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The Port of Wilmington welcomes cargo ships diverted from the Port of Baltimore

Delaware Public Media

With water traffic suspended at the Port of Baltimore until further notice, cargo ships head to unplanned destinations - including the Port of Wilmington.

The collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Tuesday morning is causing a ripple effect across the global supply chain.

With ship traffic suspended indefinitely, cargo ships set to arrive at or depart from the Port of Baltimore need to find new routes.

There are a total of eight ships scheduled to arrive at the Port of Wilmington in the coming days, according to Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, Chairman of the Diamond State Port Corporation.

The first arrived in Wilmington Wednesday and two others have joined it since. The rest are set to come in starting Saturday.

According to Bullock, the port operator, Enstructure, is working to coordinate the logistics of handling additional cargo from some of Baltimore’s shippers.

“That cargo could include pulp, lumber, bulk cargo, automobiles, and perhaps other things. The amount of additional cargo Wilmington will receive will depend on the type of cargo, our capacity to handle it, and where the cargo is ultimately destined to go,” said Bullock in a statement.

Wilmington’s Port is about one seventh of the size of the Port of Baltimore.

The amount of time ships will be diverted to the Port of Wilmington is dependent on when Baltimore’s waterway reopens.

Work to clear the wreckage in Baltimore began Friday.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.