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Officials Give Update On Baltimore Bridge Collapse. Aired 1:30- 2p ET

Aired March 27, 2024 - 13:30   ET



PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: But tragically, six people did lose their lives and the seventh was badly injured. These were workers who went out to work on a night shift repairing the road surface while most of us slept.

Work is undergoing to recover their remains. And our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones whose lives are never going to be the same.

Even as those families come to terms with this grief and even as those recovery operations continue, work is underway to investigate what happened and to restore the key transportation resources that we're impacted.

When it comes to the investigative work, led by the NTSB and supported by the Coast Guard, I will respect their independence and not comment on that work.

But I do appreciate hey, being able to engage with NTSB, Coast Guard and other personnel yesterday at the site.

I also spent time with Governor Moore. And I want to express my appreciation for his leadership. The governor has responded to this unthinkable event with focus and compassion.

And we're going to be working closely with him and with his states DOT to support Maryland in their work to rebuild the bridge and reopen the port.

I also want to thank Mayor Scott and County Executive Olszewski for their work and their team's work ensuring all resources are brought to bear in that response.

While the investigation and the response continue, President Biden has made clear that this whole administration will be providing support in every respect for the recovery and the rebuilding process.

From a Department of Transportation perspective, that really comes down to four major focus areas: reopen the port, deal with the supply chain implications until the port does reopen, rebuild the bridge, and deal with the surface transportation implications until the bridge is rebuilt.

Each of those is a distinct line of effort and we're already taking steps toward each goal.

With regard to the port, again, the Coast Guard, in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, will lead on the channel cleanup and the reopening so that that port can get back to full operation.

We are concerned about the local economic impact, with some 8,000 jobs directly associated with port activities. And we are concerned about implications that will ripple out beyond the immediate region because the roles -- excuse me -- because of the port's role in our supply chains.

This is an important port for both imports and exports and it's Americas largest vehicle handling port, which is important not only for car imports and exports, but also for farm equipment.

No matter how quickly the channel can be reopened, we know that it can't happen overnight. And so we're going to have to manage the impacts in the meantime.

We're working to mitigate some of those impacts, including using tools that didn't exist just a few years ago. Following the disruptions to supply chains from the Covid pandemic, President Biden's infrastructure package included the establishment of a new freight office within our department to help coordinate goods movement in ways that we're not possible before.

To be clear, ocean shipping is not centrally controlled the way you might expect with, for example, air-traffic control. So having these tools allows us to create coordination that just didn't exist before.

It's helped us to smooth out supply chains after Covid. It's helped us to manage the Red Sea crisis. And we're using it now to help the hundreds of different private supply chain actors get better coordinated to keep the goods moving.

Tomorrow, I will be convening shippers and other supply chain partners to understand their needs and to promote a coordinated approach as they adapt to the temporary disruptions while we plan mitigations.

That said, the port of Baltimore is an important port. So for our supply chains and for all the workers who depend on it for their income, we're going to help to get it open as soon as safely possible.

Now for the bridge, now, we are going to be working with NTSB as they lead their independent investigation. It's too early to speculate, of course, what NTSB will find.

But if they discover or determine anything that should be considered in the regulation, inspection, design, or funding of bridges in the future, we will be ready to apply those findings.

What we do know is a bridge like this one, completed in the 1970s, was simply not made to withstand a direct impact on a critical support pier from a vessel that weighs about 200 million pounds, orders of magnitude bigger than cargo ships that we're in service in that region at the time that the bridge was first built We also know that this is yet another demonstration of the importance

of our roads and bridges, which is one of many reasons why the Biden/Harris administration worked so hard to get the infrastructure package passed. And why roads and bridges or the single biggest category in that package.

We are committed to delivering every federal resources needed -- every federal resource needed to help Maryland get back to normal. And we're going to work with them every step of the way to rebuild this bridge.


It is not going to be simple. When we helped Pennsylvania and California swiftly reopen I-95 and I-10, respectively, there was terrific done work there. But that was addressing comparatively short spans of bridges over land relative to this span over water.

