The Coal Trader

Coal News for Mining & Investing Professionals

River Rhine in south Germany remains closed to shipping

Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany remained closed to shipping on Friday after heavy rain and melting snow increased water levels, but could reopen later this weekend, navigation authorities said.

Rhine river shipping remained stopped around Maxau and Speyer in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency WSA said.

The southern sector of the Rhine around the chokepoint of Maxau was closed on Tuesday after rain and a sudden rise in temperatures melted snow in south Germany raised water levels.

Shipping on northern sections of the river is operating normally, despite a rise in water levels, including the important points of Duisburg, Cologne and Mannheim.

Water levels in southern regions are falling and it is possible that shipping could resume through Maxau on Sunday, said the water level forecasting service of said the Rheinland-Pfalz state government in south Germany.

High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges and the blockage at Maxau prevents vessels sailing to Switzerland.

The Rhine is a major shipping route for commodities including minerals, coal and oil products such as heating oil, grains and animal feed. The Rhine has repeatedly suffered from low water levels because of unusually dry summers in recent years.