Trip ton-miles is a measure of a single waterway's contribution to the whole waterway system. Trip ton-miles are computed by identifying every commercial cargo-carrying vessel that has plied a particular inland waterway and summing the products of the tons times the total trip-miles for each vessel trip. "Trip-miles" is the total distance from origin to destination. For example, a barge carrying 1200 tons of wheat might only travel 30 miles on the Illinois River but its total trip to New Orleans might be 1000 miles. This trip would contribute 1,200,000 trip ton-miles to the Illinois River. Small rivers often contribute to the traffic on larger rivers.


Domestic Traffic for Selected U.S. Inland Waterways in 2001
(Millions of Short Tons, Billions of Ton-miles1 and Change from 2000)
Trip2
Length Tons Ton-Miles Ton-Miles
Waterway (miles) 2001 % 2001 % 2001 %

Atlantic Coast
  Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, VA-FL 793 2.5 -20.1 0.1 -20.0 0.3 -3.1
  Intracoastal Wtwy, Jacksonville to Miami, FL 349 1.0 18.5 ** -59.3 ** -42.6
 
Gulf Coast
  Bayou Teche, LA 107 1.7 10.4 0.1 12.2 0.6 5.9
  Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers, AL 449 18.9 -19.4 3.2 -36.0 6.6 -21.5
  Chocolate Bayou, TX 13 3.4 -11.4 ** -2.1 0.9 12.1
  Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, TX-FL 1109 112.2 -1.4 18.0 -3.7 55.5 -3.0
  GIWW: Morgan City-Port Allen Route, LA 64 23.3 1.0 1.5 1.8 21.7 -0.7
  Petit Anse, Tigre, Carlin Bayous, LA 16 3.1 19.7 ** 15.9 3.7 26.0
  Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, AL and MS 234 6.8 -3.6 1.3 0.1 4.1 -0.6
 
Mississippi River System
  Allegheny River, PA 72 3.0 -21.9 ** -27.5 1.4 -0.3
  Atchafalaya River, LA 121 11.6 -14.0 0.7 -18.4 7.2 -16.8
  Big Sandy River, KY and WV 27 24.2 3.0 0.2 4.5 7.5 -2.3
  Cumberland River, KY and TN 381 23.2 2.2 2.4 3.7 10.5 2.0
  Green and Barren Rivers, KY 109 7.8 88.7 0.5 114.6 3.9 130.1
  Illinois Waterway, IL 357 43.5 -1.7 8.7 -3.0 43.8 -3.0
  Kanawha River, WV 91 22.2 -1.4 1.5 -1.3 10.5 8.0
  McClellan-Kerr Arkansas R. Nav. Sys., AR/OK 462 11.2 4.4 2.4 6.6 6.6 1.1
  Mississippi River Mpls, MN to Mouth of Passes 1814 316.5 -3.3 180.1 -2.9 268.9 -3.8
    Minneapolis, MN to Mouth of Missouri River 663 78.8 -5.4 14.4 -10.1 88.4 -5.3
    Mouth of Missouri R. to Mouth of Ohio R. 195 119.1 -2.1 19.7 -1.4 123.1 -2.8
    Mouth of Ohio River up to Baton Rouge, LA 720 200.7 -1.8 123.1 -2.0 210.0 -3.0
    Baton Rouge up to New Orleans, LA3 130 220.0 -2.7 17.4 -3.4 214.7 -3.6
    New Orleans, LA to Mouth of Passes3 106 116.7 -3.8 5.4 -5.0 102.1 -2.0
  Missouri R. (MO, KS, NE & IA) to Sioux City, IA 732 9.7 11.4 0.6 -9.9 1.5 -8.6
  Monongahela River, PA and WV 129 38.1 2.1 1.3 2.9 7.7 -9.5
  Ohio River, PA, WV, OH, KY, IN, and IL 981 242.5 2.6 58.7 1.7 132.3 -1.6
  Ouachita and Black Rivers, AR and LA 332 1.6 6.7 0.2 4.3 0.7 -4.0
  Red River, LA 212 3.7 -2.1 0.3 -5.0 2.3 -5.9
  Tennessee River, TN, KY, MS and AL 652 47.9 -3.3 6.5 -12.0 26.5 -6.1
 
Pacific Coast
  Columbia River System, OR, WA, and ID 596 20.2 -12.2 0.7 -17.3 6.9 -12.7
    Columbia River and Willamette River
      below Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR3 113 19.8 -11.6 0.9 -15.4 6.8 -12.5
    Vancouver, WA to The Dalles, OR 85 9.8 -8.2 0.8 -8.7 2.3 -12.7
    The Dalles Dam to McNary Lock and Dam 100 8.9 -9.2 0.8 -14.9 2.3 -13.5
    Above McNary L & D to Kennewick, WA 39 6.7 -14.6 0.2 -15.4 1.9 -15.7
    Snake River (WA and ID) to Lewiston, ID 141 5.6 -15.9 0.3 -20.1 1.7 -16.3
    Willamette River above Portland, OR 118 1.6 83.7 ** 15.1 0.1 385.2

1. ** denotes ton-miles of less than 50 million.
2. Tons times total distance from origin to destination.
3. Includes deep draft waterways.

Comments or Questions Contact: WCSC (504) 862-1424 or (504) 862-1404
Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, New Orleans, LA