Baltimore bridge collapse could cost Carnival up to $10M this year, company says

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, this week, could have a negative impact on many industries – including cruise lines. 

The bridge, located southeast of the Baltimore metropolitan area, was struck by a container ship early Tuesday, causing it to collapse and fall into the Patapsco River.

In response, Carnival Corporation told shareholders on Wednesday that it could see a "current estimated impact of up to $10 million on both adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] and adjusted net income for the full year 2024," FOX Business reported

The bridge’s collapse has also caused some disruptions to the nearby Port of Baltimore, halting vessel traffic "until further notice," officials said – noting that trucks were still being processed within its marine terminals.

Carnival, which sails out of the Baltimore port for certain cruises, said it did not incorporate the $10 million estimated impact in its 2024 outlook "given the timing of yesterday’s event in Baltimore and the temporary change in homeport," according to FOX Business. 

It also reported seeing "record" first quarter revenues of $5.4 billion and a smaller net loss of $214 million.

The company temporarily switched the homeport of its Carnival Legend ship to Norfolk, Virginia, amid the ongoing situation in Baltimore.

"Fortunately, our teams quickly secured a temporary homeport in Norfolk for as long as it's needed, which should help to minimize operational changes," CEO Josh Weinstein told analysts and investors on Tuesday. "We look forward to getting back to our home in Baltimore as soon as possible."

The cruise terminal in the Port of Baltimore served over 444,000 people taking cruises operated by companies like Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean last year, according to the Maryland State Archives.

The port also facilitates quite a bit of trade. In 2023, for example, a record-setting 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo came through it, the Maryland governor’s office said.

The Maryland governor’s office has also said no other U.S. port handled as much volume of "autos and light trucks, roll on/off heavy farm and construction machinery, imported sugar, and imported gypsum" as the Port of Baltimore last year.

Bridge collapse: What happened?

Agencies received emergency calls around 1:30 a.m. local time reporting that a ship leaving Baltimore had struck a column on the bridge, according to Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department.

The cargo ship had lost power and crashed into one of the bridge's supports, causing the structure to snap and buckle at several points and tumble into the water in a matter of seconds — a shocking spectacle that was captured on video and posted on social media.

"Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie," said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling it "an unthinkable tragedy."

A day later, investigators began collecting evidence from the cargo ship and said the vessel underwent "routine engine maintenance" in port beforehand.

Meanwhile, divers recovered the bodies of two of six workers who plunged into the water when it collapsed. The others were presumed dead, and officials said search efforts had been exhausted.

The bodies of the two men were located on Wednesday morning inside a red pickup submerged in about 25 feet of water near the bridge’s middle span, Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., superintendent of Maryland State Police, announced at an evening news conference.

He identified the men as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, who was from Mexico and living in Baltimore, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, who was from Guatemala and living in Dundalk, Maryland.

The victims, who were part of a construction crew fixing potholes on the bridge, were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Butler said.

RELATED: Baltimore bridge collapse caused by ship; list of other times this happened in US history

The Francis Scott Key Bridge

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore carries Interstate 695 across the Patapsco River, a vital artery that is a hub for shipping on the East Coast. 

The bridge, opened in 1977, is located southeast of the Baltimore metropolitan area. 

It was named for the writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

This story was reported from Cincinnati. FOX Business contributed.