The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge has brought the Port of Baltimore, an important trade hub, to a halt.

The port handled a record amount of foreign cargo last year, and it was the 17th biggest port in the nation overall in 2021, ranked by total tons, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

It ranks first in the United States for the volume of automobiles and light trucks it handles and for vessels that carry wheeled cargo, including farm and construction machinery, according to a statement by Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland last month.

Around the world, about 40 ships, including 34 cargo vessels, have Baltimore listed as a destination, including 10 commercial ships with anchors dropped in nearby waters, according to MarineTraffic, which tracks ships.

Georgios Hatzimanolis, who analyzes global shipping for MarineTraffic, said he expects the bridge collapse to cause shipping delays. “We do expect there to be a ripple effect,” he said.

The Port of Virginia this afternoon will receive a vessel that was previously bound for Baltimore, and others will soon follow, said the port’s chief executive, Stephen Edwards. Shipping lines that use Baltimore are diverting their vessels to other ports on the East Coast. “Between New York and Virginia, we have sufficient capacity to handle all this cargo,” Mr. Edwards said, referring to container ships.


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