Wallenius Wilhelmsen forecasts USD 5-10 million EBITDA hit amid Baltimore disruptions


Wallenius Wilhelmsen faces a multi-million financial impact from vessel traffic suspension in the Port of Baltimore following the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse.

Parsifal car carrier © Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Wallenius Wilhelmsen, a leading name in the Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) shipping sector, is bracing for significant financial impacts amidst ongoing disruptions in its operations due to the suspension of all vessel traffic in the Port of Baltimore following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge.

Baltimore is a key hub for the RoRo major and handles a significant volume of imports and exports of cars and heavy equipment to and from North America.

“The suspension of all vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore until further notice has obvious implications, both operational and financial for the company. However, through working with various port authorities, partners, and stakeholders to provide alternative solutions we are minimizing the effect this unforeseen situation is having upon our employees, customers and ongoing operations,” Wallenius said in an update on Wednesday, April 3.

The company expects its EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) to potentially drop by USD 5 to 10 million.

The projection accounts for challenges such as logistics bottlenecks in Baltimore and the inability to maneuver vessels like the Carmen out of the port, among other operational hurdles.

As reported by WorldCargo News, Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s car carrier M/V Carmen is among the vessels that remain stranded in the Port of Baltimore after the bridge collapse. It is estimated that around 40 vessels are stuck in the port.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen assures safety of car carrier following bridge collapse

“Our vessel M/V Carmen is still at berth in the port awaiting clearance to sail once the channel reopens. Planned cargo operations were completed at the port prior to the bridge collapse and the vessel and crew are ready to sail as soon as the channel is reopened. There are no verified estimates for when the channel will reopen again. We currently expect the closure to last for weeks and have based our impact estimates on that assumption,” the company added.

However, the terminals in Baltimore Port are open to road traffic and are fully operational.

Wallenius pointed out that its processing centers are also open despite vessel operations being suspended.

“Once open, we anticipate the terminal will also promptly resume normal cargo operations as vessels begin to make port calls as previously scheduled. There is of course risk of delays to the anticipated reopening, or unforeseen challenges in the salvage operations,” Wallenius said.

Cargo on the water bound for Baltimore is currently being re-routed to other US ports such as Newport News, Newark, and Savannah.

Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA), the logistical hub positioned beyond the bottleneck of the bridge, is the only facility in the port of Baltimore that continues to receive redirected cargo predominantly from car carriers.

Over the forthcoming fifteen days, TPA anticipates the arrival of six regular RoRo vessels, and an additional nine redirected vessels. During that time, 10,000 automobiles will be unloaded and processed utilizing ILA’s Local 333, according to TPA.

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