River Rhine in south Germany still closed to shipping after rain

By Thomson Reuters Jun 4, 2024 | 1:12 AM

HAMBURG (Reuters) – Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany remained closed to cargo shipping on Tuesday after heavy rain in south Germany increased water levels, navigation authorities said.

Rhine river shipping has stopped around Maxau and Mannheim in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency said. The river had been closed to freight shipping over the weekend after heavy rain caused extensive flooding in south Germany, stopping sailings to Switzerland.

High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges and the blockage prevents vessels sailing to Switzerland. Shipping on northern sections of the river is operating normally despite rising water levels including the important points of Duisburg, Cologne and Karlsruhe.

The high water warning centre in the south German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said Rhine water levels were expected to fall in coming days but Maxau was not currently forecast to reopen to shipping until Friday.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including minerals, grains, animal feed, coal and oil products such as heating oil.

The Rhine has repeatedly suffered from low water levels because of unusually dry summers in recent years.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Andrew Heavens)