I Prayed have prayed
Father, we pray that You would bring rain. Restore the Mississippi River, God, and allow these barges to once again function normally and to transport the goods we need.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Even as the global supply chain continues to recover from COVID, barges in the Mississippi River have been struggling in the midst of a drought.

From FreightWaves. You probably do not spend much time thinking about barges. This is something that you ought to change.

Who is praying on the wall?


The barge industry is quite important. It’s crucial for moving aluminum, petroleum, fertilizer and coal, particularly on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. About 60% of the grain and 54% of the soybeans for U.S. export are moved via the noble barge. Barges touch more than a third of our exported coal as well.

Right now the barge industry — and all of us who depend on its wares — is mired in a crisis. Water levels on the Mississippi River Basin are at its lowest point in more than a decade. …

Halted or slowed barge traffic is worrisome for the world at large too. American exports of coal are key right now as Europe faces a massive energy crisis heading into winter. …

The drought caused a 100-boat clog last week

Low water levels and dredging shuttered barge traffic heading north and south on the Mississippi last week. At one point, more than 100 towboats and 2,000 barges were stuck waiting. The blocked-off section of the river, between Louisiana and Mississippi, reopened Monday. Traffic is limited to one way, according to Petty Officer Jose Hernandez of the U.S. Coast Guard. …

Barge rates up around 200%

Current rates reveal how stark the barge capacity crunch is.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of moving grain via barge from St. Louis was 218% higher year over year during the week of Oct. 4. Shipments from Cincinnati and Louisville, Kentucky, popped by 196% over the same time period. …

Let’s talk about why we need barges

Some 92% of the nation’s agricultural output comes from the Mississippi River Basin. Some of that is consumed domestically and some is exported to places like China, South Korea and Mexico. …

‘Attaching a garden hose to a fire hydrant’

But, of course, this is all predicated on suitable water levels.

The more narrow and shallow the Mississippi becomes, the less that farmers and manufacturers can move. Mike Steenhoek, who is the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, outlined this in a Sept. 28 email.

Each reduced foot of water depth results in 150-200 fewer short tons loaded per barge, Steenhoek wrote. A tow moving 15 barges, for example, can move 75,000 fewer bushels of soybeans (Apparently 1 bushel of soybeans yields 48 pounds of “protein-rich meal!”). …

Then there’s the issue of a narrowing Mississippi River. One-way traffic on the river right now means that boats often have to wait as oncoming traffic passes through. …

Steenhoek wrote that barge tows on the river south of St. Louis usually tow 30 to 40 barges. But barge giants announced a maximum of 25 barges in that portion of the river, according to the Sept. 28 email. The river can’t safely accommodate any more than that. …

It’s been a rough few years for the barge industry

[During the pandemic] Barge companies … dealt with less manufacturing output, and that hasn’t fully rebounded yet, Toth said. Equipment utilization rates remain low, thanks in part to hiring challenges and delays in servicing equipment. …

It puts the noble barge in an unfavorable position. It has the low-margin, ultra-heavy shipments of rail, combined with the ease of entry of trucking. And on top of that, a drought is sucking up the conduit that the industry needs to conduct business. The rest of the world, in need of American fuel and food, could be at risk.

How are you praying over this lesser known crisis? Share this article to raise awareness of the plight facing barges.

(Excerpt from FreightWaves. Photo Credit: Justin Wilkens on Unsplash)

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October 18, 2022

Thank you lord for this day. God we need you now and always. give us our needs.Forgive us and have mercy.

Betty Beardsley
October 18, 2022

Heavenly Father, Nothing is too difficult for YOU. YOU created the heaven and the earth. YOU created seed time and harvest. YOU gave wisdom to man to create machines to plant seeds and harvest crops. Father, we are asking YOU to provide the rain to allow the life giving grains, fertilizers, coal, and other products to be shipped on the Mississippi River as before this drought. We thank and praise YOU for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Linda Ruble
October 18, 2022

Let us pray for the drought causing this problem on the Mississippi River…..Father God, restore the river to the correct depth that the barges that transport products are able to move. You are the maker of everything, including the river. Restore it back to the level that you created. And thank You Lord for the time that You provided me with a home, high on the hill above the Ohio River. What a beautiful river You created Lord God. Watching the barges move up and down the river were blessings from You Father. Thank You Father and I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen

Allena Jordan
October 18, 2022

Lord of the harvest, let the work of the farmers reach markets in good time. Lord, the Mississippi River watershed needs a snow pack and rain over a good period of time to lift the river levels. Lord, You Who send the rain on the just and the unjust, have mercy on our farmers and our nation. We are completely undeserving of Your mercy. Would You send rain to raise the level of this big River You made? Protect the crops. Let the farmers receive due recompense for their work. Let the crops arrive to their destination in a timely manner. You can turn all of this into good for Your glory. Thank You, Father. We are trusting You in all this. Amen.

kay randolph
October 18, 2022

Lord God of the skies and seas and rivers of this earth you created for mankind. I plead with You to restore the rains where most needed now to the Mississippi River in the USA. Amen.


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