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June 24, 2019 | Reuters
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Armada of Barges Cleared for Mississippi

Logistics nightmare with dozens of towboats, hundreds of delayed barges trying to maneuver upriver

The upper Mississippi River reopened to barge traffic on Friday as vessels were cleared to ship through St. Louis harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said, and the situation quickly became a logistics nightmare as dozens of towboats and hundreds of delayed barges tried to maneuver upriver.

According to a Reuters report, after what many grain shippers have called the worst river flooding ever in terms of timing, breadth and duration, the vessels may finally be able to reach elevators in the heart of the U.S. farm belt to haul away export-bound corn and soybeans.

Large agribusinesses that rely on efficient export shipments are likely to report a drag on earnings from flooding this spring in their grain trading, handling and shipping businesses when they report in July and August, analysts said.

The flood’s cost to the grain handlers likely totals hundreds of millions of dollars, traders and shippers estimated, due to lost grain sales, missed shipping and export opportunities and increased costs for moving needed grain supplies via other means such as rail.

Read the full report at Reuters.

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