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U.S. Waterway Data Title
Waterborne Commerce of the United States

File Description:

Manuscript Cargo and Trips Files (Parts 1-4 and Summary Files). Data files of yearly publication of tons by waterway for published commodity groups for the Atlantic (part 1), Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast (part 2), the Great Lakes (part 3), and the Pacific (part 4). File "manu9950" is a summary of all of the cargo moves for calendar years 2000-2016.

Data Dictionary

File Directory:

Download Cargo Data (.xlsx)
Download Trips Data (.xlsx)
(available-all regions in excel format)
Previous Reports 1993-2015

Waterborne Commerce of the United States (WCUS) is a series of publications which provide statistics on the foreign and domestic waterborne commerce moved on the United States waters. The Manuscript Cargo and Trips File (Parts 1-4) presents data on the movements of commodities at the ports and harbors and on the waterways and canals of the United States and its territories. National totals by traffic and commodity are provided under waterway codes 9950. Data on foreign commerce are supplied to the Corps of Engineers by the Bureau of Census. Data for the compilation of the domestic statistics are collected by the Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army. The geographical areas covered in WCUS, Parts 1-4 are detailed below:
WCUS, Part 1 Atlantic Coast
WCUS, Part 2 Gulf Coast, Mississippi River System, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands
WCUS, Part 3 Great Lakes
WCUS, Part 4 Pacific Coast, Alaska


Source of Data
The waterborne traffic movements are reported to the Corps of Engineers by all vessel operators of record on ENG Forms 3925 and 3925b (or equivalent) approved by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3510(a)). The reports are generally submitted on the basis of individual vessel movements completed. For movements with cargo, the point of loading and the point of unloading of each individual commodity must be delineated. Cargo moved for the military agencies in commercial vessels is reported as ordinary commercial cargo; military cargo movements in Department of Defense vessels are not collected.
In summarizing the domestic commerce certain movements are excluded: Cargo carried on general ferries; coal and petroleum products loaded from shore facilities directly into bunkers of vessels for fuel; and insignificant amounts of government materials (less than 100 tons) moved on government owned equipment in support of Corps projects.
Beginning with the calendar year 2000 publication, foreign waterborne import, export and in-transit cargo statistics are derived primarily from data purchased from the Port Import Export Reporting Service, a division of the Journal of Commerce and supplemented by data furnished to the Corps of Engineers by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and the U.S. Customs Service. Foreign cargo is matched to vessel moves to improve geographic specificity. Prior to CY2000 the foreign commerce were supplied by the Bureau of the Census only.
Import and export shipments for use of the United States Armed Forces abroad are not reported to WCSC. Beginning with calendar year 1989 shipments under the military assistance program of the Department of Defense are included in the statistics under the appropriate commodity code. In prior years these cargos were given as commodity code 9999.

Sponsoring Organization
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Navigation Data Center, Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center. The legal authority for the collection, compilation and publication of waterborne commerce statistics by the Army Corps of Engineers is Section 11 of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriations Act of 1922 (42 Stat. 1043), as amended, and codified in 33 U.S.C. 555.

Geographic Coverage of Data: Domestic Commerce - Contiguous and non-contiguous states and territories constitute the geographical space upon which domestic commerce may be transported. This includes Hawaii, Alaska, the 48 contiguous states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Wake Island and the U.S. Trust Territories.
Foreign Commerce - Foreign commerce is waterborne import and export traffic between the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and any foreign country. These statistics do not include traffic between Guam, Wake Island and American Samoa and any other foreign country.
The Republic of Panama is considered a foreign country. However, individual vessel movements with origin and destination at United States ports traveling via the Panama Canal are considered domestic traffic. Alaskan crude oil (origin at Valdez, AK) shipped via the Panama pipeline (west to east) and destined for gulf and east coast ports is also considered domestic commerce.

Time Span of Data Source: 1998-2015
First Developed: 1922
Update Frequency: Annual
Data quality/accuracy: Excellent
File Size: approx 50,000 to 1,000,000 bytes
File Format: ASCII Comma Delimited, and Excel
Maximum Characters per Record: 32
Media: CD, disk, tape, hardcopy
Contact for Additional Information:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center
PO BOX 61280
New Orleans, LA 70161-1280
Point of Contact: WCSC (504) 862-1441 or (504) 862-1424

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