Baltimore shipping channel reopens 11 weeks after Key Bridge collapse  

The main ship channel to the Port of Baltimore has been fully cleared of debris and was reopened Monday evening, 11 weeks after a cargo ship lost power and struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The Fort McHenry Channel had been blocked since March 26, when the container ship Dali lost power and crashed into one of the Francis Scott Key Bridge’s support piers, knocking it over and killing six construction workers who were filling potholes on the roadway. The Dali was lodged in the ship channel for nearly two months, along with 50,000 tons of debris from the bridge that was part of Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River. The ship was removed from the site of the bridge collapse on May 20. “This has been a remarkably complex operation, spanning thousands of people, hundreds of assets and multiple objectives,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. “With the channel now fully open, we can get more Marylanders back to work at the Port of Baltimore, increase the flow of commerce through the city and accelerate our economic recovery.” In May, federal investigators released a report that said the ship went through multiple power failures before colliding with the bridge.  

MSC ship arrested after close shave with American bridge  

An errant containership operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) that made headlines in the US earlier this month for a close brush with another American bridge is now at the centre of a legal tussle. Carver Maritime has filed a suit over the MSC Michigan VII’s throttle getting stuck, which resulted in damage to the American company’s pier along the Cooper River in Charleston. A US court has also issued an arrest warrant against the ship. The suit claims the 24-year-old, 6,648 teu ship was moving more than 15 knots, when it passed by the pier, displacing water and creating a large wake. Another ship, the Norway Pearl, was moored to the pier at the time, according to the lawsuit. Carver Maritime alleges the ship was sucked away from its mooring lines and thrown violently back in, causing substantial damage. The suit lists 14 reasons MSC Michigan operators allegedly breached duties including failing to maintain speed and failing to operate the vessel safely. The incident prompted police to clear the Ravenel Bridge of drivers and pedestrians as a safety precaution until the ship was able to regain control of its engines, something that rekindled memories of this March’s tragic bridge allision by the Dali containership in Baltimore.  

MSC partners with the New York Shipping Exchange  

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), the world’s largest container line, is partnering with the New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX) to enhance the digitalisation of ocean freight contract performance. Through this strategic collaboration, MSC will integrate NYSHEX’s technology to gain real-time insights into their contract performance. The secure, cloud-based platform from NYSHEX digitalises key contract terms, allocations, and service levels, and overlays this information with live data on bookings, container milestones, and vessel schedules through automated workflows. “The NYSHEX solution will give us greater visibility of our ocean contracts, with real-time monitoring and automated alerts on booking  patterns. It will enable us to streamline the way we fulfil contracts and resolve exceptions, keeping our customers at the heart of every discussion and decision,” noted André Simha, MSC’s chief digital officer. Other carriers such as Maersk, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd have been using NYSHEX services for a number of years.  

Panama Canal announces new increase in draft and daily transits  

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will increase the current number of daily transits from 32 to 33, effective July 11. Furthermore, this number will increase to 34 as of July 22, following the current and projected level of Gatun Lake for the coming weeks, and due to the arrival of the rainy season in the Panama Canal watershed. Additionally, an increase in draft from 13.7 m to 14 m was announced, effective June 15. Since May last year, the ACP has had to cut back daily transits on the waterway as the nation fought a massive drought – the worst on record. The incoming new president of Panama has put water levels at the country’s canal as one of his most important items on his agenda. Jose Raul Mulino will take office for a five-year term from July. Interviewed by Reuters last month, Mulino said he would try and get lawmakers to approve a law enabling the Panama Canal to build large water reservoirs to combat droughts. The law, which would grant the waterway permission to operate on land needed for the reservoirs, would be the first approved under his administration, Mulino said. 


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