How the Key Bridge Collapse impacts Tesla and other automakers from the Port of Baltimore

The Port of Baltimore and its logistics processes are under major exposure this morning following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge just outside of the City, and it could impact nearly every car company.

In the early morning hours of March 26, a large container ship known as the Dali lost power on two occasions as it approached the Key Bridge, which connects the East portions of Baltimore to Anne Arundel County.

The water under the bridge is the Patapsco River, which connects the Inner Harbor and the Port of Baltimore to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Baltimore is the ninth-largest port in the United States but is the top location for vehicle handling in the country.

In my time at Teslarati, I have been fortunate enough to break some stories due to the Port of Baltimore’s position as a major handler of automotive imports and exports. The first Model S and Model X Plaid vehicles to be exported to Europe for deliveries were due to my sources at the Port.

Tesla ships more Model S, X Plaid to Europe en route to first 1M delivery year

Port of Baltimore’s Importance in Automotive Handling

The Port of Baltimore has a major position in the U.S. automotive sector. In 2022, it was the largest handler of U.S. automotive imports and exports. Data for 2023 has not yet been released.

However, the Port is widely responsible for hundreds of thousands of cars coming in and out of the country every year, and the potential issues this collapse could cause are wide-ranging.

How the collapse will affect Tesla and other automakers

Tesla is no different than any other car company in this instance, and it will feel the effects of the Key Bridge collapse. Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen said the “thriving” Port of Baltimore will be impacted until the debris from the bridge is cleared from the river, and ships will not be able to enter the Port until then.

Sources inside the Port have also told Teslarati that the Port could be closed for up to three months. This means that any vehicles being shipped from Europe to the United States, or vice versa, will have to enter through alternative ports, including Miami, Savannah, Newark, or others.

The Port of Baltimore has handled the majority of light-duty cars and trucks, according to Bloomberg.

How will the crisis be averted?

Shifting goods to alternative ports is the primary strategy currently. Luckily for Tesla, it did not just launch delivery of a fresh vehicle to Europe, as Gigafactory Shanghai builds the Model 3 and can export units as it has for years. Tesla could also ship vehicles from the West Coast to China and then have units shipped to Europe from China as a result.

Sources have speculated that the Port could shift automotive deliveries to the Port of Philadelphia or Wilmington as a result of the Key Bridge collapse.

No official word or strategy has been released by the Port or its governing bodies.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at

How the Key Bridge Collapse impacts Tesla and other automakers from the Port of Baltimore
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