The cover story discusses St. Louis’ role as a river transportation hub and the various admiralty law issues that crop up amid the busy river traffic of this significant inland port.
Farmer noted the advantages to transporting bulk commodities like coal, petroleum, steel, and grain by river. A 15-barge tow (three wide by five deep) can move more cargo than 1,000 tractor-trailers traveling by freeway, he said.
Admiralty cases can deal with unseaworthy vessels, vessel collisions or “allisions” with stationary structures like bridges or moored casinos, cargo loss, insurance issues, personal injury claims, and a host of environmental regulations, including those aimed at containing invasive species like Asian Carp.
“From time to time, we get the chance to get out of the office and get on the equipment, ride a towboat, get on a barge and investigate claims,” Farmer told the magazine. “You get a better perspective of what it’s like to be on the river. It’s hard work.”