Buttigieg says Baltimore bridge collapse will have 'major and protracted impact to supply chains'

Regarding the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which was caused by a cargo ship collision overnight, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said, “There is no question that this will be a major and protracted impact to supply chains.”

Video transcript

- Mr. Secretary, how long are you preparing for the shipping channel to be closed? And you mentioned supply chain. What else are you doing to make sure other ports are prepared to maybe take on some of that?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Well, the port here in Baltimore does the most vehicle handling of any port at all, and that's just talking about the vehicle side. You also have container traffic. You have the bulk traffic. There is no question that this will be a major and protracted impact to supply chains. It's too soon to offer estimates on what it will take to clear the channel and reopen the port. There is one part of the facilities here, TradePoint, which is located at Sparrow Point, which is outside of the part that's blocked. But the main part of the Port of Baltimore is, of course, inside the channel that has been blocked.

- Last question.

PETE BUTTIGIEG: This is part of why we're fortunate to have that newly-stood-up freight office, which, along with the Maritime Administration and all of our interagency and intergovernmental partners here, is working to make sure we coordinate. There is no central authority that directs maritime traffic the way you have with air traffic, so it's going to be important to have a number of dialogues established with ocean shippers, beneficial cargo owners, port operators, and everybody else who plays a role.