Shipping companies are going to face tough conditions now that the Mississippi River is closing weeks earlier than usual. Because of the large amount of ice on the river, especially in the Minnesota area, barges that transport important cargo will be unable to access areas. This, combined with unfavorable conditions further east, has led to miles of waterways being closed.
Reuters reports that the Mississippi River has closed the upper portions as of November 20, earlier than it has since 1969. The last two vessels admitted through the affected dam No. 2, in the Hastings area of Minnesota, were tug boats moving south.
The source quotes Bryan Peterson of the Army Corps of Engineers, who described what operators are doing to counter the closing and lessen the damage.
"There's so much ice through the whole system," he said. "They're getting the barges they can out and not risking getting stuck there all winter."
The other section of the river currently shut down lies, according to the Associated Press, between Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, Mississippi. The move has prompted outrage from the Waterways Council, which says that it will cost shipping groups important time on the river. But the Corps says that it is closing this area to reinforce a river bank, an effort that will take 14 days and accommodate barges that need to pass.
Account for unexpected changes like this with the boat insurance you use for your vessels and their contents. Re-routing barges could affect the quality of the goods onboard and the status of the crew, so preparation is critical, especially in the middle of highly intense cold weather. Find the right package for you to help you maintain functionality and not suffer any extra financial losses.