Wednesday, March 1, 2017

After the storm

I was trying to think of something poetic or profound or humorous to say, but it never came out right, so here without comment are a couple of pictures of the 6th Street Bridge at Huntington, W.Va., this evening.

We had some storms move through earlier in the day. The ground is soaked and the river is up. That's about as deep as I get tonight.

Ingram layoffs

Not surprising, given the drop in coal shipments and the number of power plant retirements, but Ingram has laid off 47 people, according to this article in the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville.

Hunt declined to confirm that the drop in business is specifically related in part to a fall in coal shipments and Ingram Barge's reported loss last year of key public utility client The Dayton Power & Light Co.

The Tennessean references an article on about how the business of hauling commodities on the rivers is hurting. The online version of article was short, but it included this:

Even with record-large exports of corn and soybeans, typically a boon for shippers that haul grain to Gulf Coast export terminals, the collapse of coal shipments to the lowest levels in decades has left the dry bulk barge fleet chasing too little cargo.
In pursuit of rising grain volumes since 2014, many shippers expanded their fleets too quickly.

I did a piece a year and a half ago about how Campbell Transportation knew the coal business was in decline, so it was preparing to move into other types of cargo and services.

As for the future, as editorial writers say, it remains to be seen.