Bulker is first to take advantage of new Mississippi River draft limit

Written by Marine Log Staff
Bulker at Mississippi River terminal

Image: T. Parker Host

Norfolk, Va.,-headquartered T. Parker Host reports that the first ship has sailed from its United Bulk Terminals on the Mississippi River with a draft of 47.7 feet. This follows a newly announced increase in draft limit to 48 feet.

The M/V CSSC Le Havre, operated by Cargill International with a cargo from Alliance Coal LLC, is destined for the Far East and loaded over 112,000 metric tons on December 23.


“When the Crescent River Pilots who oversee navigation of vessels in the this stretch of river announced the increase in depth on December 20, the Host Agency team sprang into action working with the master, shippers, owners, operators and terminal to increase the cargo to be loaded by over 2,000 tons with less than 24 hours’ notice,” said Chris Kitsos, senior operations manager at Host Agency.

“Host had already invested in equipment and dock improvements to accommodate up to 250,000 ton ships to load up to 50 feet in any river condition, so when the pilots approved deeper navigation we were already ready,” said Brian Taylor, general manager of the Gulf at United Bulk Terminals.


“We are proud to be a part of this historic moment on the Mississippi,” said Host’s Chairman and CEO Adam Anderson. “We expect to be able to load vessels to 50 feet in 2022, capesize ships can load up to 10 percent more cargo making U.S. exports more competitive in the global marketplace. The increased depth allows vessels to immediately carry more cargo resulting in lower costs, reduced emissions and increased efficiency for the entire supply chain.”

T. Parker Host says it now looks forward to not only being a part of the current phase to reach 50 feet in 2022, but to support the continued long-term efforts to reach a 55 feet draft that was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1985.

“This is a celebration for commerce on the river, and the culmination of many years of industry efforts and partnership between the river pilots, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, port officials, elected representatives, six different governors and the entire maritime community to be able to accommodate vessels with larger drafts,” says the company.

Founded in 1923, T. Parker Host specializes in agency services, terminal operations, stevedoring and marine assets.

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