River levels in Germany remain low, reducing maximum load

Water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany remained low at the weekend as the drought and heatwave continued and freight vessels could sail fully loaded, traders said. The Rhine was too shallow for normal sailings from Duisburg to south Germany, while all of the German section of the Danube was too shallow for full loads.

Shallow water increases costs for cargo owners because surcharges are applied, and backlogs can develop because several vessels are needed to transport consignments usually transported by one craft.

No immediate improvement was expected as mainly dry weather was forecast in coming days in river catchment areas in south Germany and Switzerland

The Rhine is an important shipping route for grains, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil, while the Danube is a major route for east European grain exports to west Europe.