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Morning JAVA: Port Of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Just The Beginning

Morning JAVA: Port Of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Just The Beginning


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The Port Of Baltimore

This port is located in Maryland on the northwest shores of Chesapeake Bay and is the USA's largest facility that is equipped to handle specialized cargo such as roll on / roll off, container and passenger ships as well as bulk (steel, iron ore). About 700,000 vehicles are imported into the country through this port. In 2019, the port handled $58.4 billion in imports and exports. One quarter of all coal exports originate from this port.

Baltimore harbor is a key hub for manufacturing. One such producer is the 115 year old  Domino Sugar Refinery, the largest cane sugar refinery in the Western hemisphere. I can just imagine how they're scrambling to work around the shutdown of the port. This to me, is a big signal that all things sugar are about to get more expensive. The port also has a cruise terminal for Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Several ships were due to arrive by Saturday for unloading but are now scrambling to re-route to another port that can handle the unloading of cargo. This is the sort of logistics nightmare that anyone in the business dreads.From what I understand, it'll be another two weeks before we know the full scale of disruptions to trade as a result of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse after the container ship Dali struck it early Tuesday morning. 6 people working on potholes on the bridge are missing and presumed dead.

While the port itself is a major trade hub, so is the bridge that collapsed. Some 3,600 trucks used the bridge daily and about 1.3 million per year. Trucks carrying hazardous materials (petroleum, chemicals) will now have to re-route about 30 miles as they are prohibited from using tunnels, adding up to 2 hours extra time for local / regional deliveries.

According to Reuters, the port is also the largest by volume for handling farm and construction machinery. Add agricultural products, salt, gypsum, fertilisers and forest products, paper, plywood and particle board. Top exports from the Port of Baltimore include the aforementioned coal, liquefied natural gas, metals and minerals and bunker fuels.

The London Metals Exchange has warehouses presently with 756 metric tons of nickel, 10 tons of tin and 50 tons of copper. The LME states that the bridge collapse is not affecting their usual business. Personally, I don't believe that to be true. They don't want to create a panic that would send prices higher than they already are, with gold close to $2,200 this morning. While the Reuters article mentions copper, tin and nickel, there's not a word about precious metals. I can assure you, this will impact precious metals soon.

 

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Re-Routing... Again!!!

Since 2020 and the Covid19 pandemic, followed by the Russia / Ukraine War, then followed by the Israel Hamas War, ships have been scrambling and rerouting all over the place. Most recently, ships have diverted from the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Ships have come under fire from Houthi missiles fired from Yemen.

Partly as a result, we've seen massive price inflation across the board. I'm afraid things are about to get a tad more expensive. Some things might be hard to find or may not be found at all. If there's anything you need for repairs, etc., go get it sooner than later. Stock up on food too. The 'news' will tell you everything's ok but the truth is, it'll take years to rebuild that bridge. As long as the bridge is down, the disruptions will continue. Just to get started on the cleanup could take months. Rebuilding takes planning and your guess is as good as mine as to how long that'll take before the rebuilding of the bridge actually commences.

Was it Sabotage?

I watched the cam video footage of the ship and what transpires is highly suspicious, in my opinion. The ship's lights suddenly go out and for a few minutes the ship is totally without power. Suddenly, the lights come on again and the ship suddenly veers towards one of the bridge's piers before the lights went out for a second time. All the while, you can see traffic still moving along on the bridge, including a transport truck that passes the doomed pier seconds before impact. From what I've learned, the police only had about 90 seconds to react and close the bridge to incoming traffic before the impact actually occurred.

Delving deeper, I've learned that these container ships, like the Dali are highly sophisticated, with onboard computers, GPS and satellite communications. Is it possible that power was shut down via hacking in order to restart the computers and take full control of the ship? I have no clear evidence. At this point, it is circumstantial. One thing that is clear, the disruption caused by the bridge collapse will be with us for a few years.

I've only listed a few things being imported / exported from the Port of Baltimore but I think you have an idea that there's a lot more on the list as well as the goods moving back and forth over the bridge itself. If this was sabotage as many are speculating, it was a direct hit! The damage is done, the impact which we haven't quite felt yet but will come to understand in a few weeks time as more information comes out.

Now, the big question is, if this really was some kind of attack, WHO was behind it? I can already hear the mainstream media... it's 'Russia, Russia, Russia'. Can we really believe them anymore? We've had strange happenings like massive fires (Maui), livestock buildings go up in flames, trains derailing and spewing toxic waste and now this bridge collapse, shutting down a major U.S. port. Is America (and Canada) under attack and by whom? It's sure starting to look it!

 

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SweptOverNiagara
SweptOverNiagara

Name's Joe and I live in Ontario, Canada. I like writing on a wide variety of topics. I enjoy keeping track of markets, investing and commodities and the crypto sector. Also do some coding for web browsers.


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