Southwest Pass Draft Increased

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has announced that the draft for the Southwest Pass on the Mississippi River has been increased from 45 to 47 feet following dredging.

In early August, heavy silt deposits in the Mississippi River Delta caused by recent high upstream river levels reduced the maximum recommended draft for vessels using the pass from 47 to 45 feet.

The Southwest Pass is the primary shipping channel on the Mississippi River, with a wide variety of cargoes entering and leaving the Mississippi River. It is the only channel that can be used by deep draft vessels.

The latest guidance update was issued by the Louisiana Maritime Association (LaMA). The association has also warned that the increase in dredging needed by the previous draft restrictions could impact the country’s dredging budget and result in possible funding shortages in 2016.