And of course, in the Baltimore case, we still don't fully know the condition of the portions of the bridge that are still standing or of infrastructure that is below the surface of the water. So rebuilding will not be quick or easy, or cheap. But we will get it done.

As I mentioned, we're working with the city, county, and state. And I also want to add that we've been closely engaged with the Maryland congressional delegation, many of whom were on hand yesterday.

And who are doing a tremendous job advocating for their state. They made it clear that they will work with us to push for any help that we need from Congress.

Bottom line, as President Biden has made clear, the federal government will provide all of the support that Maryland and Baltimore need for as long as it takes. And we will work with Congress to deliver on that.

I'll end with this. For the families of those presumed lost, for the people of Baltimore who are going to be feeling this closure in day- to-day life, and for everyone affected by the port closure and it's supply chain impacts, the president and the whole government will be here with you until everything is rebuilt, stronger than ever.

Our country put its arms around Florida when the Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapsed in 1980. America rallied around Minnesota after the bridge there collapsed in 2007. This will be a long and difficult path, but we will come together around Baltimore and we will rebuild together.



So let me just add to what the secretary has already briefed you on here. So yesterday evening, I think, as you know, after an intense and thorough multi-agency search on the water and from the air, the Coast Guard incident commander, Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath, suspended the search for the individuals missing from the bridge collapse.

He did this after consulting Governor Moore and many of the other agencies that we're involved. The Coast Guard and the response community is deeply saddened that the missing individuals have not survived.

The Coast Guard appreciates the state of Maryland's leadership and humanity in supporting the family members of the missing.

I'd like to personally thank the state and local responders for their heroic search-and-rescue efforts. While we didn't achieve that outcome that we had hoped for, it was a tremendous team effort in the treacherous operational conditions.

As this aspect of the response shifts to recovery operations and consistent with the president's direction to get the port up and running as soon as possible, the Coast Guard's highest priority now is restoring the waterway for shipping, stabilizing the motor vessel, Dali, and removing it from the site, and coordinating a maritime casualty investigation under the leadership of the National Transportation and Safety Board.

So just a couple of words on each one of those. So in terms of assessing, restoring the waterway, the Coast Guard is very tightly connected to the Army Corps of Engineers as they lead in that role, as the lead federal agency for that effort.

As we we're in the Oval Office, the president called General Spellman, the chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, who's on site. General Spellman and I had a number of conversations yesterday in terms of the coordinated approach, moving forward.

And they are moving very aggressively in putting resources and mobilizing the necessary equipment, conducting analysis in the underwater surveys to do that.

In terms of continuing to stabilize the vessel, mitigating any pollution threat, and removing the vessel from the area, the vessel is stable, but it still has over one-and-a-half million gallons of fuel oil and lube oil onboard.

And it does have 4,700 cargo containers on board. Fifty-six of those contain hazardous materials and two are missing overboard. The ones that are in the water do not contain hazardous -- hazardous materials. And then around 13 or so on the bow of the ship were damaged as the bridge collapsed. It impacted the front of that ship.

So the Coast Guard has moved aggressively to board the vessel and we have teams on board. The responsible party, the ship operator, has mobilized, activated their marine salvage plan, in addition to their marine pollution response plan. Both things that are required by the United States Coast Guard.

That salver is Resolve Marine Incorporated and they have begun mobilizing resources to take the next steps appropriate to refloat the vessel and remove it from that area. The real critical thing here is that, as you know, a portion of the

bridge remains on the bow of that ship and we will be coordinating very closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors to first affect the removal of that debris before the vessel can then be removed.


The vessel bow is sitting on the bottom because of the weight of the bridge debris on there. And there are underwater surveys that are happening by remotely operated vehicle. Divers will be in the water today to complete that that underwater survey.

There's no indication that there's any flooding or any damage underneath the water line to that vessel. And that effort will continue. And we'll keep you informed of that.

Then lastly, in terms of the casualty investigation, as the secretary has said, this is led by the National Transportation Safety Board. I've had a couple of conversations with Chair Homendy on this account.

