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News > Germany

Germany's River Shipping Is Affected by Low Water Level

  • Water levels on the Rhine River in Germany are already slowing down shipping. Aug. 8, 2022.

    Water levels on the Rhine River in Germany are already slowing down shipping. Aug. 8, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@MTSLogistics

Published 8 August 2022

As a result of the constant high temperatures and the lack of rainfall, Germany is suffering from lower water levels.


In Germany, the inland river shipping industry is being affected, as the country faces a reduction in water levels resulting from the continued high temperatures, combined as well with the lack of rainfall.

German Economy Stagnates Amid Difficult Global Conditions

"The water levels and discharges of the German federal waterways remain at a low level," informed Monday the Parliamentary State Secretary with the Ministry for Digital and Transport, Oliver Luksic.

"Despite some forecasted rain, the signs point to a further intensification of the low water this week," said Secretary Luksic. He highlighted the importance of optimizing operations on the river Rhine, Europe's busiest inland waterway.

About 80 percent of the inland waterway, freight traffic depends on the international route which connects the country's western seaports with Switzerland, according to the federal association of German inland navigation (BDB).

In accordance with the current situation, the ships taking that route are carrying less cargo as a preventive measure of grounding. "To compensate for this, more shipping capacity is put into service to carry out transport orders," said a BDB spokesperson.

"Inland waterway transports are carried out as long as it is physically and safely possible," said the BDB representative, adding that otherwise, low water levels will not result in the full closure, as can be the case with high water.

The European country faces a heatwave, sharping the record temperatures. "The prolonged drought has been quite hard on the plants this summer. Already in mid-June, there was a large water deficit," posted on Twitter by the country's meteorological service (DWD).


Oliver Luksic
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