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Chairman Maffei Explores Supply Chain Impacts from Bridge Collapse & Port Closure

Posted April 25, 2024

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Daniel B. Maffei and Commissioner Max Vekich travelled to Baltimore on April 17, 2024, to learn more about how the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the resulting temporary closure of the Port of Baltimore are impacting the ocean-linked supply chain.

Maryland Port Administration Executive Director Jonathan Daniels brought Chairman Maffei and Commissioner Vekich to the allision site, and provided a briefing on the multiagency, multijurisdictional efforts taking place to rapidly clear the MV Dali from the ship channel and safely reopen the port.

“The Port of Baltimore is a key and strategic gateway for international trade for the East Coast and, more broadly, the United States. The tragedy that occurred here in Baltimore underscores just how vulnerable any individual link in our ocean supply chain is and how the operational loss of just one major port can send ripple effects through our logistics systems,” said Chairman Maffei.

Chairman Maffei and Commissioner Vekich also met with executives of Ports America Chesapeake, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions, and American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier to discuss how the port’s closure is affecting business and operations for each of those companies. In addition to meetings with executives from these companies, Chairman Maffei and Commissioner Vekich visited the Unified Command Center, as well as marine terminals operated by Ports America and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions, as well as the Vehicle Processing Center Baltimore also operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions.

“I was impressed by the determined and coordinated way in which everyone in the port community is prioritizing recovering from this incident and bringing Baltimore back online as a gateway. The unity of purpose is evident in the efforts of everyone I met with, and the Commission stands ready to apply any of its authorities to be of any assistance we can,” said Chairman Maffei.

Chairman Daniel B. Maffei is a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The thoughts and comments expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission. 

(L-R) Daniel Maffei and Jonathan Daniels discussing operations to salvage the MV Dali (background) and clear the Baltimore ship channel.

(L-R) Chairman Maffei and Commissioner Vekich are briefed by Mark Schmidt, President of Ports America Chesapeake.

(L-R) Roderick Pickens, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions; Commissioner Vekich; Chuck Diorio, American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier; Chairman Maffei; Steven O’Malley, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions.

(L-R) LCDR Jenny Raisanen USCG provides a briefing to Chairman Maffei on the work of the Unified Command and Joint Information Center.