Oklahoma Could See Supply Chain Ripple Effect Following Baltimore Bridge Collapse

While the bridge collapse happened on the East Coast in Baltimore, we could see impacts here in Oklahoma. The port could be closed for weeks affecting when products get to Oklahoma.

Tuesday, March 26th 2024, 4:13 pm



While the bridge collapse happened on the East Coast in Baltimore, we could see impacts here in Oklahoma.

The port could be closed for weeks affecting when products get to Oklahoma.

Related Story: Cargo Ship Hits Baltimore’s Key Bridge, Bringing It Down; Rescuers Looking For 6 People Unaccounted For

Experts say we won't see any major changes to the supply chain here, but there could be ripple effects based on what's happening in Baltimore.

"So we're talking about a ship that is now put on hold, and not only is that ship on hold and all of the product traveling on it, but they've had to shut down the port," said Ted Washington, the director of supply chain excellence at Oklahoma State.

Washington says that the cargo ship was about the size of three football fields, with anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000, 20-foot-long containers.

He says all of the products on that ship could fit inside the tallest building in Oklahoma.

"Each one of the cargo ships being a skyscraper worth of product, that's the kind of impact it's having, it's not getting where it needs to be," he said.

He's not expecting supply chain issues as we saw in COVID but says there could be issues as the distribution centers won't be able to take off the product from cargo ships in that area.

"Suddenly that traffic is going to go somewhere else, and it's going to slowly but surely delay, product getting to Oklahoma," he said.

Washington says products coming into the East Coast are transported across the country, and while he doesn't expect the shelves to be empty in Oklahoma, there will be an impact.

"We may not always know that's why suddenly a product isn't available, but there will be a ripple effect that impacts even us," he said.

He says he expects the port in Baltimore to be closed for the next two to four weeks. 

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