Freight News, Sea

American Waterways Benefit from Barge Transport

[ August 11, 2017   //   ]

The American Waterways Operators recently released a study documenting the contribution of the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry to the US economy. Developed through a cooperative agreement between AWO and MARAD, and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, it quantifies the industry’s impact on US employment, gross domestic product, and taxes, and highlights the rich array of commodities transported on American waterways.

According to the study, water transport uses 75% less energy than trucks and 31% less than rail to haul a ton of freight; the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, in turn, are directly responsible for more than 50,000 jobs. And of all the products carried on the nation’s waterways, 69% of the lumber, stone and ore, 82.4% of petroleum and petroleum products as well as 90% of coal are transported by the tugboat, towboat, and barge industry. On a nationwide basis, including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, the industry supported more than 300,000 jobs and $33.8 billion in GDP in 2014.