Oh this is gonna take a while

They’ve moved cranes in to remove some of the shipping containers to help refloat the ship that crashed into the FSK bridge to give space to the bridge removal project.

The ship is said to have more than 4,000 containers on board, yesterday they removed, wait for it, 7. And those seven are ones on the side that’s leaning over and might topple into the bay, depending on how the ship moves after some of the bridge infrastructure is removed.

They have to remove at least 140 to give the ship some buoyancy so tugs can push the ship to a dock where the rest can be offloaded (even though they were supposed to be headed for Asia.)

A small channel has already been opened, but that’s not for cargo shipping, that will take several weeks, perhaps months. Meanwhile “supply chain” moguls say not to worry, there’s capacity at other ports up or down the East Coast, so it shouldn’t really ripple through the economy. It will surely crimp the style of the thousands employed in the trade around Baltimore, of course.


Where is Josh Shapiro when you need him?

They’re not going to take all of the containers off the ship. It floats just fine with all of them on board. When the water is deep enough, anyway. That’s kind of how they got into this situation.

They’re only removing enough containers to give good, relatively safe access to the parts of the bridge that fell onto the ship. Get those bridge pieces off, and the ship should float. However, they may need to remove some more containers from the bow to make it easier to get the ship off the ground. Once it’s actually floating again, they’ll get the ship over to the container terminal and remove the rest there, where they have the tools to do the job much more efficiently.




Of course, they only removed 7. The seven were precarious. It took time.


I want to take a moment to appreciate this:

Three days in, they’ve removed 34. So about 14 a day since the first day. Of a total 180 that need to be removed.

Port traffic up to about 15% of normal with the temporary channels that have been cleared.

Or does the ship need to be moved with most of the containers on board?

Is it about ten days later? Not bad. Not as good as I had hoped but it is early.

The ship will be moved with most of the 4,000 containers still on board. 180 is the minimum number they think they need to remove to allow the ship to re-float properly and give stability so the pieces of the wrecked bridge that are laying all over it can be cut up and removed.

Removing the 180 is just the first step.


So many of the 180 are precarious?

Define precarious. In danger of falling in the water? Damaged and in danger of leaking hazardous cargo?

Access may be part of the choices. But why does it matter?

We hope the people involved use good judgement. They do know what is in the containers.

1 Like

Probably all of the above. Mainly worried about moving the ship any distance without containers falling overboard.

Could the ship tip over if containers on one side are removed for leaning while containers must be removed on the other side to balance the ship? Who knows.