And basically what we've done is we've activated a Memorandum of Understanding between the Coast Guard and NTSB.

And because of the multimodal and complex nature of this investigation, we will be providing Coast Guard investigators for what we call a Marine Board of Investigation, which is our highest level of investigation, the Coast Guard, that will fold in and coordinate with the NTSB investigation is that moves forward.

I think the secretary closed with some top-line messages. And for us, I can tell you that our unified command, which is essentially a term that we use in the United States for how we mobilize against crises with all the appropriate federal, state, local agencies, and other stakeholders.

We have a tremendous amount of talent on there and a lot of resourcing. And given the magnitude and importance of this response is going to be very, very aggressive moving forward. And we'll keep you informed of that.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Admiral, you said that (INAUDIBLE) contained in some of containers on the ship. Can you update us on that investigation? And is there a threat to the public from any of the materials on board the ship?

GAUTIER: There is no threat to the public from the hazardous materials on board. So we've obtained the vessel manifest that container ships carry and done analysis of the types of hazmats that are on board.

We have a very specialized hazmat team on board, called the Atlantic Strike Team. We have three of those around the country. And we have air monitoring them there to detect if there's anything that's coming off of those containers. The majority of those containers are closer to the pilot house and they're completely unaffected by the damage to the bow of the ship. And there -- we have not determined that there's any kind release at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would you assess the risk that the materials could leave if spilled?

GAUTIER: So most of these things are things like mineral oils. And even though they're hazardous, we've determined that there really isn't any kind of threat to the public.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Buttigieg, for you, President Biden has said the federal government should front the full cost of reconstructing the bridge. Really estimate say that cost will be (INAUDIBLE) -- get that money?

BUTTIGIEG: We don't have dollar estimates yet, but we actually have provisions that allow us to begin releasing funding even while that is being determined. My understanding is, as we speak this afternoon, an emergency relief funding request has come in from the Maryland state DOT. We'll be processing that immediately to start getting them what they need.

Also later today, there will be a design-and-procurement-oriented meeting that will participate in, our federal highway administration along would M- DOT.

Again, obviously, it's early days but now is the time to begin scoping that out so that they can get to work.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Related to that, Mr. Secretary, how much is -- how much existing money is there now within DOT coffers to handle, such as other one M-DOT? Do you have funding through the Highway Administration, through the infrastructure law, or when do you anticipate having to go to Congress for potentially a supplemental request on the bridge costs?

BUTTIGIEG: So the infrastructure lodge did authorize funding into the emergency relief account, which is the mechanism that is most likely to come into play here.

Last I checked, there was about $950 million available. But also a long line of needs and projects behind that. So it is certainly possible. I would go so far as to say likely that we may be turning to Congress in order to help top up those funds.

But that shouldn't be a barrier to the immediate next few days beginning to get the ball rolling?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What would be the timeline (INAUDIBLE)

BUTTIGIEG: That -- I think it's too soon to know the mechanics of that.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sorry, for the vice admiral. Can you just discuss broadly just the safety of maritime shipping in general, and kind of the strength of the regulations that govern it, particularly the inherent international nature of the maritime business could potentially create issues, especially if you have ships based in different countries of potentially weaker regulations.

Can you speak to those broader issues?


GAUTIER: Absolutely. So despite what happened 36 hours ago in Baltimore, the maritime mode of transportation, merchant shipping isn't an incredibly, incredibly safe mode of transportation, not just here in the United States, but worldwide.

While we do have a regime of regulations that are just comprehensive in terms of the vessel conditions, the cargo that they carry, and how they do that.

The qualifications and certifications from the Mariners who operate these ships, those are actually networked with a global set of regulations that we negotiate and uphold through the International Maritime Organization in London.

So this ship was flagged by Singapore. That was the Flag State Administration. I spoke with the administration in Singapore just a few hours ago. They'll be participating in the investigation.

