Namely, the water levels at the Kaub measuring point near Frankfurt, Germany have dropped at around 120cm.

That means that they have diminished steadily since 2019, due to heavy rainfall's absence.

Credit : Rhine Shipping Authority

With the water levels being below a metre at the Kaub point, large freight vessels find it extremely difficult to navigate along the river, while there are already substantial restrictions on loading levels.

"Rhine water levels are low and we are seeing 20% under-load on gas barges and about 50% under-load on liquids [such as] aromatics" a production source said to ICIS.

Moreover, according to German water agency predictions, water levels are estimated to diminish to 100cm or slightly below by the weekend, in case of no improvement in conditions.

"The extent of the restrictions on loading and the resulting surcharges depend on what part of the river, which threads through much of mainland northwest Europe, ships are passing through" a spokesperson told to ICIS.

Additionally, Rhine's water levels will keep on falling slowly if no strong rainfall will occur. As for the river's traffic, is going on normally despite the reduced loading.

Overall, the low water levels in Rhine is a common-seen phenomenon, back in July 2019 the river was at risk of shutting due to shallow levels.