Freight still being delivered on drought-hit rivers in Germany, but with lighter loads

Freight continued to be delivered on the Rhine and other rivers in Germany despite shallow water caused by a lack of rain, the association of German inland waterways shipping companies (BDB) said on Tuesday July 31st.

However, the association confirmed that many vessels were carrying lighter loads, reports Reuters.

BDB said that “on the Rhine, by far Germany’s most important inland waterway, river vessels can, depending on area, often only transport half of their normal loads, sometimes even less”. The Rhine is currently too shallow for normal sailings from Duisburg to south Germany and of the German section of the Danube is too shallow for full loads, according to traders.

BDB said that “consignments which could normally be transported with a single sailing, must for example be divided among several vessels”, but it emphasized that supplies to industry were still being delivered. “In dialogue with our customers the inland waterways ship operators have found solutions which means transport contracts are fulfilled,” it said, confirming that vessel operators were adding price surcharges to freight contracts.