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Readout of DOT’s Meeting with Supply Chain Stakeholders on Changes in East Coast Port Traffic

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing work to identify and mitigate potential supply chain disruptions caused by the closure of vessel traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) held a call today with shippers, ports, ocean carriers, railroads, trucking companies, and others participating in the FLOW initiative to discuss changes in container traffic into East Coast ports. FLOW is a first-of-its-kind private-public partnership created and led by DOT that creates a more complete, shared picture of the U.S. supply chain for members, which include the nation’s busiest container ports, major ocean carriers, and some of the largest retail importers. You can view the full list of FLOW participants here

DOT staff shared an update on the whole-of-government response to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and continued efforts to address potential economic disruptions caused by the suspension of traffic at the port. DOT staff discussed an analysis of FLOW data on how inbound container traffic has changed over the past week at the Port of Savannah and Port of New York and New Jersey and what is expected over the next five weeks. Current FLOW data does not show signs of bottlenecks at the two ports in the near term. DOT committed to providing weekly data updates to FLOW participants throughout the closure of the Port of Baltimore as diversions continue. 

The Biden-Harris Administration continues to communicate with port, labor, and industry partners to advance collaboration at all levels – borne out of the lessons learned during COVID-driven disruptions – including monitoring container volume shifts and terminal utilization to better anticipate the movement of goods and capacity needs through DOT’s FLOW initiative. Last Thursday, Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other Administration officials held a meeting with over 100 leaders from across the supply chain following the suspension of Port of Baltimore vessel traffic. The National Economic Council has also convened the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to continue coordination of the Biden-Harris Administration’s response to supply chain impacts.