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Grain Shippers Slowed by Mississippi River Drought Also Race Against Winter

  • Barges heading north of Iowa need to move by next week
  • Northern reaches of the river shut ahead of winter freeze
Bloomberg business news

Shippers are scrambling for other ways to move goods after near-historic low water levels on the Mississippi River have forced barge companies to stop taking orders for immediate delivery of everything from metals to agricultural products to fertilizers.Now some companies are paying a premium to move commodities by rail or truck instead. These are aerial views of the Mississippi River and downtown buildings in Memphis on Oct. 4.

Source: Bloomberg 


Shippers struggling to move grains and fertilizer along a dried-up Mississippi River are also racing to beat the start of winter in the northern Midwest, when the river freezes and commerce shuts down. 

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the world’s biggest crop traders, said in a note to its clients this week that shipments planned for the upper Mississippi River should be completed as soon as possible to arrive in time before the river’s northern reaches begin to shut down next month.