Marine Link
Monday, January 22, 2018

River Traffic News

China Throwing Money at the Waterways

China's Ministry of Transportation reports that the country spent US$2.3 billion on the waterways during the period January to April 2013. This investment by the government shows an increase of 21.2 per cent over the same period in 2012. River transportation enjoys lower shipping rates, larger shipment volume and less energy consumption, although China's river transportation development has long been lagging behind other means of transportation. According to a Xinhua report, with support from the state government, China's river traffic has come onto a development fast track since 2011. In 2011 and 2012, China invested CNY85.28 billion on river traffic, which grew at an average rate of 16.6 per cent per year.  

Low Water Hampers River Traffic

Already low water on the Mississippi River around St. Louis was expected by this weekend to approach levels too shallow for barge transportation, and a damaged lock slowed river traffic near Davenport, Iowa, river officials said Thursday. The St. Louis gauge for the Mississippi was at 3.0 feet on Wednesday and was forecast to hit 0.0 feet by Saturday. River traffic can continue operation through St. Louis until the gauge hits -3.5 feet and the river channel is 9 feet deep, the shallowest depth at which barge traffic can pass. "Any time it gets below five feet on the St. Louis gauge, everybody starts to monitor that. And when it gets below zero the river industry will start forming a low action water group and you'll see restrictions on tows and other things…

Mississippi River Closed Due to Collision, Spill

A barge containing clarified slurry oil suffered damage from the collision. Its cargo tank was ruptured, discharging approximately 120,588 gallons of oil into the river, according to the Coast guard. The Mississippi River is closed to all traffic except response vessels between mile markers 939-922, and a safety zone is in place. A queue of 23 vessels awaiting transit down and 10 vessels awaiting transit up has formed as of 10:50 a.m. this morning. The Coast Guard said it intends to minimize the environmental impact of the spill, though opening river traffic is a priority as active commercial traffic is critical to the lifeblood of the region.

Mississippi River Traffic Starts Flowing Early

Barges traveled freely last Monday along the mid-Mississippi River after a lock in Quincy, Ill. opened ahead of schedule, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The mid-Mississippi is seen as the region north of St. Louis to the Wisconsin border, encompassing the heart of the U.S. corn and soybean growing country.

Mississippi River Traffic Stalled

Mississippi River barge traffic near Burlington, Iowa, remained backed up on Thursday after lock 18 in Gulfport, Illinois, reopened Wednesday afternoon after a day-long shutdown, river officials said. Lock 18 was closed Tuesday morning when a breakaway barge caused two loaded barges to sink near the lock and left six other barges adrift at the dam. "We've got two barges still floating in the dam and two sunk, with the salvage unit on the way to clear it out. But we've been up and running since noon yesterday," said Frank Robbins, lock master at Gulfport, which is about 60 miles south of Davenport, Iowa. But river traffic was still feeling the effects of the shutdown on Thursday morning, as 5 northbound barge tows and 9 southbound tows were backed up outside lock 18.

Waterways Action Plan has Been Finalized

The Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard and towing industry announce the approval of the final version of the Waterways Action Plan. After nearly two years of research, development and collaboration, several individual river action plans have been consolidated into one comprehensive document, which incorporates the entire western rivers system. The purpose of this plan is to ensure safe and secure navigation along the western rivers. As such, this is a living document, which will be regularly updated to incorporate personnel responsibility changes, the addition of other rivers and lessons learned following river incidents. Even as a draft…

Towboat Grounding Delays River Traffic

The Coast Guard has temporarily restricted vessel traffic to one-way on the Lower Mississippi River from mile markers 167-177 due to a towboat grounding. At approximately 1 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2008, the towboat Senator Stennis struck the submerged wreckage of the 17th century replica of the French warship, Le Pelican that sank March, 2004, in Donaldsonville, La. The grounding caused a hole in three of the fuel tanks and spilled approximately 30-gallons of diesel fuel into the Mississippi River. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge is actively working with the vessel owner, Kirby Inland Marine, and all key stakeholders to quickly and safely resolve the situation.

