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Low water hampering river shipping in Germany

Staff Writer |
Shallow water after recent dry weather continues to prevent cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the Rhine and Danube rivers in Germany, traders said.

Snow and rain have helped raise river levels slightly this week, but the Rhine and Danube in Germany remain too shallow for normal sailings with some barges only able to sail 20 to 30 percent full, they said, Hellenic Shipping News reports.

Loads are being divided among several vessels instead of being carried by a single craft, increasing transport costs for cargo owners. More freight is also being transferred to truck and rail, traders said.

“The low water is causing a sharp rise in transport costs but cargo is still being delivered,” one German grain trader said. “The main hope now is that wetter winter weather will now set in and raise water levels.”

More snow and rain is forecast in river catchment areas in Germany and Switzerland over the weekend.

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