New restrictions on Mississippi River
The New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association said Tuesday further navigation restrictions on the Lower Mississippi River would take place immediately:
' Ships with a draft of 40 feet or more will be daylight restricted from 151.7 to 191.1 miles above head of passes.
' Vessels with a draft of 37 feet and above will be daylight only from 191.1 to 232.2 miles. On Feb. 5, only vessels with a draft of 40 feet or less will be allowed from 191.1 to 232.2.
Ken Wells, coordinator of the Big River Coalition, said the newest restrictions are “just as serious” as the decision last week by pilots at the mouth of the Mississippi to reduce the maximum draft of ships entering or leaving the river from 45 to 44 feet.
The restrictions can drive up freight costs for shippers because ships have to load less cargo, take longer to traverse the river because they cannot operate at night, and perhaps make U.S. exports less competitive.