GSA Allows Additional Costs for Federal Relocation Shipments Affected by Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Michael T. Jackson, SHRM-CP - Apr 01 2024
Published in: Mobility
| Updated Apr 03 2024
The U.S. Government’s General Services Administration has issued a notice authorizing agency approval of additional costs due to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore and the resulting inability of most cargo ships to enter or exit terminals at the Port of Baltimore.

 The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and its Employee Relocation Resource Center announced in a notice issued on 28 March that it was authorizing U.S. civilian federal agencies that are part of GSA’s Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program (CHAMP) to approve additional costs resulting from the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, and its associated impacts on the Port of Baltimore. 

The authorization covers CHAMP-related inbound, outbound, or stationary household goods and privately owned vehicle shipments at or around the Port of Baltimore on or after 26 March. GSA indicated that these costs would be handled as pass-through charges if the agency granted prior written approval and if additional costs were documented. As part of this process, transportation service providers (TSPs) would be required to provide the applicable agency with an estimated cost for each specific shipment for additional expenses, including for rerouting.

A cargo ship struck the bridge on 26 March, leading to the bridge’s collapse and resulting in six fatalities. The bridge spanned the Patapsco River on which the Port of Baltimore is located, and the collapse is preventing cargo vessels from entering or leaving most of the Port’s terminals. Efforts are underway to clear sufficient debris to move the ship that hit the bridge and reopen shipping lanes, but this process will likely take weeks to complete. GSA said that its notice would remain in effect until it was either canceled by the agency or superseded, whichever occurred first.

Michael T. Jackson is the vice president of member engagement and public policy at WERC.