Bumper harvest puts pressure on U.S. barge industry

(WASHINGTON) — A record U.S. grain harvest is putting pressure on a river transportation system strained by low barge inventory and a dilapidated lock system, Reuters reported. The situation has been exacerbated by new demand for river barges from producers of crude oil from the nation's shale boom. As a result, the Agriculture Department expects the cost to move grain from the Midwest to export facilities along the Gulf Coast to reach a six-year high in October.

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By Professional Mariner Staff