On Tuesday, a horrific bridge collapse put a chokehold on the Port of Baltimore, shutting down one of the busiest ports in America and blocking a major site of international trade.

On Wednesday, the stock market rose.

While the Baltimore region is grappling with a crisis that could put thousands out of work and cost millions of dollars in economic activity, experts say the supply chain is pivoting — and doing it fast.

Even as Gov. Wes Moore called the Key Bridge collapse a global crisis that will snarl international trade, ships once bound for Baltimore were diverting to other U.S. ports.

“I think the big impact is local,” said Marc Levinson, an economist and historian who studies global shipping.

As the international spotlight on Baltimore fades, the bridge collapse could impact the local economy for years to come. Clearing the Patapsco River and rebuilding the bridge will be monumental, complex tasks involving numerous local, state and federal agencies. There is no timeline for when the disruptions to the port and transportation in the region will resolve.

Baltimore is in it for the long haul, but Levinson and other experts said the global supply chain can adapt almost instantaneously.

“The world has learned a lot from the past, really disruptive events,” said Jigish Zaveri, a professor of information science and systems at Morgan State University.

Even before the collapse of the Key Bridge, the global supply chain was forced to be nimble, Zaveri said. Houthi rebels are attacking ships bound for the Suez Canal. The war in Ukraine is pushing countries to cut economic ties with Russia.

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Experts said the Key Bridge collapse pales in comparison to the international disruption caused by the COVID pandemic.

“This is nothing like COVID. That was a global shutdown that affected every point of production in every world. This would affect about 5% of U.S. trade,” said Sharat Ganapati, an assistant professor at Georgetown University who studies international trade.

There are specific commodities — such as imported cars and exported coal — that the Port of Baltimore specialized in. Diverting these goods could lead to higher transportation costs and longer delivery times. Experts said that could filter down to slightly higher prices for some consumer goods but otherwise the supply chain will be fine.

Even cruise companies that set sail from the Port of Balitmore are adapting. A Carnival Cruise Line ship due back Sunday will instead go to Norfolk, Virginia. Passengers will then take buses to Baltimore.

Temporarily shifting operations to Virginia could cost Carnival up to $10 million in lost profit, the company told investors, but that represents less than 1% of its annual profit projection, according to MarketWatch.

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There is good news for Baltimore. A nimble supply chain means commerce can quickly route back to Baltimore when its port fully reopens.

Scott Cowan, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333, said many ships will have to return to the Port of Baltimore because their cargo is bound for the millions of people in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Only one dock in the Port of Baltimore — Tradepoint Atlantic on Sparrows Point — is fully operational right now. That’s because it lies just beyond the Key Bridge.

As of Thursday morning, there was no timeline for when the channel leading into Baltimore might be cleared, reopening the rest of the port. A federal task force is monitoring the situation, and state lawmakers are considering emergency aid. In the meantime, thousands of people whose livelihoods are connected to the port will soon be out of work.

Although Baltimore might depend on the global supply chain, experts say the global chain doesn’t depend on Baltimore. Cowan said he worries that temporary changes in the supply chain could become permanent and some diverted ships might not return to Baltimore — even after the port fully reopens.

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“That’s always a fear,” he said.

Still, the long-term future of the Port of Baltimore remains bright.

A 1.7-mile railroad tunnel running under the city is being rebuilt so that it can handle double-stacked containers from the port, which will have a huge impact on Baltimore’s ability to move cargo to the Midwest and beyond.

Tradepoint Atlantic is planning a new shipping terminal at Sparrows Point that will drastically increase the port’s capacity for container ships. And rebuilding the Key Bridge will be a massive construction project, likely bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to the regional economy.

“I do not yet know what the full timeline is going to be,” Moore said Wednesday. “But I can tell you right now, our resolve is unshakeable. We will get to completion, and we will do it together. This work will take time, but we’re going to make sure that we are going to leave no one behind. We are going to take care of our people.”

This story was updated to correct the spelling of Jigish Zaveri’s surname.