We do something called flag state examinations to ensure that, even though these are not us flag vessels coming in, we do an inspection to assure that they meet the high international domestic standards that we demand.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Buttigieg, I know that you said they recover -- the rebuilding efforts are just beginning, but when it comes to the actual port, can you give us a sense of what the timeline would be for reopening, is it days, is it weeks, is it months?

And same for the bridge? Are we talking about, weeks, months? Are we talking years?

BUTTIGIEG: Too soon to be certain. What I'll say in the case of the bridge is that the original bridge took five years to construct. That does not necessarily mean it will take five years to replace. But that tells you what went into that original structure going up.

Again, we need to get a sense of the conditions of the parts that look OK to the naked eye. But we just don't know yet, especially in terms of their foundational infrastructure.

So it is going to be some time where commuters are going to need to depend on that 95 and 895 tunnel. And it's going to put pressure on them.

As far as the port, again, too soon to venture an estimate. The vast majority of the port is inside of that bridge, which means most of it cannot operate. Although there is a facility at what's called Sparrows Point that can handle some amount of cargo shipping, but nothing close to the totality of Baltimore.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And for the port workers, you mentioned there's going to be an economic cost, but also encouraged to them, I'm sure. Any of the funding that you're talking about in terms of emergency funding, would that cover them as well?

BUTTIGIEG: This is a major concern. The president has directed the administration to find any and all resources that could come into play here.

I don't know this to be an automatic eligibility for the emergency relief funding that I mentioned earlier. But we're going to turn over every stone we have. And of course beyond DOT, there may be other resources to come into play.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: More quickly, have you been in any communication with the owners of this vessel in terms of them paying some kind of consequences here?

BUTTIGIEG: I have not. I'd refer to NTSB and law enforcement for that.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Secretary, do you envision that this would be constructing a very different bridge going forward? You referenced the 1970 state of affairs then. Do you believe it would be an entirely new span? And would you envision different safety mechanisms as you are assessing this rebuild?

BUTTIGIEG: I can't speculate on that. What I will note is that some of the other bridge collapses, that were of these proportions, notably the Minnesota bridge collapse, happened because of a design flaw and the bridge spontaneously collapsed. This is, of course, not that.

This was the result of an impact. But we don't yet know what NTSB will find or how that might inform plans going forward.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And based on what you've seen so far, do you recommend that any other span take any steps based on what we've learned about however remarkably unusual it was for that impact?

Do you think there needs to be different steps to protect other spans going forward?

BUTTIGIEG: Some modern bridges around the world, especially after the 1980 Tampa incident, have been designed with different features to mitigate impacts and protect their peers.

Right now, I think there's a lot of debate taking place among the engineering community about whether any of those features could have had any role in a situation like this.

Again, it's difficult to overstate the impact of this collision. We're talking about -- this is not just as big as a building. It's really as big as a block, 100,000 tons all going into this pier all at once. But one other thing I would add, more broadly speaking, is this

infrastructure package has the first ever dedicated federal fund for resilience. Largely, that's been construed in terms of seismic resilience, resilience in the face of extreme weather events.

But certainly, something we'll be looking at going forward knowing what we've experienced in Baltimore.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And lastly, the status of the crew of the cargo ship? Maybe the vice admiral is better suited for that.

Are they still on board? And are they fully cooperating with what you need?

GAUTIER: The crew is cooperating with what we need there. They remain on board. And predominately an Indian crew and one Sri Lankan crew member on board. But there's still there and very much engaged in the dialogue and the investigation.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Vice Admiral, are there any early indications of what caused the Dali to lose propulsion during its voyage? And what are some the areas of focus so far when it comes to the investigation into the accident?

GAUTIER: Yes. I think we all want to know as quickly as possible, at least some initial findings, but I really need to refer you to the National Transportation Safety Board and their messaging in terms of moving forward very deliberately in a factual basis to uncover some of those answers.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Buttigieg, you talked about how the bridge simply was not built to withstand an impact of this nature. But is it your view that the bridge was built strongly enough? Why didn't it have some of the defensive structures around the support column as many other bridges do?

