barge shipping

On a coal barge
10:10 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Collateral Impact Of The EPA's Proposed Carbon Rule: Barge Companies Are Already Adapting

Train cars of coal at ACL's St. Louis coal terminal will be dumped out and put on Louisiana-bound barges.
Credit Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Historically, the nation's barges have transported much of the nation's coal. In fact, barges are second only behind rail for moving the nation's primary energy source to the power plants that use it.  But in June, the EPA put out a new rule to cut carbon emissions by thirty percent by 2030. The rule's impact on power plants is direct. But what about the impact on the barge industry?  

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River Management
12:58 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Water Resources Reform Passes Including Projects Here

Credit (Flickr/Brian Hillegas)

The U.S. Senate passed the first legislation authorizing infrastructure upgrades on the nation’s waterways since 2007, including improvements to locks and dams along the Mississippi River.

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act passed 91-7 Thursday, sending the bill to the president. The House passed the measure Tuesday on a 412-4 vote.

The 34 projects authorized by the omnibus legislation will cost an estimated $12.3 billion. Missouri's and Illinois’ senators all voted for the bill. It includes several projects that directly affect this area.       

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Mississippi River
4:58 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

River Commerce Group Supports Mississippi River Container-On-Barge Effort

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Missouri River Cities and Town Initiative director Colin Wellenkamp speak at the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals conference. The group's conference took place at the Union Station Hotel in Downtown St. Louis.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A major river commerce group endorsed a plan Tuesday to increase container-on-barge traffic on the Mississippi River. 

The Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association supports shipping goods in containers on barges up and down the Mississippi River. That’s seen as an alternative to using trucks or rail. The group made the announcement at its annual conference in St. Louis.

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Barge Shipping
8:01 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Corps, Barge Industry Watch Mississippi River Levels With Wary Eyes

Kelly Martin Via Wikimedia Commons

After flooding this spring, a dry summer has slowly dropped water levels on the Mississippi River.

The River gauge in St. Louis was close to zero on Sunday morning and could drop to negative two feet by the end of the month.

U.S.  Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Mike Peterson says they’re watching the situation closely.

But after last year’s drought threatened to stop barge shipping, he says the Corps is better prepared for a low water situation this fall and winter. 

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Shipping
4:01 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Runaway Barge Strikes Bridge Near St. Charles

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

Updated at 3:34 p.m. on Monday

A barge broke loose and struck the I-370 rail bridge near St. Charles on Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident.  

Even though water levels are up, last year’s drought is suspected to have played a role in the accident.  

Fallen trees on river banks are normally swept away one by one, but they piled up when water levels shrunk during the drought.

Now that levels are high, a lot of large trees are suddenly floating in major rivers. 

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Barge Shipping
4:04 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Barge Shippers Ask Congress For A Tax Hike To Pay For Infrastructure Upgrades

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

Members of the barge shipping industry are on Capitol Hill today, asking Congress to raise the taxes they pay for fuel.  

Shippers support a plan that would increase the fuel tax they pay from 20 cents per-gallon to 29 cents per-gallon of diesel fuel. The extra money would be used to fund improvements to locks and dams, some of which are more than 70 years old.

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Shipping
3:55 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Shipping Woes Ease On Mississippi River

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

What a difference just a few weeks makes. 

Earlier this year shippers feared that the worst drought in decades would slam the brakes on the billion dollar barge shipping industry, but recent heavy rains and snow have raised water levels on the drought starved Mississippi River.    

Even though shippers are back to carrying normal loads, American Waterways Operators spokeswoman Ann McCulluh says the industry remains anxious about the future.

“You can bet that we will be watching the forecast, watching the water levels very carefully,” McCulluh said.

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Drought
6:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Low Water, High Anxiety On The River

Dave Heyel, chief financial officer of JB Marine Service in south St. Louis County, stands in front of the company's floating office that now sits completely out of the water.
Tim Lloyd St. Louis Public Radio

It seems like we’re constantly hearing about how the worst drought in decades is threatening barge shipping on the Mississippi River. 

One day we’re facing a shutdown, the next day they say commerce will keep rolling on the river.  

Here’s the latest: The Army Corp of Engineers says it’s done enough work to keep the waterway open until the end of this month.   

After that, though, no one is making any promises, and that uncertainty is giving the shipping industry a lingering headache and could end up with local companies cutting jobs.   

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Economy
8:15 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Drought Concerns Remain For Barge Industry

Credit (via Flickr/The Confluence)

The barge industry again raised concerns Wednesday about the impact low water levels on the Mississippi River will have on shipping.

According to a new report from American Waterways Operators, low water could affect more than 8,000 jobs along the river. The group's spokeswoman, Ann McCulloch, says the situation isn't expected to improve any time soon.

"We're definitely worried about the immediate impact if commerce is severely impaired," said McCulloch.  "We're at that stage already and at this point it can only get worse."

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Economy
6:57 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Mississippi Levels Drop, Barge Traffic Could Halt Mid-January

via Flickr/TeamSaintLouis (Army Corps of Engineers)

Updated 3:13 p.m. Dec. 28

The Mississippi River's water level is dropping again and barge industry trade groups warn that river commerce could essentially come to a halt by mid-January.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports ice on the northern section of the Mississippi is reducing flow more than expected.

Despite that fact, the Coast Guard remains confident that the nation's largest waterway will remain open.

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