Barge companies’ plans are on hold due to the prices of one commodity

Current steel prices are putting a hold on new barge projects for one transportation company.

Leaders at the Consolidated Grain and Barge Company say a new barge that includes covers now costs about $1,000,000 to build, which has caused them to put any new builds on hold because they say the numbers simply are not sustainable.

They say it could spell trouble later on if steel prices remain elevated. Last year, the industry welcomed more than 200 new covered hoppers, but most of those were orders being filled from previous years.

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While this adjustment is substantial in percentage terms, according to David Widmar with Agricultural Economic Insights—it is part of the natural ebb and flow of the agricultural economy.