Georgia and South Carolina Ports Offer Lifeline to Baltimore Cargo

Georgia and South Carolina Ports Offer Lifeline to Baltimore Cargo

Georgia and South Carolina port officials said they are eager to assist their counterparts in Baltimore until their ports resume normal operations following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“Customers are still evaluating all of their market options for Baltimore cargo,” the Georgia Ports Authority stated.

“Many will decide in two weeks in hopes of hearing when the Port of Baltimore will reopen,” the agency said in a statement. “The Georgia Ports Authority is working with clients to identify cargo that has been disrupted. Customers are still considering all of their choices for Baltimore cargo. Many people will make decisions in the coming weeks, hoping to learn when the Port of Baltimore will reopen.

The Georgia Ports Authority operates two roll-on/roll-off cargo facilities: the Ocean Terminal in Savannah and Colonel’s Island in Brunswick. Baltimore is the nation’s largest Ro/Ro port, while Brunswick is the second largest.

Georgia’s ports are also completing a $262 million makeover at the Port of Brunswick’s Colonel’s Island.

Vehicles and heavy equipment are expected to be diverted to Colonel’s Island in the coming weeks, according to officials. However, Georgia officials are unsure of how much cargo will be redirected to Peach State ports.

Georgia’s harbors “have some space to absorb cargo, but this situation will be a challenge to all ports if this is an extended period before the Port of Baltimore reopens,” the Department of Transportation stated.

“We anticipate most container cargo will be diverted to Northeastern ports such as Philadelphia, Norfolk, and New York-New Jersey,” said officials from the Georgia Ports Authority. “We have the space in Savannah to absorb diverted goods, but we anticipate little impact because there are lots of alternative container port choices near Baltimore. Ocean carriers are still deciding on routes for goods that have yet to depart from their origin countries.

South Carolina port officials have also stated that they are eager to assist in any way possible.

“As a U.S. East Coast port, SC Ports and the entire maritime community stand ready to assist any ocean carrier customers, importers, and exporters in this time of tragedy,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin told The Center Square. “We are here to offer support to ensure fluidity in the U.S. supply chains, which is critical to our economy and daily lives.”

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