Shipping returns to normal with rising water levels on Rhine and Danube
SHIPPING is returning to normal on much of the rivers Rhine and Danube in Germany as water levels rise, ending two months of disruption caused by shallow water.
The north Rhine around Cologne and Duisburg is still too shallow for vessels to sail with full loads, but shipping on the central and south Rhine and on the Danube is back to normal, Reuters cited traders as saying.
The Rhine and Danube have been too shallow for normal sailings since late November, with some barges in Germany only able to sail at 20 to 30 per cent capacity, but rain and warmer temperatures melting snow caused river levels to rise this week. All of the Rhine is expected to return to normal levels over the weekend, allowing full vessel loads.
The traders stressed that cargo had still been delivered despite shallow water. However, low water levels meant that loads were divided among a number of ships instead of being carried by a single vessel, adding to transport costs for cargo owners. Freight was also transferred to more expensive road transport.