Marine Link
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Barge Traffic News

Cold Spell Halts Mississippi River Barge Traffic

Barge traffic on the upper and mid-Mississippi River was slowing this week as a cold snap in the U.S. Midwest created ice on the Mississippi at Guttenberg, Iowa, and northward, shipping officials said on Wednesday. "It's very likely the last tow to move through Lock and Dam Number 10 near Guttenberg will be Thursday because of a build-up of ice," said a U.S. Army Corps official. A tow consisting of six barges was moving south from Clayton, Iowa, and expected by Thursday morning to pass through Lock and Dam Number 10, which is located north of the Wisconsin border. "Temperatures are supposed to reach 20 to 25 degrees F today and fall to 10 by tonight, which is only going to cause additional freezing," the Army Corps official added.

Houston Ship Channel Access is Limited

HOUSTON - The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has reopened waterways in and around Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico with some restrictions. The Houston Ship Channel is open to all tug and barge traffic, daylight transit only. The channel is also open to vessels drafting less than 35 feet. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW) is open to all tug and barge traffic, daylight transit only, from mile marker (MM) 277 to MM 350 and from MM248 (Devall West Fleet) to MM 266. The Calcasieu, Neches and Sabine Rivers are open to tug and barge traffic, daylight transit only, with the exception of the Calcasieu River to Cameron. Entergy repair personnel and Coast Guard personnel are working to remove a downed power line in the vicinity of MM 268 of the GICW.

Antwerp Port Promoting Barge Projects

Instream campaign

Antwerp is the leading barge port in Europe. Now with its Instream campaign it is showcasing its barge facilities. Each week more than 915 barges call at the port of Antwerp carrying project cargo, containers and dry and liquid bulk to and from northern France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Keeping this barge traffic flowing smoothly requires efficient collaboration between all partners in the chain. Over the past few years this collaboration has led to the development of various digital tools that all share the same goal…

Antwerp Port Showcases Barge Transport Initiatives

Logo

Each week more than 915 barges call at the port of Antwerp carrying project cargo, containers and dry and liquid bulk to and from northern France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Keeping this barge traffic flowing smoothly requires efficient collaboration between all partners in the chain. Over the past few years this collaboration has led to the development of various digital tools that all share the same goal, namely to make the port of Antwerp more accessible for barges.

Though The Rhine Level Drops, Barges Still Stopped

The Rhine river remained closed to barge traffic on Wednesday, but Cologne city officals said movements around the Cologne hub may be resumed in the evening. City officials in Cologne said the water level there currently stood near 849 cm, but was dropping by about one cm an hour. "It may be open (to barge traffic) tonight," a municipal official in charge of water issues said. The level must drop to 830 cm for slow or tug-assisted traffic to pass and to 620 cm for normal flows to resume. Heavy rains and seasonal snow melting lifted Rhine levels sharply late last week and the heavily-trafficked river threatened to flood several areas in western Germany over the weekend. German barge traders said they did not expect a full reopening of the river to traffic until the weekend.

Warmer Temperatures, But Mississippi Traffic Still Slow

Warmer temperatures across the U.S. Midwest were seen easing navigation on the Mississippi River near St. Louis but barge traffic continued slow on the Illinois River due to ice buildup, river officials said. "Milder temperatures over the weekend cleared the navigational channel of ice in the St. Louis area and water levels are about foot higher than they were a week ago," said Charles Camillo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman at St. Louis. But further south of St. Louis -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Cairo, Illinois -- there was still 70 to 80 percent ice coverage on the Mississippi, officials said. On the Illinois River, there was hope among river officials and grain dealers that warmer temperatures would ease barge traffic problems.

After Barge Accident Mississippi River Traffic May Reopen Friday

Mississippi River barge traffic could reopen Friday at the earliest, government officials said on Wednesday, a day after a barge struck a railroad bridge at Sabula, Iowa, forcing the closure of a two-mile (3.2 km) stretch of the country's busiest waterway. The U.S. Coast Guard was investigating damage to the railroad bridge owned by Canadian Pacific Railroad Ltd while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was traveling to the site to survey the waters for any debris. "Currently the river is closed to vessel traffic. It will be closed through Friday at least," said Mike Reed, chief of prevention for the Coast Guard's upper Mississippi River sector. A vessel towing 15 barges upriver hit the bridge on Tuesday, damaging a portion of the protective pier.

