Feed manufacturer ForFarmers is encountering damages of up to €50,000 per day due to a broken door in a lock between the IJssel River and the Twente Canal which is the main route for their supply of raw materials.
Early January one of the doors in the lock broke from its hinges and since then all ship traffic is on hold.
In the Twente Canal three locks operate to take care of a height of 21 meters to bridge. The first lock from the IJssel River into the canal broke down. Since the canal is a dead end, there is no route around.
ForFarmers has three feed mills alongside the canal and about half way there is also a grain terminal located. All raw materials have now to be shipped by truck, which adds about €50,000 extra transport costs per day for the company, said Jos Westerhof, spokesman of ForFarmers.
“Luckily at this time year thing are a bit slow in truck hauling, so the transport vehicles were readily available, but it makes quite a difference if you have to unload a truck of 30 tonnes or a ship of 3,000 tonnes,” he adds. The company works 24/7 to get all the raw materials delivered.
Not only the companies that depend on barge transport suffer, but the ship owners do as well, because they cannot enter the canal or – even worse – cannot exit the canal.
Dutch minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Melanie Schultz, has promised to partly compensate damages of ship owners and haulers.
The owner of the lock, Dutch Government Waterways, has jury rigged a temporary door for the lock, which allows up to 80% of the water traffic to pass, but when the new door arrives the lock will have to close down again. In total, repair time is estimated to take another 2 weeks.