Baltimore Bridge Collapse Won’t Slow Commodity Exports

The Francis Scott Key Bridge at Baltimore collapsed this week. Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says the Port of Baltimore exported over 142,000 metric tons of soybeans in 2020, the most recent data available.

“There are no reported soybean exports via bulk vessel,” he says. “The port imported 172,228 metric tons of soybeans via container and 34,000 tons of soybeans in bulk vessels.”

In contrast, the Mississippi Gulf Region, the top export region for soybeans, accounted for 35.4 million metric tons of soybeans by bulk. The top five ag products handled at the Port of Baltimore include sugar, soybeans, grain products, coffee, and grocery items.

“While it’s not a significant port region for soybeans and grain, it’s a significant resource for the broader economy,” Steenhoek adds. “It underscores the reality that the ports serving as the origins and destinations for global commerce can be vulnerable.”