March 29, 2024

Healthcare leaders weigh supply chain impact of Baltimore bridge collapse

Editor's Note

The collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge last Tuesday morning could impact the shipment of medical supplies, according to healthcare leaders quoted in a March 17 report in Chief Healthcare Executive. “Currently, any healthcare provider using a distributor in the area will likely face some impact, including delayed deliveries and restocking issues until they are able to re-route their deliveries,” said Todd Ebert, president and CEO of the Healthcare Supply Chain Association. “Similarly, manufacturing facilities in the area will also be impacted. Distributors and manufacturers in the area will have to continue evaluating what goes through the Baltimore port and continued diversions could impact other east coast ports as well.”

As noted in the report by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo (a value of $80 billion) passed through the port in 2023.

The severity of the impact is still uncertain, in part because healthcare leaders do not know which products made by which manufacturers are on which ships, nor where they will enter the country, said Kyle MacKinnon, senior director of operational excellence for Premier. Manufacturers serving Premier are “contractually obligated” to share major disruptions, he noted, although lessons from COVID could have left the healthcare supply chain more resilient than in the past.

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