The water level of the Rhine dropped to 40 centimeters on Friday in Kaup, Germany, between Koblenz and Mainz. This is the critical level for commercial shipping. The German company Contargo, which offers container transportation from the port of Antwerp, has stopped transporting a significant part of the Rhine. The company announced this on Friday.
Due to severe drought, the level of the Rhine has decreased significantly. The situation is particularly critical near the town of Kaup, between Mainz and Koblenz. On Friday, the water level dropped to 40 centimeters. This is a critical level, because for many ships the use of that part of the Rhine is no longer commercially interesting. So says the German Federal Institute of Hydrology.
Shipping is still possible
Earlier, the German Waterways Authority qualified the navigation grade. Freight traffic is not expected to stop. According to the German Institute of Hydrology, inland ships use the Middle Rhine Road It can last until the water level is about 30 to 35 cm on the Kaub counter. Forecasts for early next week are based on water levels up to 33 cm.
The German company Contargo had already stopped transporting a large part of the Rhine. They write it on their website. Inland ships seem to be no longer able to pass without danger, “thus the navigation of the Upper and Middle Rhine has been discontinued for safety reasons.”
Contargo will continue to transport containers, particularly by road truck. “But our capacity is limited,” the company warns its customers. Contargo also offers rail transport, and that will continue as usual, but capacity is limited here as well, apparently. Not all deadlines may be met, but the company is not responsible due to low water levels, she says herself.
Contargo is one of the major players in container transportation, with about 2 million containers transported annually from the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam to Germany and other destinations.
See also: Rivers are historically low due to persistent drought
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