Jan 21, 2022

Barge Industry Reports Delays Due to Winter Weather

Industry is operating with extreme caution and preparing for unfavorable weather

source: USDA Grain Transportation Report

Severe winter weather has complicated shipping on many rivers.

Freezing of the Mississippi River has continuously delayed the river’s barge movements since early January. On the St. Louis-to-Cairo section of the Lower Mississippi, freezing and low-water conditions currently slow operations and require reduced tow sizes.

On the Illinois River, since the second week of January, locks have required ice coupling (i.e., a way of connecting barges to one another with freezing water), and operators have reduced tow sizes there as well.

On the Ohio River, barge movements have been delayed by highwater conditions in the Ohio Valley, as well as by snow and ice in Cincinnati and elsewhere on the upper part of the river. Since the second week of January, high spot barge rates have reflected these multiple, widespread logistical challenges.

The barge industry is operating with extreme caution and preparing for unfavorable weather and water conditions for the rest of January.

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