BUTTIGIEG: Again, I don't want to get ahead of any investigation either. I will say that part of what's being debated is whether any design feature now known would have made a difference in this case. We'll get more information on that as the investigation proceeds.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you. Secretary Buttigieg, you've been talking about the president vowing to pay for the cost of the bridge in order to expedite that rebuilding process. What -- are you going to go after the shipping company?

BUTTIGIEG: Any private party that is found responsible and liable will be held accountable. I think our emphasis and the president's goal is to make sure that that process is not something we have to wait for in order to support Maryland with the funds that they need. And that's what these emergency relief tools can help us do.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What could that accountability look like? BUTTIGIEG: Again, I don't want to get ahead of law enforcement, NTSB,

or any of the other players here. But needless to say, there's a lot -- going to be a lot of focus on that. Anybody who is responsible will need to be accountable.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Rebuilding, obviously, won't be cheap. And you talked about possibly needing to give that supplemental request to Congress. How much money are we talking about?

BUTTIGIEG: Just too soon to say.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And just one question for the vice admiral.

When it comes to getting the situation cleaned up and recovery efforts, what are the biggest challenges that you're facing and the kind of equipment that you have to move in?

GAUTIER: I think the main challenge here is, as you can see by the imagery on scene, is removing that those large trusses and steel members off the bow of the ship.

Once that happens, we'll have the underwater survey complete in terms of how that vessel is connected to the bridge pier there. But I think once that's done, I think the salvage will be ready to do the necessary actions to refloat that vessel and remove it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: On the contests the ships, almost 4,700 containers, besides the fuel and oil and hazardous materials, can you give us some general categories of what are their goods or on board?

GAUTIER: Well, (INAUDIBLE) in a -- in any given container ship, you can have a very, very wide range of packaged -- packaging materials, consumer goods, and many, many other things. So it's going to be a very, very broad cross-section of cargos.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: OK. And then on the other ships that are stuck at the port, can you talk a little bit about what coordination is being done with those ships and what kind of cargo they have and where they're bound for?

GAUTIER: Yes, absolutely. So I think -- we can give you some more specifics on the ships in the port. But I think roughly we've got about a dozen ships that remain in the port that are unable to get out.

The majority of those are foreign flagged vessels. And I think just sort of typical of what we see in the port of Baltimore in terms of dry bulk carriers, car carriers, and other things. There are a number of maritime administration ships that are there as well.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then, Secretary Buttigieg, on regulations requirements, are you discussing waiving any regulations or (INAUDIBLE) to help speed along the reconstruction of this bridge?

BUTTIGIEG: Too soon to say what exact administrative issues may come up, but certainly we have a clear direction from the president to tear down any barriers, bureaucratic as well as financial, that could affect the timeline of this project.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thanks, General, Secretary.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Secretary, you mentioned you were meeting with shippers and supply chain operators tomorrow. But just sort of curious about your early assessment so far. Do you expect the closure of the port to lead to a full-blown supply chain crisis, or what is your early assessment so far?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, this is not of the proportions of, for example, L.A. and Long Beach when it comes to container traffic. That's one port complex or two ports that collectively represent 40 percent of the U.S. container traffic.

It's nothing like that. But it is an important port and important system of the east coast ports.

Now a lot of the goods that come on or off there go as part of runs where ships also visit the ports of New York and New Jersey and Virginia. And so right now, I think there are already diversions taking place to those and other east coast sports, helping to absorb some of that need.

So those are the kinds of things we're getting more information on right now. And I'm looking forward to getting a better sense tomorrow after talking to the shippers.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Vice admiral, a quick question on sort of safety reviews. Obviously, this ship was involved in an accident in Belgium. I believe in 2016. Is this incident going to prompt a full- scale review of vessels like this?


GAUTIER: So we've seen what's in the news terms of that particular incident. I don't know whether that's particularly informative to this. Probably a different vessel crew, different pilots, different weather conditions, and so on and so forth.

