Port and Waterways Facts
- The 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways, like highways, operate as a
system, and much of the commerce moves on multiple segments. They serve as
connecting arteries, much like neighborhood streets help people reach interstate
- Waterways are operated by the Corps as multi-purpose, multi-objective projects.
They not only serve commercial navigation, but in many cases also provide hydropower,
flood protection, municipal water supply, agricultural irrigation, recreation, and regional
- Forty-one states, 16 state capitals and all states east of the Mississippi River are
served by commercially navigable waterways.
- Louisiana has over 1000 port facilities (Texas has an equal number) on 2000 miles
of channels maintained by the Corps.
- Nearly 500 U.S. grain transfer facilities are served by water transportation with the
largest number, over 140 facilities, located on the Upper Mississippi River and the
- The state of Kentucky has the longest shoreline along any one inland waterway,
664 miles on the Ohio River.
- The state of Michigan has deep draft port facilities on 4 Great Lakes. Pennsylvania
and New York have ports along both the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Coast.
- The port areas of New York/New Jersey, Seattle and San Francisco have the largest
number of ferry passengers in the U.S.
- The deep-water port located furthest from the sea is Baton Rouge, LA at miles 168 to
255 above the Head of Passes on the Mississippi River.
- On the west coast over 90 container cranes, 20 having an outboard reach in excess
of 160 feet, are located at the two ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Another
44 container cranes, 11 having an outboard reach in excess of 160 feet, are at the two
ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
- The Port of New York /New Jersey operates the greatest number of container cranes,
50, on the east coast.
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers | Navigation Data Center | 7701 Telegraph Rd, Casey Bldg. | Alexandria, VA 22315 | Voice:(703) 428-9061 | Fax:(703) 428-6047