SHIPS are still unable to sail fully loaded on the Rhine and Danube as low water levels since the summer continue to impact cargo movement.
The Rhine is too shallow to allow vessels to sail with full loads in its entire length south of Cologne and Duisburg, while the Danube is too low for ships to sail with full loads along the German section of the river, reported Maritime Executive of Fort Lauderdale.
The low water levels have prompted vessel operators to impose surcharges on freight rates because more vessels are needed to transport cargo, increasing shipper costs.
"Rain and snow is forecast in the Rhine catchment areas this week which could raise water levels," a trader said. "People are hoping the wetter winter weather will solve the problem of low water at last."
Source : HKSG.