Flooding Closes St. Louis to Barges

Flooding on the Mississippi River has closed the St. Louis harbor to barge traffic, Reuters reported. The Coast Guard closed the from mile marker 174 to 189. Vessels with two or fewer barges can travel during daylight hours. There was no estimate on when the harbor would reopen. In addition, the is closed from mile marker 0 to 24. The upper has been closed to barge traffic since locks began shutting down on June 12, which has disrupted shipments of grain, coal and petroleum products. Source:  Reuters

Waterways to Reopen after Rita

The U.S. Coast Guard announced that the Houston Ship Channel is open to vessels of less than 35 ft., daylight transit only. The Freeport Ship Channel is open to vessels of less than 40 ft. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is open for daylight transit from MM 317 to MM 242. The Neches River is open to daylight transit of tug and barge traffic from Beaumont to Sabine Pass. The Calcasieu River is open to daylight transit of tug and barge traffic from the I-10 Bridge to Cameron. A press release states that the daylight only restriction on the Houston Ship Channel has been lifted.

Mississippi Lock Could Reopen This Weekend

A Mississippi River lock undergoing repairs that have forced barge tows to use a smaller auxiliary chamber are expected to be back in service by Sunday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The 1,200-foot main chamber at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam near Alton, Ill., has been closed to navigation since Jan. 28 because of a mechanical problem with a lift gate. The unscheduled repairs slowed barge traffic and created a traffic backlog.

Bridge Damage Stops Barge Traffic on Ark. River

The Associated Press reported that barge traffic has ceased on the Arkansas River after damage was discovered on a bridge in western Arkansas. Officials say bridge inspectors will assess the damage and arrange repairs accordingly. Until then, rail traffic will also be diverted until the bridge is fixed.   Sources: AP, staff

The Road Less Traveled

Shown here are the charts which quantify the energy efficiency of barge transport, as well as the common comparison of a 15-tow barge comparison to the equivalent carriage capabilities of road and rail.  (Source: A Modal Comparison of Domestic Freight Transportation Effects on the General Public)

New study touts the economic and environmental benefits, plus the growth potential, of barge traffic on inland waterways. Anyone who has spent much time in the marine transportation industry likely is familiar with the various charts and graphs that tout the superior cargo carrying capacity and efficiency of barges versus trains and trucks.   C. Berdon Lawrence, Chairman of the Board of Kirby Corp. and Joseph Pyne, the ubiquitous President and CEO of Kirby Corp.  

Sunken Vessel Backs Up Mississippi Traffic

The Mississippi River near the Kentucky-Tennessee border reopened to southbound barge traffic early Thursday (Feb. 17) after the motor vessel Navigator sank Tuesday night and backed up barge traffic, the U.S. Coast Guard said. About 20 southbound tows were awaiting passage when the river was reopened at 8:15 a.m. CST (1415 GMT) Thursday, said Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Fisher, the Coast Guard's chief of port operations in Memphis. "At this point it will take about a day and a half to move that line of vessels," said Fisher. There should be no delay for northbound barges. The river was reopened to northbound traffic Wednesday afternoon and the tows that were awaiting passage had cleared the area by Wednesday night, Fisher said.

Rising Mississippi Floodwaters Slow Barge Traffic

Rapidly rising floodwaters brought barge traffic to a near standstill on the middle section of the Mississippi River on Monday, halting shipments of goods such as soybeans, concrete and road salt, government officials and traders said. The deadly storms have killed more than 40 people in flooding and tornadoes, snarling air and road traffic during one of the busiest travel times of the year. The rain and snowfall were washing into Midwestern rivers, making it dangerous to operate barges and almost impossible to load them, barge traders said. The Mississippi River at St. Louis was expected to rise to nearly 45 feet (13.7 metres) by Thursday, which would be the second-highest crest after the record of 49.58 feet (15 metres) on Aug. 1, 1993, according to the National Weather Service.

Barge Traffic Still Slow On Mississippi

Barge traffic on U.S. Midwest rivers continued slow as low water levels on the upper and lower Mississippi River and ice buildup on the Illinois River kept navigation treacherous, Reuters reported on Wednesday. "At the Memphis gauge, the water level is about three feet below the desired level," said Lt. Brian Meier, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman, Memphis office. "The forecast is for water levels to stay pretty steady for next couple days," he said. Low water levels and a barge grounding about 30 miles south of Memphis this week caused river officials to issue a travel advisory from Cairo, Illinois, to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Southbound tows were limited to 30 barges and northbound tows limited to 36 barges with a 10-foot draft or less. In the St.

