GM, Ford will reroute Baltimore shipments after bridge collapse

By Thomson Reuters Mar 26, 2024 | 11:19 AM

By David Shepardson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Motors and Ford Motor will reroute affected shipments on Tuesday after a bridge collapse in the U.S. shuttered the Port of Baltimore, but the companies said the impact will be minimal.

“We expect the situation to have minimal impact to our operations. We are working to re-route any vehicle shipments to other ports,” GM said in a statement.

The Port of Baltimore is the busiest U.S. port for car shipments, handling at least 750,000 vehicles in 2023, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration. Motor vehicles and parts accounted for 42% of all Baltimore port imports.

Ford Motor Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said on Tuesday the bridge collapse, which happened after a container ship smashed into the four-lane bridge early on Tuesday, will force the automaker to divert parts to other ports and impact its supply chain.

“It’s going to have an impact,” Lawler told Bloomberg News. “We’ll have to divert parts to other ports… It will probably lengthen the supply chain a bit.” Ford told Reuters in a separate statement “where workarounds are necessary in the short term, our team has already secured shipping alternatives.”

Rescuers have pulled out two survivors, one of whom remains hospitalized, and were searching for more in the Patapsco River after huge spans of the 1.6-mile (2.57 km) Francis Scott Key Bridge crumpled into the water.

Volkswagen Group of America said it was not impacted because its Baltimore facility is located on the easterly sea board of the bridge collapse.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Josie Kao)