Rhine Water Level Rises, Too Shallow in North for Full Shipping

December 10, 2020

© hansenn / Adobe Stock
© hansenn / Adobe Stock

Low water levels after dry weather in the past month continue to prevent cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the river Rhine in Germany, traders said on Thursday.

Low water is hampering shipping throughout the river, especially around Cologne, traders said.

Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.

But rain is forecast in some river catchment areas in south Germany and Switzerland later this week which could help to raise water levels, traders said.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil. German companies faced supply bottlenecks and production problems in 2018 after a drought and heatwave led to unusually low water levels on the Rhine.


Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Jane Merriman

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