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  May 21st, 2024 | Written by

MV Dali Refloated, Port of Baltimore Set to Resume Full Operations

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The container ship MV Dali, which has obstructed the Port of Baltimore for nearly two months, is being refloated this morning, with Maersk reopening some service bookings related to the incident.

Read also: Maersk Resumes Direct Services to Baltimore Amid Port Updates

The 9,000 TEU container ship allided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, halting vessel transits through the port. For almost two months, the ship remained stuck, with only four temporary navigation channels allowing limited vessel movement, leaving many large containerships unable to transit.

This morning, operations began to refloat and move the MV Dali from its position to a local marine terminal. According to the Port of Baltimore administration, “Optimum conditions call for the transit of the MV Dali to commence at high tide, predicted to be Monday at 5:24 am. The vessel will be prepared at 2 am, allowing the MV Dali to catch the peak high tide for a controlled transit.” Preparations started roughly 18 hours ago, at midday on Sunday. Once refloated, up to five tugboats will escort the MV Dali on its 2.5-mile journey to a marine terminal where entry is strictly controlled. The entire sequence is expected to take a minimum of 21 hours, with the port authority planning to release a time-lapse montage upon completion.

Meanwhile, Maersk has reopened bookings for its AGAS and AMEX services. The AMEX service, which operates between the US East Coast and South Africa, is expected to call at Baltimore on June 1. The AGAS service, running from the US East Coast to South America, is expected to call on June 11. “AGAS and AMEX are open to bookings now because those vessels can use the Fort McHenry Limited Access Channel, which is not accessible for vessels utilized currently on Transpacific or Transatlantic service,” Maersk explained.

However, bookings for Maersk’s Transatlantic services and Baltimore exports on TP12 remain closed. The Danish carrier assured that bookings would reopen once more information on channel conditions for these services becomes available. “Our ability to call Baltimore will ultimately rely on the refloating timeline and the captain of the port officially opening the port and/or the fourth alternative channel that was previously closed,” Maersk stated. It also noted that if the timeline prevents calls at Baltimore, vessels may be redirected to another US East Coast port.

Despite this positive development, the seafarers aboard the MV Dali have been stuck on the vessel since the allision, unable to disembark due to visa issues and lacking communication with the outside world, including their families.