But nevertheless, we have -- the Coast Guard keeps the histories, the safety histories of all the vessels that call into U.S. ports. And so we're reviewing that in terms of the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you for the -- vice admiral. Can you discuss your degree of confidence in the victim numbers that we've heard so far? We have seen evidence that there's sonar that has picked up cars at the bottom of the river.

Do we know if all those cars belonged to the construction workers or is there a chance that other cars may have fallen in the river?

GAUTIER: So we've heard similar reports in the news. And basically, the Coast Guard is going off of the numbers of individuals that had been provided to us by the state of Maryland as they we're the ones who are administering the bridge and had the best idea of how many individuals might have been involved. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Buttigieg, you mentioned earlier that

there is not an air traffic control-type of body for shipping. Is that an indication that you think that there should be something like that for the future?

BUTTIGIEG: No, it's a very different system. But I do think it's important for the public to understand that. If a runway or an airport goes out of service, and then there's immediate instructions from a central authority on what to do and where to go. It just doesn't work that way in shipping.

What I will say is we have felt, especially since the summer of 2021, that there needs to be more coordination than there has been in the past. I think sometimes even not just as a matter of practice but as a matter of culture different shippers and other entities that have been rivals, just don't coordinate.

We built a program called FLOW, which invites different participants, cargo owners, shippers, ports, terminal operators, and others to begin sharing data.

That's something that's served us well going to the Red Sea issues. It's certainly serving us well right now. Because that data can help us get a sense of how these effects are rippling through other ports.

So we welcome that coordination. We're trying to promote it. But that doesn't mean that it's happening on a command-and-control basis.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thanks. Secretary Buttigieg, when was this bridge last inspected? Was it on a list for replacement? It's more than 50 years old.

And can you give us a ballpark figure of when you'll reopen the port? I think you said five years on the outside to rebuild the bridge. But just ballpark, days, weeks, months, years to reopen the port?

And finally, what's the estimated economic impact for the closure of this port and the downing of this bridge?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, first of all, I'll refer you to the state. They'll have the most up-to-date information on the bridge.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: They inspected it. But what I'm asking was it on list of -- and they noted it was 50 years old and they also noted that it had some questionable parts to it. But was it on a list to be replaced with the infrastructure bill?

BUTTIGIEG: Certainly was not the subjective and immediate discretionary grant to replace it or something, anything like that. We do have some work going on -- on at I-95. But to my knowledge, nothing immediate in terms of any discretionary grants going to the bridge.

Economic numbers, about 8,000 jobs we think are directly implicated and over $100 million of cargo moves in and out of that port a day. And what was the middle question?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The ballpark that when you're going - to when the port will be --


BUTTIGIEG: Reopening the port is a different matter from rebuilding the bridge. The port, that's just a matter of clearing the channel. Still no simple thing. But I would expect that can happen on a much quicker timelines than the full reconstruction of the bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So can you ballpark it just a little.

BUTTIGIEG: You can imagine I'm asking our teams the same question. But I don't want to put something out just yet.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Weeks, months, years?



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But just give us something there.


BUTTIGIEG: Just as soon as we have something, I'll tell you.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Buttigieg, another supply chain issue for you has to do with a significant amount of automobiles, cars, trucks, coal, LNG that goes through the port of Baltimore. What will be the impact on the supply chain on those specific industries?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes. So this is one of the key ports, again, for vehicles and some vehicles we're actually finished at facilities that are on port grounds. So it is significant.

That being said, of course, it's not the only facility that can accommodate roll-on/roll-off vehicles. You see that in Savannah? Certainly, in New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

The tractor equipment will be more complicated than the ordinary light-duty vehicles. These are exactly the kinds of information that we're going to be seeking over the coming days, including at tomorrow's meeting.

BUTTIGIEG: And you expect, because of those supply chain issues, that we could see impacts on the U.S. economy as a result of those supply chain issues?

[13:59:52] BUTTIGIEG: We want to get a little more fidelity on how disruptive it can be. Again, we're not talking about a single point of failure that it's the only possible place to get through or even something that is as impactful as some of the issues that effected the Panama Canal, for example.