High water due to rain and melting snow is delaying barge deliveries and impacting bulk material handling along the rivers served by Terral River Service.
The Mississippi River is at flood stage at Cairo, IL, and near flood stage at Vicksburg, MS. The Ohio River, which empties into the Mississippi at Cairo, is a major contributor to the high water due to recent storms. On Mar. 15, the river crested at Cincinnati at its highest level since 1997.
Terral is facing similar challenges on the Red and Atchafalaya rivers. Dealing with strong currents, unexpected debris swept into the water and other hazards created by fast and high water make navigation through the locks dangerous.
Any delays are expected to be temporary and Terral expects to be back on schedule later this month.
Disruptions along the Mississippi can impact a number of industries as the river is a commercial artery every bit as vital as the nation’s highways and railroads. It carries 60% of the country’s grain and nearly half the $214 billion of freight that moves on the country’s inland waterways.
Rivers also offer the most cost-efficient way to transport goods. A barge can carry one ton of cargo 514 miles per gallon of fuel compared to 202 miles by train and 52 miles by truck.