NewsKey Bridge Collapse


“We need to get the Port of Baltimore back online as quickly as possible"

Tradepoint Atlantic expanding capacity
Posted at 4:53 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 14:53:39-04

SPARROWS POINT, Md. — At first, there was shock.

A massive container ship had toppled a mighty bridge cutting off the Port of Baltimore in the process.

Situated seaward of the bridge, Tradepoint Atlantic, was still in business and found itself in a unique position to help.

Kerry Doyle is the multi-model global logistics center’s managing director.

“We didn’t wait for any government contracts or anything like that. It’s the right thing to do,” said Doyle, “We need to get the Port of Baltimore back online as quickly as possible. There are a lot of families hurting, because there are a lot of folks who are out of jobs right now and not collecting paychecks so we need to do everything we can to get the port back online.”

With 3300 acres that the historic Bethlehem Steel once called home, Tradepoint had plenty of room in its five-square miles of space and infrastructure to take action.

Within 48 hours of the bridge’s collapse, Tradepoint Atlantic had already cleared this 10-acre site giving workers a place to put some of the pieces from the fallen bridge.

“It’s better to be lucky, than good,” Doyle told us, “The facility that we have, the coal slip that’s historical to the steel mill, has the structural integrity to be able to take the cranes and the bridge sections.”

With roll on, roll off shipping capabilities, Tradepoint already receives shiploads of BMWs and Volkswagens, but here too, it could expand its role.

Tradepoint Atlantic.jpeg

“Over the next two weeks, we’ve got six of their vessels coming into port, but we also have nine redirected roll-on/roll-off vessels coming into port so we actually have more redirected cargo than our regularly scheduled cargo, which comes with its own challenges, because we don’t necessarily have the storage space available to land all those cargos,” said Doyle.

To create space for the additional vehicles and heavy farm equipment, it has already cleared and paved 10 acres of additional parking lots with 10 more nearing completion, and it will double that space in the weeks to come.

No, it’s nothing close to the cargo that the port could typically handle, but it’s key to restoring the port’s future.

“When you’re talking about a port that’s the scale of the Port of Baltimore, you can never replace a port of that size with one facility,” said Doyle, “You can just try to do the best you can to maximize through put and retain as much cargo as you possibly can.”

Tradepoint has also pushed up its plans by two years to dredge an existing channel where it will be capable of handling large container ships like the Dali, but that work and the construction of a terminal will not be completed until 2026.