Low Water – tense situation on the Rhine
Last night the gauge level at Kaub fell below the 55 cm mark. This means that approximately one third of our fleet is not able to navigate the Middle Rhine (“Loreley”).
It is feared that gauge levels may fall further during next week. If the Kaub Gauge does in fact fall below 50 cm, an additional 45 percent of our vessels will be unable to navigate this part of the Rhine, so that only one quarter of our fleet would then be available. For the stretch from Basel to Koblenz there would be a further severe limitation of loading capacities.
Due to the continuing dry weather the gauges in Koblenz and Cologne have also fallen so far that the situation there is comparable to Kaub.
Unfortunately no significant rainfall is expected over the next few days, so that an improvement in the situation on the Rhine in the short term is not in sight.
We are making every effort to transport your containers in good time; however if gauge levels continue to fall, the alternative of trucking containers to Koblenz and transporting them from there by barge is no longer an option. In this case the vessels that are no longer able to pass the Kaub Gauge will be deployed in the Lower Rhine region, and turned around in Neuss.
If this situation should actually occur, we will build a “land bridge”, depending on the truck capacities available to us, and will transport your containers by truck between the terminals on the Upper and Middle Rhine and our terminal in Neuss. On arrival in Neuss your containers will then be transferred between truck and barge for further transport.
As another alternative, we also offer you our rail transports at our terminals in Wörth, Mannheim, Frankfurt, Neuss and Duisburg, however these capacities are also limited. To find out what alternatives we can offer you for your containers, please get in touch with your usual contact at Contargo.
Due to the difficult situation we regretfully have to inform you that adhesion to delivery dates cannot be guaranteed, and that according to our General Terms and Conditions (AGBs) we no longer have an obligation to transport below a gauge level of 81 cm at Kaub and below a gauge level of 181 cm at Duisburg-Ruhrort.
As soon as there is any indication of an improvement in the water levels, we will contact you again. We hope for your understanding and ask you to pass on this information to all responsible employees in your company.
Our personnel will be glad to answer your questions and/or give you further information.