Barge navigation on the Rhine River is becoming increasingly challenging due to low water levels.

Long periods of low water hinder inland navigation by limiting the load of inland vessels. According to Contargo, the water level gauge at Kaub, Germany, fell to 32 cm on August 15. The barge operator said on August 12 that due to low water levels at Kaub, it would largely discontinue its navigation on the Upper and Middle Rhine.

The company said: “Due to the difficult situation we regretfully have to point out that we can no longer guarantee to meet all deadlines and that, according to our General Terms and Conditions (AGBs), for gauge levels below 81 cm in Kaub and below 181 cm in Duisburg-Ruhrort, we no longer have an obligation to transport. We also wish to point out to you that we cannot accept any liability for costs that may be incurred by delays in delivery/collection of your containers.”

Contargo said that as long as the gauge levels on the Lower Rhine allow inland navigation, it would transport containers via a land bridge to terminals on the Upper and Middle Rhine, although it cautioned that capacity was limited.