Low Mississippi Water Levels Impacting Commodities Transport

The National Weather Service Memphis Office the Mississippi River is currently projected to reach the all-time-record low of negative 10.70 feet by later today or tonight. The Mississippi River is gradually becoming more and more impacted by the lower water levels. These impacts affect the vital waterway which is used to transport commodities. This has resulted in the amount of commodities that can be imported or exported out of New Orleans to drastically drop. As a result barges are no longer able to be completely loaded.

Southbound barge tonnages were reduced on the river by more than 20%

“Our members depend upon adequate water levels in the Mississippi River system, to reach domestic and international export markets. The low water disruption of the supply chain will be felt not only by our U.S. producers of food, farm, and fiber but also by U.S. and international consumers as well.”

Peter Friedmann, executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition
Retailers Look to Trailers for Relief and Storage

Trailers have been the goto solution for moving both large and small items as an effective alternative to warehouses.

“We are definitely hearing from our clients for the short-term they are storing larger, bulkier items like furniture in trailers attached to their warehouses. Although we are not storing regular inventory in 53-foot trailers or containers, we are using 53-footers to store some items like unsorted returns that are less critical, to focus the warehouse on the outbound shipping to customers.”

Brian Bourke, chief growth officer of Seko Logistics
East Coast Port Congestion

Reliability is affected by one main factor, how many vessels a port receives. Cities like Charleston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and New York, have seen some improvements so far. But in other cities like Savannah this is not the case. Dozens of vessels are currently waiting in Savannah, where these delays are impacting vessel schedule reliability.

Source: Sea-Intelligence

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