Waterborne metals shipments battered by recession

Dec 09, 2009 | 06:07 AM | Tom Jennemann

A falloff in domestic metals demand has had a dramatic impact on barge and waterborne shipments in the United States, shipping experts said at AMM's Moving Metals Conference in Pittsburgh.

"The one (commodities group) that really has taken a massive, massive beating are ores and metals," according to Michael Wastchak, eastern regional sales manager at AEP River Operations LLC, which operates about 3,000 hopper barges, or about 16 percent of the U.S. barge fleet.

In 2008, Wastchak said the Chesterfield, Mo.-based company only expects to push 9 million tons of ores and metals through the U.S. river system, a decrease of 53 percent from roughly 20 million tons shipped in 2009.

"For us, that's 22,000 fewer barge loads from the ores and metal industry," he said.....





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