March 20, 2023

Arkansas River business tonnage up 19.5% in September, up 4.5% year-to-date

Business tonnage shipped on the Arkansas River within the first 9 months of 2022 is up 4.5%, with September tonnage up 18.5% and outbound tonnage up 54.3%, in keeping with figures from the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

September tonnage of 995,323 tons was up 19.5% in contrast with September 2021.

Inbound shipments – these coming from off the river system – totaled 2.638 million tons through the first 9 months, down 12% in contrast with the identical interval in 2021. Outbound shipments totaled 2.936 million tons, up 16% in contrast with the identical interval in 2021. Inner shipments – these despatched between port operations on the river – totaled 2.728 million tons, up 12% in contrast with the identical interval in 2021.

Marty Shell, president of Van Buren-based 5 Rivers Distribution and a member of the Arkansas Waterways Fee, stated the third quarter of 2022 was busier than the identical quarter in 2021 thanks partly to nationwide and international points.

“With a risk of a railroad strike, the congestion of trucking, and the Biden administration aid of metal tariffs with some nations we’re seeing extra volumes of merchandise at each (Fort Smith port) and (Van Buren port),” stated Shell, who manages port operations in Fort Smith and Van Buren.

He additionally stated drought situations have modified river visitors patterns. The Mississippi River is getting near all-time, historic lows. Closures stopped a reported 2,000 barges and about 100 towboats. The river gauge at Osceola is now at its lowest for the reason that all-time low report was set in 1988, in keeping with CNN. The river’s degree close to Memphis is the third lowest ever recorded, and is predicted to fall to its second lowest ever as drought situations are predicted within the coming weeks by the Nationwide Climate Service.

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“With the drought situations now we have began our grain deliveries to market sooner this 12 months. Our lock and dam system is benefiting this area and a number of states for supply of merchandise with the low water situations on the decrease Mississippi River as nicely our locks are in a position to create swimming pools that permit us to maintain navigation and commerce shifting North and South down our system,” Shell stated.

Following are the highest 5 cargo classes by tonnage for the primary 9 months of 2022, with the proportion change from the identical interval in 2021.
• Sand, gravel, rock: 3 million tons (up 9%)
Chemical fertilizer: 1.47 million tons (down 8%)
• Iron & metal: 885,600 tons (up 16%)
• Wheat: 881,200 tons (down 3%)
• Minerals/Constructing supplies: 546,500 tons (up 50%)

Tonnage in 2021 totaled 10.696 million tons, up 4% in contrast with 2020. Inbound tonnage was up 12%, outbound was down 8% and inside was up 8%. River visitors in recent times has struggled via historic flooding and an financial slowdown induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. River tonnage in 2019 totaled simply 8.48 million tons, down 22% from 2018. However tonnage was up 22% in 2020 to 10.322 million tons.

The Arkansas River system is 445 miles lengthy and stretches from the confluence of the Mississippi River to the Port of Catoosa close to Tulsa, Okla. The managed waterway has 18 locks and dams, with 13 in Arkansas and 5 in Oklahoma. The river additionally has 5 business ports: Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Muskogee, Okla., and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa in Oklahoma.

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