Leaking Barge Shuts Ohio River Traffic

Commercial traffic was halted along a five mile stretch of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky, following a barge accident, www.planetark.com reported. A barge carrying 20,000 barrels of liquid asphalt and 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel broke away from its tow the afternoon of January 26 as it was approaching the McAlpine Locks. The barge went over the spillway and was pinned against the K&I Railroad Bridge. The Coast Guard was evaluating when it could reopen the stretch from mile marker 606 to 611. An unknown amount of liquid asphalt and fuel had leaked into the river from the barge, which was still pinned against the bridge on January 27. No injuries related to the accident were reported and the cause of the accident has not yet been determined. (Source: www.planetark.com)

Salvage Operations for Barges to Begin Next Week

Salvage operations to recover two barges stranded in the Ohio River won’t begin before Monday, when high water recedes, the U.S. Coast Guard said, according to the Courier Journal. River Salvage Co. of Crescent, Pa., has been hired to secure the two barges that broke loose early Tuesday when cabling or a coupling snapped just after the tow had cleared McAlpine Locks. Two runaway barges were secured, but one remains partly submerged on the Indiana shore midway between the Sherman Minton and K & I bridges, and another is partly underwater and lodged at the McAlpine Dam. Both are out of the commercial channel and aren’t impeding river traffic. One of the stranded barge’s cargo of salt spilled in the river, while the other barge lost about 1,450 tons of liquid fertilizer.

Shippers Seek $90M In Restitution

The association of Romanian river shippers said it would sue the Romanian government and NATO over a total estimated loss of $90 million because of the Kosovo conflict. Association president Mircea Toader said the losses had been caused by the embargo on Yugoslavia after the Kosovo war and by the blockage of the Danube. Toader, who was speaking at the end of a meeting in the Danube port town of Galati, said the association -- representing 95 percent of Romania's river shippers -- voted to ask the Romanian state for damages worth $5.4 million for lost crude oil transport contracts during the embargo. The association also announced plans to sue the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over alleged losses indirectly caused by the bombing of Yugoslav bridges.

Coast Guard Advises Western River Closures, Restrictions

File image: a Mississippi River fleeting operation. (WCI)

The United States Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

Barge Breakaway on the Mississippi

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a report of a grounded towing vessel and 35 barge breakaway near Caruthersville, Mo. On the Mississippi River.   Coast Guard watchstanders were notified that the towing vessel Joe Bobzien had run aground and its 35 loaded dry cargo barges had broken away from the vessel at 4:30 a.m., Tuesday. The cause of the incident is under investigation.   The Coast Guard has restricted all river traffic, except assist vessels, from mile marker 864 to 834.   ACL Transportation Services is deploying two vessels to assist.

Diesel Spill Forces Closure on the Mississippi

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed Lock and Dam 25 due to diesel in the water on the upper Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri, Wednesday.   An estimated 2,074 gallons of diesel was reportedly released by the towing vessel Jerry Jarrett while transiting the lock and dam, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.   The lock and dam is closed to river traffic to keep the diesel contained. Environmental Restoration has been dispatched by the responsible party and is en route.   The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Vessel Grounds in Columbia River

U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Portland is investigating the grounding the motor vessel Marine Chemist. The 671-ft. vessel ran aground on Cottonwood Island, which is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, just east of Longview. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding. The St. Vincent flagged vessel was headed for India where it was to be scrapped. Coast Guard Auxiliary assets on scene reported no visible signs of pollution. The Coast Guard is communicating with all river traffic in the immediate vicinity. The Coast Guard has directed the master of the vessel to proceed to the nearest safe anchorage or berth once refloated for inspection to determine the seaworthiness of the vessel. Tugs were on scene working to refloat the vessel.

US Western Rivers Closures, Restrictions

Image USCG

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. * Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. * Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois.

