Container ships can move through Port of Baltimore

The chief ag negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the first container ship has made it through the Port of Baltimore.

A bridge collapse at the end of March has slowed the traffic going in and out of the port and Doug McKalip says “we had an 11-foot channel come online about two weeks after the accident and a 14-foot channel south of the wreckage come online and now, a 35-foot channel just four weeks after the ship hit the bridge.”

McKalip says the goal is to open a deeper shipping channel for two-way vessel traffic to 50-feet by the end of May.

American Sugarbeet Growers Association Executive Vice President Luther Markwart says what’s been happening at the Port of Baltimore been important to the U.S. sugar industry, because of a refinery located in the harbor.

“Two boats had just been in and offloaded sugar before the collapse so they had six to eight weeks of inventory and then, they could bring sugar in by barge and supplement the refinery. Now the channel is open and they can now get ships moving in and out.”

Brownfield interviewed McKalip and Markwart at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Washington Watch in Washington D.C.

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