Key Bridge collapse

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland is another reminder of the US vulnerability to supply-chain shocks, but this event will have greater economic implications for the Baltimore economy than nationally.

What you will learn:

  • There will likely be some temporary disruptions to certain industries, including automakers, but nothing that warrants an immediate change to our baseline forecast. Ultimately, the duration of the disruptions at the Port of Baltimore, along with how quickly trade can be rerouted, will determine the economic costs.
  • The good news is that the Ports of Virginia and New York/New Jersey were processing noticeably more containers in 2022 than their historical average. Therefore, odds are there is some capacity for rerouting from the Port of Baltimore.
  • Trucking costs will likely rise as nearly 4,000 commercial trucks used the bridge, on average, per day according to the American Trucking Association. Detours will increase delivery times and fuel costs. There are large businesses with distribution facilities near the bridge, and among them are Amazon, FedEx, Under Armour and a few automakers.
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