Empty Grain Barges Head Up Ohio River
Upper Mississippi River begins to close
For the week ending November 25, .534 grain barges passed downbound on the locking sections of the Mississippi, Ohio, and Arkansas Rivers, for a total tonnage of 1.2 million tons.
About 84% of the barges were from the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. This is typical for this time of year, as barges depart from the northern most reaches of the soon-to-be-closed Upper Mississippi River because of winter ice.
Traffic from the Ohio River has been hampered during most of November due to high water and repair work at Ohio River Locks and Dam 52 that has caused delays for downbound grain barges and the return of upbound empty barges. While repairs are still underway, traffic has improved during late November.
For the first half of November, upbound empty barges averaged only 170/week, while during the second half of November, upbound empties averaged 343/week. As of November 28, barge rates increased 15% on the lower Ohio River and 30% on the upper Ohio River compared to last week