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Informa Economics

March 28, 2018


The US inland barge fleet contracted about one half of one percent during 2017 with the dry fleet down fourth-tenths of one percent and liquid fleet down 1.8 percent. At the end of 2017, there were 144 fewer barges in the overall fleet while 638 barges were retired, according to the Informa Economics IEG just-released Barge Fleet Profile. Among the different barge types, the dry covered, dry open and liquid tank fleets each had fewer barges in the respective fleets.

"This information remains vital given the general market dynamics being exerted upon the industry and the inland waterway infrastructure," said IEG Senior Vice President Ken Eriksen about the report. He added: "IEG appreciates the industry's continuing participation to the report's development," compiled through an annual survey of operators and information from the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).

The Barge Fleet Profile, now in its 31st year, summarizes the size and average age of the fleet by barge operator for each barge type and identifies the line haul, commodity carrying fleet of inland barges operating on the Mississippi River system, its connecting waterways and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The report also includes covered barges that move grains and oilseeds, fertilizers, steel and other products, as well as open barges that haul coal, sand, gravel and similar product types. Details on tank barges that transport liquid products, such as crude oils and renewable fuels, also are incorporated into the report.

A companion publication, the Barge Commodity Profile, in its 14th year of publication, also has been just released by IEG, offering exclusive barge pressure indices that provide a valuable tool in assessing supply and demand for barges. The report also offers barometers of barge fleet size and movements by commodity type, commodity ton miles and average distance hauled on the Mississippi River System, its connecting waterways and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. IEG utilizes data from the Corps Waterborne Commerce of the US through 2016. Movements for all barge types were down in 2016 for the second consecutive year. The movement of grain and soybeans were at record levels during 2016 while coal movements were at a 45-year low.

These reports are available from IEG, either through the Internet at or by calling Dayana Diaz at 901-766-4565. The Barge Fleet Profile is available for $100 per unit while the Barge Commodity Profile is available for $450. The reports can be purchased together for a special price of $500. For more information about the report, contact IEG Senior Vice President Ken Eriksen at 901-766-4463.

About Informa Economics IEG
A part of the Business Intelligence Division of Informa PLC, Informa Economics IEG is a world leader in comprehensive agriculture, food industry, agribusiness and commodity research, information, analysis and consulting. With a core team of research analysts and consulting specialists, Informa Economics IEG serves many of the world's leading agribusinesses. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, the company has offices in Washington, D.C.; St. Paul, Minnesota; Winnipeg, Canada; London, England; Brussels, Belgium; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is the company’s economic expertise and client base that combine to provide unique insights and strategic and long-term planning for agribusinesses around the world. For more information, see the Informa Economics IEG web site at

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