US Midwest Rivers Closures, Restriction

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures and restrictions in response to floods in the Midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. Upper Mississippi River closed between mile markers 184 and 179 near St. Louis, Missouri. Illinois River closed between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois. Restrictions on Mississippi River from mile marker 110, near Chester Illinois, to mile marker 34, near Billings Landing, Missouri.

River Thames Simulation Supports Safer Navigation

HR Wallingford has created a River Thames navigation simulation to assess Tideway’s fleet of vessel masters (Photo: HR Wallingford)

The Thames Tideway Tunnel project, London’s new ‘super sewer’, which will upgrade the city’s 19th century sewerage system for today’s eight million plus inhabitants, requires excavation on an enormous scale. Creating a tunnel 25 kilometers in length, and running up to 65 meters beneath the River Thames, will generate immense volumes of spoil, right in the heart of London. To minimize the impact of transporting this on the capital’s roads, Tideway plans to transport around 4 million metric tons of this material by river.

Bulgaria, Serbia River Traffic Resumes

River Danube traffic between Bulgaria and Serbia partially resumed at the end of June, immediately after NATO'S air war against Yugoslavia finished, according to officials from Bulgaria's state Danube navigation company. "Bulgarian ships are running to Serbian Danube ports, even up to Novi Sad," said the chief of the Bulgarian River Navigation Authority (BRNA) Dimitar Stanchev. Serbian ships are also running to Bulgarian Danube ports, as well as to Romanian and Ukrainian ports, he added. He said traffic was much less than before the airstrikes but said he could not give volumes at this stage. There have been press reports of a Bulgarian private shipping company planning to open a regular line from the Bulgarian port of Lom to Prahovo in Serbia, hoping to attract tourists and traders.

Western Rivers High Water Closures, Restrictions - Update

Mississippi River Photo DNR

The Coast Guard has issued a number of river closures, restrictions and advisories in response to floods in the midwest. To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding. * The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has re-opened the Mississippi River surrounding the St. Louis Harbor from mile marker 179 to mile marker 185.

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.

Report Compares Inland Waterways Markets, Tech and Policies

"Inland Waterways and the Global Supply Chain" an International Conference Report on "SmartRivers 2006" is currently available at the Port of Pittsburgh Commission website www.port.pittsburgh.pa.us. SmartRivers is a coalition to benchmark best practices for inland waterways, on both sides of the Atlantic, and to help those waterways better integrate themselves into the global supply chain. “Benchmarking conferences were held in Pittsburgh in 2005 and in Brussels, Belgium Europe in 2006. James R. McCarville, Executive Director for the Port of Pittsburgh Commission. It set out the strategic similarities and differences of the US and European Union (EU) inland waterway systems.

Indian Ports Register Positive Growth of 3.64%

Union Minister for Shipping, India, Nitin Gadkari. Photo: PIB

The major ports in India have recorded a growth of 3.64% and together handled 499.41 Million Tonnes of cargo during the period April to December, 2017 as against 481.87 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year. For the period from April- December 2017, Eight Ports (Kolkata (incl.Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, JNPT and Kandla) have registered positive growth in traffic. The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (17.27%), followed by Paradip (14.59%), Kolkata [incl. Haldia] (12.45%), New Mangalore (6.60%) and JNPT (5.94%).

Katrina Disrupts River Shipments

Disruptions are expected in some Indiana shipments of grain, steel, fertilizer, iron ore and minerals, according to a Ports of Indiana statement issued on Thursday, according to a report on Business First of Louisville. The New Orleans-Gulf Coast region is home to six of the top 15 tonnage ports in the nation, handling more than 500 million tons of cargo per year. Indiana relies on these ports for transloading the state's shipments between river barges and ocean-going ships for international trade, the statement said. Ports in New Orleans, Mobile, Ala., and Gulfport and Pascagoula, Miss., are closed to ships. River traffic is limited to tugboats, barges and recovery boats, but inspections and depth soundings are needed before the river can open to ships.

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

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