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River Shipping News

16 Nov 2023

High Water Closes Parts of Rhine River in South Germany to Shipping

Maxau Rhine Bridges - Credit:

Parts of the river Rhine in Germany have been closed to shipping because of a rise in water levels following recent heavy rain, German authorities said on Thursday.Rhine river shipping has been stopped around Maxau in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency WSA said.High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges, preventing vessels reaching Switzerland.Central and northern sections of the river are open to shipping.Water levels are forecast to fall, allowing shipping to resume later on Thursday or on Friday, said the water level forecasting service

05 Oct 2023

Low Water Hampers Rhine River Shipping in Germany

Credit: CL-Medien/AdobeStock

Low water levels after recent dry weather are preventing cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the Rhine river in Germany with surcharges added to the usual freight rates, commodity traders said on Thursday.Low water is hampering shipping on most of the river south of Duisburg and Cologne, including the chokepoint of Kaub, traders said.Some vessels can only transit Kaub about 50% full, depending on ship type, they said.Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates to compensate for vessels not sailing fully loaded, increasing costs for cargo owners.

04 Sep 2023

Ukraine Limits Cargo Shipments to Danube Port after Russian Strikes

Port Izmail - Credit: watcherfox/AdobeStock

Ukrainian railways have partially restricted cargo shipments to Ukraine's major Danube River port Izmail, which has been the target of Russian drone attacks in recent weeks, the railways said on Monday.The restrictions began on Sunday, the railways said in a statement.Russia has attacked Ukrainian ports on the Danube River with drones two nights in a row. The latest attack on the Danube River port of Izmail, in Ukraine's southern Odesa region, hit warehouses and production buildings…

02 Aug 2023

Rhine River Levels in Germany Back to Normal after Rain

Credit: diegograndi/AdobeStock

Heavy rain has raised water levels on the river Rhine in Germany to levels allowing cargo vessels to sail fully loaded, data from German inland waterways agency WSA said on Wednesday.Data from the WSA’s website Pegelonline showed that the last shallow sectors of the river around Cologne had now reached levels generally permitting full vessel loads.Dry weather in June meant the river became too shallow for vessels to sail fully loaded and ship operators imposed surcharges on freight rates to compensate for vessels sailing partly empty, increasing costs for cargo owners.

27 Jul 2023

Rain Raises Rhine River Levels in Germany; North Still Too Shallow

Cologne - Credit: Luis/AdobeStock

Heavy rain has raised water levels on the Rhine in Germany, but the river is still too shallow in central northern areas for cargo vessels to sail fully loaded, commodity traders said on Wednesday.The river is a major western European shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal and oil products. Dry weather in June meant it became too shallow for vessels to sail fully loaded and operators imposed surcharges on freight rates to compensate for ships sailing partly empty…

05 May 2023

HGK Shipping Holds Double Naming Ceremony for Chemical Tanker Duo

German company HGK Shipping on Thursday held a naming ceremony for two chemical tankers “Courage” and “Curiosity” on 4 May 2023.The chemical tankers have already been in service for the materials manufacturer, Covestro, on the river Rhine and its tributaries for several weeks. The hulls of the shallow-water vessels are 93 metres long and 10.5 meters wide. The two sister vessels are able to carry a load weighing 160 tonnes in a draught of just 1.00 meter and still be fully operational and maneuverable…

20 Feb 2023

Romania Asks to Check Ukrainian Canal Dredging in Sensitive Danube Delta

© luzitanija/AdobeStock

Romania said on Monday it was concerned by signs that neighboring Ukraine was dredging a canal that sliced through a shared, ecologically sensitive coastal region, and asked if it could check the site.Ukraine has been transporting grain on the Bystroe canal as it develops alternative routes for its exports while access to its Black Sea ports is limited by Russia's invasion.Romania has said it is concerned that any works on the waterway through the shared Danube Delta area could…

30 Sep 2022

Low River Levels, Soaring Barge Freight Curb U.S. Grain Exports

Credit: Alex Krassel/AdobeStock

Numerous barges have run aground on the lower Mississippi River, and grain barge shipping rates are soaring to historic highs this week, as drought has dropped inland waterways to levels not seen in decades.And with little rain in the forecast, the low water levels are hampering already sluggish grain exports at the U.S. Gulf Coast, where some 60% of U.S. corn, soybean and wheat exports exit the country.The logistical snarls come as the Midwest harvest progresses and the busiest crop export season starts…

24 Aug 2022

Relief as Rhine Water Rises in Germany, But Expected to Drop again

By CL-Medien/AdobeStock

Water levels on the river Rhine in Germany have risen after recent rain but are expected to fall again with mostly dry weather forecast in the coming days, ship operators said on Wednesday.Weeks of high temperatures and scant rainfall drained water levels in the river, a major German commercial transport artery, causing delays to shipping and pushing freight costs up. The disruption could knock half a percentage point off economic growth in Germany this year. Shallow water compelled some freight vessels to sail only about 25% full in August…

12 Aug 2022

Shipping Disruption Continues as Rhine Water Levels Drop Again in Germany

Credit: Björn Wylezich/AdobeStock

Water levels on the river Rhine in Germany have fallen again in dry weather on Friday, with some vessels no longer able to sail, shipping operators and brokers said.Rhine cargo shipping continues, but with vessels sometimes forced to sail three-quarters empty with cargo owners often needing to pay for four vessels to transport their loads instead of one.Economists estimate Rhine disruption could knock half a percentage point off Germany's economic growth this year. The reference waterline level at the chokepoint of Kaub near Koblenz was at 42 centimetres on Friday…

