Editor’s note: This article is the third in a three-part series about disruptions to base oil traffic on rivers in the Midwestern, Southern and Eastern United States. The first article, which appeared in the March 18 issue, reported about the impacts of fog, while the second appeared in the March 25 issue and was about flooding.
Fog and floods are regular if varying disruptors to river-borne transportation of base oils in the Midwestern, Southern and Eastern United States. Suppliers and buyers can take steps to minimize impacts, though not to escape them completely.
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One way to hedge against disruptions to river transportation is to have the ability in place to turn to fall back on other modes of transport, specifically rail and/or trucking. Barges can offer big economies of scale when they are getting through, but when they aren’t, these other modes can provide an alternative – if they are not also impacted.