Economy and Business
Mon December 10, 2012
Mississippi Shipping Up From Last Year
More products were moving in and out of the upper Mississippi River this year compared to last year, despite a difficult shipping season.
Nationally, the river shipping industry has been having a difficult year. The drought affected agriculture shipments. Mississippi River water levels near St. Louis continue to drop, causing concern for those who continue to move products through the winter.
Navigation on the upper Mississippi River ended last week. It turns out shipping in the region fared better than other parts of the country. Commodities shipments were up this year in the Minneapolis area.
Brennan Marine Chief Operating Officer Kent Pehler says more corn and soybeans were moving out of the region, partly because they weren’t growing elsewhere, “Where Wisconsin was more impacted by the drought, Minnesota, for the most part, had ideal growing conditions. In fact, I think the yields in Minnesota and some areas in Wisconsin were up there in the highest in the nation for this particular growing season.”
According to the Waterways Council, tank barges were also shipping more petroleum.
Shipping numbers were also stronger this year because they were so weak last year. Navigation was limited to a few months on the Mississippi River because of extreme flooding in 2011. This year, the locks only closed for a couple days because of heavy rain.