With the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore behind him, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore made the rounds on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to discuss the disaster.

Moore, a first-term Democrat, made the case for bipartisan support for responding to the crisis. An 984-foot-long container ship called the Dali on March 26 hit one of the main support piers of the bridge, which toppled into the Patapsco River, killing six construction workers.

“This is not just going to have an impact on Maryland,” Moore said on “State of the Union” on CNN. “This is going to impact the farmer in Kentucky. This is going to impact the auto dealer in Ohio. This is going to impact the restaurant owner in Tennessee.”

More than 350 miles away in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Pat Primm, a partner at a Cascade Auto Group, learned about the bridge collapse on local news radio. As he thought about the lives lost in the disaster, Primm also wondered what would happen to his business.

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“Uh oh. We get cars from there. What am I going to be telling my customers?’” Primm said he thought. “It was like, ‘Here we go again.’”

But Primm said he quickly learned that the brands his dealership carries — Audi, Mazda and Subaru — would not be affected.

Moore’s spokesperson, Carter Elliott IV, said the governor was not referring to specific people but citing examples that he’d heard from other leaders.

In the aftermath of the bridge collapse, some feared the closure of the port would be like the earthquake that launches a tidal wave, damaging business across the country. Now, the port could reopen as soon as late May. Many businesses bracing for a ripple or even a blip might not feel anything.

After a brief scramble for truckers around Baltimore, the supply chain snapped back into place. It’s business as usual at most ports on the East Coast. And the effects — if they come — have yet to be felt in the Midwest.

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The roughly 70,000 cars that move through the Port of Baltimore per month will have to go somewhere. Tradepoint Atlantic in Sparrows Point will pick up some of the slack. The massive logistics hub is located beyond the site of the bridge collapse and has been fully operational.

Many of the cars diverted from Baltimore are being unloaded at the port in Brunswick, Georgia, the country’s second busiest for “roll-on, roll-off” shipping. Cars are driven onto massive “ro/ro” ships that need specialized docks to unload.

Still, that port and some others do not look much busier than before the collapse of the Key Bridge. That’s because of the way shipping works on the East Coast, industry experts explained.

While a container ship might go to the Port of Los Angeles, unload all its cargo and then head back to Asia, vessels on the East Coast stop at multiple ports. So if a ship goes to the Port of Baltimore, it’s likely going to make multiple stops, loading and unloading cargo at each location.

Though some ships have been diverted to entirely different ports, most ports are seeing the same ships as before — they just unload more of their cargo at each stop. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the logistics industry is ready to handle it.

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Chris Todd, a commercial real estate broker for CBRE, said he has not had any inquiries from people looking for temporary warehouse space near the port in Norfolk, Virginia. During the pandemic, there was a nationwide boom in warehouse construction, meaning that it and other markets have space for additional cargo.

Much of that cargo is being picked up by Maryland truckers and driven back to the Baltimore region.

Joe Harris, a spokesperson for the Port of Virginia, said about 80 truck drivers or companies based in Maryland had applied for access into the port since the bridge collapse.

A brief surge in demand for flatbed trucks in the Baltimore region following the collapse of the Key Bridge subsided within a few days, said Dean Croke, a market analyst at DAT Freight & Analytics.

In the Baltimore region, the average cost to hire a flatbed truck for a single route had been hovering above $2 per mile, not including gas, Croke said. The day of the collapse, there were 60-cent increases, he said, but prices dropped by the end of the week.

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While some trucking routes such as Baltimore to Chicago still have elevated prices, the average price for a flatbed truck has actually decreased overall since the bridge collapse, Croke said.

That’s because the trucking industry in Baltimore, like the rest of the country, saw a surge in truck drivers during the pandemic, Croke said. That surplus allowed the industry to quickly respond to the bridge collapse. Many of those truck drivers are now helping to redirect imports to other parts of the country, including Ohio.

Primm, the partner at Cascade Auto Group, said he received four to five phone calls from customers who were expecting or waiting for a vehicle and wanted to find out what the disaster meant for them. “Obviously, the American public, if I buy something, I want it yesterday,” he said.

During a monthly regionwide sales call with Audi, Primm said, the carmaker addressed the disaster and reported that its operations are outside the site of the bridge collapse.

In a statement, Michael Lowder, a spokesperson for Volkswagen, which is the parent company of Audi, said, “We do not anticipate any impact on vessel operations but there may be trucking delays as traffic in the area will be rerouted.”

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Meanwhile, Primm said, Mazda put out a bulletin following the bridge collapse.

Primm said his understanding is that many models come into the port in Tacoma, Washington, where workers then put them on trains to Naperville, Illinois. From there, he said, truck drivers bring them to the dealership.

“Mazda has been working closely with the Port of Baltimore and other key entities to understand the long-term impacts of the closure, but in the interim our operations team has identified nearby ports for inbound vessels to minimize delays,” said Josh Sheppard, a spokesperson for Mazda, in a statement.

Subaru has a factory in Lafayette, Indiana, where it makes models including the Ascent, Crosstrek and Outback. Primm said his dealership gets a lot of cars that are made there.

A spokesperson for Subaru could not be reached for comment.

As for the farmer in Kentucky referenced by Moore, Madison Pergrem, deputy director of communications for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, said in an email that the agency is “not aware of any specific impacts.”

The director of communications for the American Farm Bureau Federation, Mike Tomko, said in an email it “may be difficult to get down to state specifics.”

Economists analyzed the effect of the Port of Baltimore on U.S. agricultural trade and concluded that it’s “quite minor,” though sugar refineries and equipment manufacturers appear to face more immediate challenges.

Sarah Beth Urban, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association, said no one mentioned anything about supply shortages during a recent board meeting.

“It’s very possible there is someone affected,” Urban said. “I just have not heard of it.”

Primm said he could not speak to the effect of the bridge collapse in other parts of the country.

Said Primm: “It kind of shows the vast complexity of the supply chain in the United States.”

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