Mississippi River Reopens to Barges after Gustav

The entire Mississippi River, the most important commercial waterway, has reopened to barge traffic after being closed near due to Hurricane Gustav, the Coast Guard said.  More than 300 miles of the commercial waterway, stretching from to the , was closed following the landfall of the Category 2 hurricane on Monday. Reports said major grain companies such as Cargill Inc, Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd are still awaiting electricity to be restored to their grain export terminals on the lower Mississippi River in .

Mississippi Traffic Stalled

Barge traffic on the upper Mississippi River was slowed on Oct. 24 when a 600-foot section of the river was closed to remove 1,400 tons of rock that was dislodged from a barge, a river official said. "This morning a barge broke away from a tow and dumped a load of rock in the middle of the channel," said Charles Camillo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman. "No other barges were involved," he said. The accident occurred near mile marker 16, located about 16 river miles north of Cairo, Ill. Dredging vessels were on the site to remove the rock pile that measured 40 ft. wide and 100 ft. long. "At some places there is only 6 ft. of water covering the rock, which is below the minimum 9-ft. draft needed for barges," Camillo said.

Oil Spill Clean-up Continues in Texas

The Coast Guard established a safety zone on the Neches River from just north of the DuPont plant to the Veteran’s bridge. No recreational boaters will be allowed into the safety zone until more of the oil has been removed. Both the Coast Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be patrolling the area to ensure that recreational boaters observe the parameters set by the safety zone. Since the Neches River’s opening at approximately 11:44 a.m. Wednesday, a significant amount of ship and barge traffic has been allowed to move in and out of port. As of 4 p.m. today, ship and barge traffic is largely back to normal with the exception of nine ships and barges that must be washed down before heading into uncontaminated water.

Virginia Port Sees 2% Volume Growth

Photo Virginia Port

The Port of Virginia processed 219,398 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in May, bringing the port to 2 percent growth in TEU volume for the calendar year and 2.6 percent growth in the fiscal year, which ends July 1. “Volume for May was not as high when compared with last year, but that was anticipated,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are still tracking for a very modest gain for the fiscal year and our volume expectations for the balance of the calendar year are realistic. Terminals (NIT).

Barge Traffic Tied In Knots On Mississippi

U.S. Midwestern grain shippers were getting ready to move barges into the upper Mississippi River on Tuesday but estimated it could be two to three weeks before trapped barges along the river make it to the Gulf. Weekend rains that dropped 3 to 6 inches of rain over a six-county area in northern Missouri and southern Iowa, coupled with swollen river conditions in the upper Mississippi, resulted in two more Mississippi lock closures this week. Lock 24 at Clarksville, Missouri, and lock 25 at Winfield, Missouri, were shut down to traffic on Monday. Both locks are north of the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. These new closures, along with the U.S.

ACC, AWO Extend Environmental, Safety Cooperation

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and American Waterways Operators (AWO) signed a three-year extension of their 2006 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to promote environmental, health, safety and security performance through ACC’s Responsible Care and AWO’s Responsible Carrier Programs. The MOA extends cooperation and collaboration and provides Responsible Care Partner companies in the marine (barge) sector the option of using the Responsible Carrier audit system to meet their Responsible Care certification requirements. With a volume of approximately 70 million tons, chemicals account for roughly nine percent of total barge traffic.

Operations Continue on Asphalt Barge that Leaked in James River

The Coast Guard continues to monitor a barge that ran aground and spilled approximately 42,000 to 63,000 gallons of liquid asphalt, five miles south of Richmond, Va., at 4:30 a.m. Monday. The Piney Point was being pushed up river, toward Richmond, by the tug Barbary Coast when it ran aground in the vicinity of Meade Landing State Park. The barge was transporting approximately 930,000 gallons of asphalt when it ran aground. The other seven tanks on board were reportedly not damaged, and workers from the scene report the barge is not leaking. Divers assessed damage to the hull today, and a plan is being developed for patching the hole.

Bulk Transport Leadership: Dan Martin

Dan T. Martin, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Ingram Barge Company in Nashville, oversees all commercial aspects of the company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. He has served on the National Coal Council since 2005 and was Board Vice Chairman of the Inland Waterways Users Board 2007 to 2010.

Drought and ensuing low river levels continue to affect the inland industry. Low water between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois has threatened traffic on the Mississippi River since December. For months, dredging operations have slowed vessels at points along the river's course. Since December, a stretch at Thebes, Illinois, has been shut for much of each day as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes rock pinnacles. A panel of five executives weighed in on a host of topics regarding inland transportation as part of a round table discussion published in the February print edition of Marine News.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News