As the new Egyptian government cuts back on decades of expensive but popular fuel subsidies to pare its deficit, the rise in fuel prices has spurred a new boom in Nile River transport and traffic of all kinds.
“River ports and locks were left to deteriorate after 1952, when military rulers introduced food and energy subsidies as they sought to turn Egypt into a socialist state…. In anticipation [of the subsidy cuts], Cairo-based private equity firm Citadel Capital SAE (CCAP) has invested more than $200 million on barges, ports and storage facilities that are already handling shipments of wheat, cement and phosphate. Within five years, the share of cargo moved by river may jump to at least 15 percent, said Stephen Murphy, a managing director at the company.”
Making sure Sandy-caused flash floods don’t shut down navigation dams on Pennsylvania’s rivers.
“Hawk says the area’s reservoir dams that significantly cut down on flooding are in good shape, but crews are keeping a close watch on gates at four navigation dams that are deteriorating.
‘When we have high water and fast rivers, bigger chance of a barge breaking free and slamming into that dam and taking out those gates. So we’re watching that situation very closely,’ Hawk said.”
According to CNBC, the drought and subsequent crop disease has reversed normal crop flows for this time of year.
Houston’s liquid barge business is booming, thanks to nearby shale plays.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune ended its 175-year run as a daily print newspaper, moving to a 3-day-a-week print schedule plus website and video. One of the few urban daily newspapers that usually got river news right.
An exhibit at the London Canal Museum of restored photographs from a long-hidden archive documents the lives of British canal workers of the 1940s and 50s.
–at least in some respects.
NYT on today’s modern blue-water container ports.
“In 2011, the six terminals in Brooklyn and New Jersey and on Staten Island handled the equivalent of 5.5 million container loads of cargo, more than at any point since New York was founded by the Dutch.”
Interestingly, blue-water ports now believe they suffer from the same “invisibility” that brown-water folks have always complained about, but that didn’t used to be the case in coastal deep-sea ports.
“ONE of the things heard around the port is that people there, particularly powerful people, believe that they are working in obscurity. New York is — and has always been — a port town, they say, but few people think of it that way. One former terminal executive recalled seeing an advertisement for a recent public event celebrating the city’s waterfront. Ferryboats and kayakers were mentioned, but not the port.”
An old story for river ports.
On the other hand, “Labor accounts for nearly half the cost of doing business in New York, which remains the most expensive port in the world to shippers, the shipping association says.”
Jim Craiglow of Craiglow’s River Delivery Service talks to the Southeast Missourian about life on the river.
According to the AP, only about 200 barges used the Missouri River this summer so far—leaving some recreational reservoir users unhappy.