08 Aug 2022

River Rhine Level in Germany Drops Further, Ships Only Part-loaded

Rhine river in Cologne - Photo by Bartolomej Tomić (File Photo)

Water levels on the Rhine in Germany fell again during hot dry weather over the weekend and cargo vessels cannot sail fully loaded, vessel brokers and commodity traders said on Monday.Shallow water is causing problems for shipping on the entire river in Germany. The Rhine is one of the key channels linking Germany's industrial heartlands with the North Sea ports from which products are exported to world markets.Freight shipping on the river continues, but with vessels sometimes forced to sail three-quarters empty.

21 Jul 2022

Rain Helps Rhine River in Germany But Shipping Problems Remain

Panorama of a cargo ship on the river Rhine near Koblenz, Germany

Heavy rain is helping stabilize the river Rhine in Germany as it suffers low water levels, but it is unlikely to be enough to solve freight shipping problems, navigation authorities said on Thursday.Shallow water is hampering shipping on the entire river in Germany south of Duisburg, and freight shipping on the river continues but with vessels carrying greatly reduced loads, said a spokesman for German inland waterways navigation agency WSA.A slight increase in water levels is…

01 Jun 2022

Cory Orders 11 Barges from Harland & Wolff

Credit; Harland & Wolff

Harland & Wolff said Wednesday it had won an initial contract worth around £8.5 million (around $10,7 million) with Cory for the fabrication of eleven barges. Cory, a UK-based waste management and recycling company, will use the barges to transport London’s recyclable and non-recyclable waste on the River Thames. Harland & Wolff will build the barges at its Belfast site, with first steel being cut within approximately eight weeks’ time. The program schedule allows for four barges to be built in tandem, with the entire build program ending around mid-2023.

22 Mar 2022

Low Water Hampers Rhine River Shipping in Germany

Rhine river in Cologne - Photo by Bartolomej Tomić (File Photo)

Low water after recent dry weather continues to prevent cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the river Rhine in Germany, traders said on Monday.Low water is hampering shipping in much of the river in Germany south of Duisburg and Cologne to southern regions around Maxau, traders said.Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil.(Reuters - Reporting by Michael Hogan Editing by Mark Potter)

26 Jul 2021

Parana River Level Drops to 77-year Low. Argentina Declares State of Emergency

Aerial shot over Parana River in Front of Rosario City / Image for Illustration only - Credit: Wirestock

The government of Argentina on Monday declared a 180-day “water emergency” for the Parana River, which is suffering a historic bout of shallowness that has affected the amount of grains that can be shipped from the country’s key ports hub of Rosario.The country is a major international food supplier. The Parana, which originates in a drought-hit part of Brazil, carries about 80% of Argentina’s agricultural shipments, which are the country’s main source of export dollars.The river is at its lowest level in 77 years.

20 Jul 2021

USACE Gets 'Strong Funding' for FY22 by House Committee

© efesenko/AdobeStock

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) applauded approval by the House Appropriations Committee (by a vote of 33 to 24) of strong funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). The Committee provided overall funding for the Corps’ Civil Works Mission for FY22 at $8.66 billion, an increase of $863 million above FY21’s appropriated level, and $1.9 billion above the President’s FY22 budget request.“WCI is pleased that the House Appropriations Committee has increased funding for the Corps of Engineers’ critical work…

26 Sep 2018

Barge Breakaway Halts Mississippi River Traffic North of St. Louis

The Mississippi River closed to vessel traffic north of St. Louis on Wednesday after barges carrying loads of corn broke free from one another and struck a river lock, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.The accident took place at Lock and Dam 25 near Winfield, Missouri, and involved a vessel towing 12 barges south on the river, said Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Scott Ross."It's a slowdown," he said. "Commerce can't go north or south."The Mississippi River and its tributaries are a key pipeline for moving grain from Midwest farms south to export terminals along the Gulf Coast, where about 60 percent of U.S. grain and soybean exports exit the country.The closure at Lock 25 sent spot barge freight rates sharply higher on Midwest rivers, barge brokers said.

12 Feb 2019

Maersk Uses Inland Waterway in India

The world's largest container shipping company Maersk Line began moving 16 containers on the Ganga river from Varanasi to Kolkata, the Shipping Ministry of India said.It will be Maersk's first container movement in the 1390-km inland waterway in the River Ganga from Haldia to Varanasi."Maersk Line will move 16 containers on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) from Varanasi to Kolkata tomorrow. The firm is onboard India's inland waterways for the first time," the ministry said in a statement.The Indian government has been developing National Waterway-1 with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of around $790 million.On November 12…

15 Jul 2021

Low River Water Levels Choke Argentine's Ag Exports

© studio new art/AdobeStock

Ships leaving the Argentine agricultural ports hub of Rosario on the Parana River are having to reduce cargos by thousands of tonnes due to low water levels, the local head of logistics said on Wednesday, amid growing environmental concerns.Dryness in Brazil, where the Parana originates, has diminished cargo traffic and sparked worries by environmentalists about dredging the river below certain depths. The dryness has reduced the amount of cargo that can be carried by ships at the height of the Argentine corn and soy export season."Handymax ships are leaving port with 9…