Low Mississippi water impacts shipments, rates

Aug 03, 2012 | 03:43 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Mississippi River, low water, narrow channels, iron, steel, scrap, coal, Coast Guard American Commercial Lines

CHICAGO — Low water levels in sections of the Mississippi River, particularly a 519-mile stretch between Cairo, Ill., and Vicksburg, Miss., have started to restrict the normal flow of commodities and could impact spot freight rates in the near term, logistics companies told AMM.

Due to scant rainfall since spring, navigable channels have narrowed and the river’s depth has dropped, impacting shipping routes along the major waterway. Shipments of iron ore, scrap, steel and metallurgical coal are among those products facing slower transit times upstream and downstream, barge and tow operators told AMM.

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a safety advisory to Mississippi mariners Aug. 1 citing channel conditions and depth measurements and recommended limits on the number and configuration of barges per tow and the draft of barge loads.....

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