The Mississippi River is low and even though there has been occasional rises being seen, it is a far cry from what it normally should be seeing for barge traffic. This is putting much of the U.S. interior in a bind, as we use the river network to move goods to the gulf for export and get needed products back up to us.
So, how bad is it really?
There’s no better way to see the Mississippi River’s low water levels and their impact on shipping than firsthand from the cockpit of a river tugboat. Jimmy Cheatham, Mississippi River captain and owner of his own Tik Tok channel, is using this platform to show people what tugboats are up against. 2022 is said to be very similar to 2012 and 1988.
Also, with less water in the canal, there is less room to maneuver the tows.
Cheatham says the slowdowns impact global trade.
Many farmers are concerned about fertilizer availability and prices in 2023. Cheatham said the supplies are there, but the transportation takes time.
He added that the river transport industry is working hard to move grain south for farmers and fertilizer north, but at higher costs.