Shutting down Rhine Sections

The Rhine Barge Market is currently driven by the high water levels as we speak, with several closures reported.

The combination of heavy rainfall and melting water from the Alps is causing high currents along the way.

Navigation is virtually impossible and local authorities have no option but to shut down certain sections of the Rhine (e.g. near Karlsruhe and Cologne districts). Since more water is forecast to be flowing, it is likely to take some time until this weekend for barge traffic to resume operating at a somewhat more “normal” pace.

Usually, at this time of year, high water levels are not unusual, as melt water would begin flowing towards ARA, often the case every first quarter. Nevertheless, a shutdown of different sections of the Rhine is fairly rare; it was last seen almost ten years ago.

Most players on the Rhine have already anticipated such a situation, and took steps as early as the beginning of last week to limit overall effects on barge traffic to the greatest extent possible.