Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Energy News .

Drought disrupts Mississippi transport
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Dec 21, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The Mississippi River has receded to critically low levels after months of drought, severely affecting U.S. commerce.

Already, barges are being filled only to 50 or 60 percent capacity so they won't sit as low in the water, easing passage through shallower channels, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. But that means more vessels are required to transport the same tonnage.

Upstream of St. Louis, a network of locks and dams makes the channel deep enough for navigation but below St. Louis there are no dams to control the depth of the channel.

This week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began removal of submerged rock formations, on the river at Thebes, Ill., south of St. Louis. The program, the corps said, is expected to add 6 inches of water depth by next week.

"Every inch counts right now. It's not a permanent fix. But we're using every tool at our disposal to keep commerce moving," Mike Peterson, a corps spokesman was quoted as saying by The Christian Science Monitor.

But the Mississippi River shipping sector says that action isn't enough.

"While any additional water is welcome, shippers and barge operators caution that this offers only a delay of the inevitable, an effective halting of barge transportation around the end of this month as Mississippi levels continue to fall to a level that cannot support most navigation," the American Waterways Operators and the Waterways Council, Inc., said in a release.

The groups have been calling for what they say are minimal flows from the Missouri River to be released to avert an effective shutdown of Mississippi River to barge transportation.

They warn that for the next one to two months there will be just one-way traffic for just eight hours a day "in the very best case scenario."

"The effects of this crisis are already being felt by industry workers, shippers, farmers and manufacturers up and down the river and they are going to get worse," said AWO President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Allegretti.

If navigation on the Mississippi isn't maintained, the groups warn, the potential supply-chain disruption could affect nearly 20,000 jobs and $130 million in wages in Mississippi River states as well as $7 billion in commodities in December and January.

More than one-third of those losses -- $2.3 billion -- represent farm exports.

Other expected losses include 1.3 million tons of petroleum products worth more than $1.3 billion; more than 700,000 tons of crude oil worth $534 million and 3.8 million tons of coal worth $192 million, the groups said.


Related Links
Global Trade News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Japan firms say mergers held up by China regulators
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 21, 2012
Sony and Olympus said Friday their planned medical device merger has been delayed until next year, with reports and some firms saying it was the latest corporate marriage held up by Chinese regulators. Firms in Japan, which is embroiled in a territorial row with Beijing, have launched a string of mergers and acquisitions including blockbuster deals such as Softbank's $20 billion takeover of ... read more

Indian washermen spin out decades-old tradition

National Grid Creates Big Questions for Transmission Industry

Zimbabwe and China ink $400 mn electricity deal

Germany energy 'revolution' on course despite concerns

Keystone XL: Welcome to the Proxy Energy War

Judge clears BP's $7.8 bn settlement in US oil spill

Exxon extends Africa's energy enterprise

YPF seeks $37B cash for shale development

China's wind towers face U.S. tariffs

Offshore wind power: AREVA and STX France ally their expertise

US confirms duties on 1towers from China, Vietnam

Ground broken on Irish Midlands wind farm

Top-10 Solar Market Predictions for 2013

KYOCERA Surpasses Two Million Solar Modules Produced in North America

Solar panel companies in federal probe

Asian Supermarket Distribution Center Completes Solar Installation

Swedish nuclear reactor shut after sea water infiltration

Faults said risk to Japan nuclear plants

Vattenfall wants 3.5 bn euros in German nuclear spat

Talks on SoCal nuclear plant restart held

NC State Study Offers Insight Into Converting Wood to Bio-Oil

Can Algae-Derived Oils Support Large-Scale, Low-Cost Biofuels Production?

Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products

Gases from Grasses

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Action by 2020 key for limiting climate change

University of Tennessee study predicts extreme climate in Eastern US

Major climate change report draft leaked online: IPCC

Climate modelers see possible warmer, wetter Northeast winters by 2070

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement