• Francis Scott Key Bridge - Class I Impact

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Surprised, anyone?

Associated Press reports that the lawyers are stepping up to the feeding trough

Fair Use:
BALTIMORE (AP) — The owner and manager of the massive container ship that took down the Francis Scott Key Bridge last month should be held fully liable for the deadly collapse, according to court papers filed Monday on behalf of Baltimore’s mayor and city council.

The two companies filed a petition soon after the March 26 collapse asking a court to cap their liability under a pre-Civil War provision of an 1851 maritime law — a routine but important procedure for such cases. A federal court in Maryland will ultimately decide who’s responsible and how much they owe in what could become one of the most expensive maritime disasters in history.
In other related news, WBAL radio reports that a channel, presumably away from the collapsed main span, is now open, and will allow for passage of vessels with 20' draft and 135' height. I'd guess that will allow coastal vessels to now call at the Port.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Apr 23, 2024 1:32 pm Surprised, anyone?

Associated Press reports that the lawyers are stepping up to the feeding trough

In other related news, WBAL radio reports that a channel, presumably away from the collapsed main span, is now open, and will allow for passage of vessels with 20' draft and 135' height. I'd guess that will allow coastal vessels to now call at the Port.
Not surprised that the owners of the MV Dali would want to cap liablity, and the city is saying "Oh no you don't!" This was going to go in the courts no matter what.

That said, the 20' draft channel is open for ten days to get boats trapped behind the wreck out. Some of the heavies that need the 50' channel are still trapped, but at least it'll get some port traffic exchanged.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Wolf, to your knowledge, has any effort been made to transload the "trapped" Containers to Coastal vessels drawing less than the channel has been cleared (emergency; should not violate Jones Act) and shipped to another port that can handle them to an overseas destination?

I presume any consigned to an inland destination have been so handled.
  by ExCon90
 
I think the question posed here is whether containers from the Dali can be moved on a non-Jones Act-compliant coastwise vessel to New York or Norfolk to catch a ship for Colombo. I suspect that some Federal agency (the FMC?) would have to declare an emergency for that to happen. Probably simpler for the line taking it onward to Colombo just to issue a Baltimore bill of lading and truck it -- a routine procedure.
  by Jeff Smith
 
This topic is clearly more about the bridge impact than the rail impact, and since we're not "bridges.net" it's time to bring this to a close. Thank you for your participation.
  by Jeff Smith
 
and of course, an on-point article appears in my feed. Let's please keep this rail-related, please: SourcingJournal.com
Here’s What Baltimore’s Bridge Collapse Could Cost CSX and Norfolk Southern

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse has dealt yet another financial blow to the supply chain—with two Class I railroads already feeling the brunt of millions of lost sales. CSX and Norfolk Southern,

PAYWALL
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Apr 26, 2024 11:37 am Mr. Wolf, to your knowledge, has any effort been made to transload the "trapped" Containers to Coastal vessels drawing less than the channel has been cleared (emergency; should not violate Jones Act) and shipped to another port that can handle them to an overseas destination?

I presume any consigned to an inland destination have been so handled.
Right now, they're moving about 140-ish containers onto barges to be moved back to the port (or nearby ports). Once the MV Dali is freed, it'll probably be towed, offloaded, and impounded. I won't be surprised if CSX/NS gets asked to haul the loads to other ports, as this ship was outbound.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
What will be interesting is if some Judiciary rules that goods within the containers will also be impounded to satisfy the claimants.

Now we all know that transportation companies do not take title to the ladings they handle - or at least "what did you learn in school today dear little boy of mine" ( Pete Seeger). But lawyers love to argue (keeps the taximeters ticking), and what if some Judge "buys it". That of course would deprive Chessie and Topper (especially Chessie; with the ACL, since she has the most direct route to any East Coast port) of the revenue handling them to other ports - or at least for a long, long time.
  by ExCon90
 
I don't see that the railroads have lost any revenue; they've been paid (or are owed, not always the same thing) for transportation to Baltimore, which is all they expected to get in the first place. Any subsequent rail movement of those particular containers will be paid for by somebody, and future movements from the interior which would have moved via Baltimore will go to some other port served by both roads.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Following up on Mr. ExCon's immediate, Associated Press also reports vessels have sailed from the Port using the newly opened 35' channel. One of these is expected to call at Saint John today. That vessel, the m/v Balsa 92, is reported to be drawing 4.3m (15'), which suggests it's hardly fully laden. The other vessel, m/v Carmen, noted in the AP report, also appears to be less than fully laden.

Our "coastwatchers", who are active at the CPKC Forum reporting on activity at Saint John, may be able to ascertain what portion of Balsa92's lading was further handled by rail.
  by QB 52.32
 
In their 1Q24 earnings conference calls, CSX pegged their losses at $25-30MM/month and NS $25-35MM/month; CSX anticipated full port capabilities returning by the end of May with NS echoing an early-June timeframe; CSX anticipates a few weeks of congestion following completion of that return; and, both reported the headwinds most impactful in and among their coal businesses.

While I can't cite the source, one reported recently to the tune of 70% of Baltimore's container volume is flowing through the Port of NY/NJ resulting in a 10% increase there.

To Mr. Norman's point about the involved cargo, given that there appears no basis that cargo can be implicated as a cause and across legal ownership and contractual obligations, I would think it's simply a matter of cargo owner and carrier disposition, including for both undamaged and damaged cargo.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I agree, Mr. QB, that the claimants have no legal basis to impound the cargo along with the "sure bet" impoundment of the vessel.

I also must wonder, to what extent could the claimants also come after Moran Towing?

But if you are in any profession that tangentially touches the legal environment of commerce, as was I, you know that Judges can think of themselves as God - and some are mighty liberal feeling they have to stick up for the little guy.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
This material is not rail related, but it is indeed timely and interesting, and I hope it will be allowed to stand:




Of course, any materials needed to build the new bridge will be handled by rail, so Chessie and Topper can look forward to that windfall to offset their losses from the Port's closure.

Finally, again as I have noted around here, I am Gephyrophobic. As a result, with any bridge the sooner I'm over it, the happier I am. I was really tense last June when I was stuck in a traffic jam on the George Washington (GWB to New York traffic reporters) and it was noticeably shaking. PE's around here can tell me that that's what it is designed to do, but that is not going to alleviate my concerns.
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