Baltimore bridge disaster - Ethanol supply concerns

Mar 28, 2024


The collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore has prompted apprehensions within the fuel industry, particularly regarding ethanol supply. As barges constitute a primary mode of transporting ethanol to the region, the suspension of barge traffic poses significant challenges for maintaining ethanol availability.

While the Colonial Pipeline ensures stable inventories of gasoline and diesel, ethanol faces a unique predicament due to its reliance on barge transportation. With uncertainty surrounding the resumption of barge traffic, the supply chain for ethanol, biofuel, and premium gas could face disruptions.

Despite the port's primary focus on container vessels and chemicals, occasional offshore fuel shipments supplement the region's fuel supply. High RVP gasoline barges from neighbouring states offer a potential solution for high-volume buyers seeking winter-grade fuel alternatives.

Recent port data highlights substantial arrivals of chemicals, overshadowing quantities of asphalt and biodiesel. Some finished gasoline barrels originate from nearby states like New Jersey and Delaware, indicating alternative supply sources.

The aftermath of the bridge collapse emphasizes the importance of resilient supply chains and proactive contingency planning in mitigating disruptions. Continuous monitoring and collaborative efforts among stakeholders are essential for managing the situation and safeguarding the agricultural and transportation sectors.

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