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Domestic Water Carriers. Significance of the Industry. Transport roughly 14% of total national freight 26.5% of total domestic ton-miles Employ close to 200,000 Average compensation = 47,000. Types of Carriers. Private Carriers Cannot be hired

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Significance of the industry l.jpg
Significance of the Industry

  • Transport roughly 14% of total national freight

  • 26.5% of total domestic ton-miles

  • Employ close to 200,000

  • Average compensation = 47,000


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Types of Carriers

  • Private Carriers

    • Cannot be hired

    • Only transport freight of company that owns/lease the vessel


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Types of Carriers

  • For-Hire Carriers

    • Charge fee for their service

    • Exempt from economic regulation when transporting dry & liquid bulk commodities

    • Vast majority of freight transported meets this definition

    • Hence, most of the for-hire carriers are exempt


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Types of Carriers

  • Regulated For-Hire Carriers

    • Economic regulation administered by the STB

    • Only about 300 carriers

    • Classified as either common or contract carriers


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Types of Carriers

  • Internal Carriers

    • Operate on U.S. Rivers & lakes (primarily the Great Lakes)

    • Principal waterways (rivers)

      • Mississippi

      • Ohio

      • Tennessee

      • Columbia

      • Hudson

      • Tenn-Tom Waterway


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Types of Carriers

  • Costal Carriers

    • Operate along coasts (Atlantic, Pacific, & Gulf of Mexico)

    • Use oceangoing vessels primarily

    • Some oceangoing barges used (18,000 ton capacity)


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Distribution of Ton-Miles

  • Exempt, For-Hire

    • Coastal = 34.7%

    • Internal = 58.3%

    • Great Lakes = 7.0%

  • Regulated, For-Hire

    • Coastal = 25.5%

    • Internal = 56.9%

    • Great Lakes = 17.6%

  • Private

    • Coastal = 87.0%

    • Internal = 10.1%

    • Great Lakes = 2.7%


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Domestic Ton-Miles by Type of Service

  • Exempt, For-Hire = 73.1%

  • Regulated, For-Hire = 4.5%

  • Private = 22.4%


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General Service Characteristics

  • Commodities Hauled

    • Dry bulk (coal & coke) = 28.3%

    • Petroleum (& related) = 24.4%

    • Food & farm = 14.4%

    • Chemicals = 8.4%

    • Iron ore, iron & steel = 4.7%

    • All other = 19.8%


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General Service Characteristics

  • Length of Haul

    • Internal carriers average haul 482 miles

    • Great Lakes carriers average 508 miles

    • Coastal average 1652 miles

  • Load Size

    • Barges normally transport 1000 – 1500 tons (max capacity 3000 tons)

      • Equivalent to 16 railcars or 60 trucks

    • Great Lakes carriers average 20,000 tons


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General Service Characteristics

  • Low-Cost Service

    • Primary advantage

    • Lowest cost mode for shipment of non-liquid products (1997 averages below)

      • Barge per-ton fees = $0.73

      • Rail per-ton fees = $2.40

      • Truck per-ton fees = $26.12

      • Oil pipelines per-ton fees = $1.37


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General Service Characteristics

  • Speed of Service

    • Transit time longest of the 4 modes that move non-liquids

    • Speeds average between 5 – 10 miles per hour (upstream vs. downstream)

  • Service Disruption

    • Ice

    • Hurricanes


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Types of Vehicles

  • Tanker

    • Largest ship in domestic water industry

    • 18,000 – 50,000 tons

  • Barge

    • Most commonly used vessel by internal waterway carriers

    • Powerless (towed by a tugboat)

    • 1500 – 3000 tons


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Terminals

  • Most often provided by the public

  • Local government agencies operate ports and storage facilities

  • Some private firms invest in own terminals

    • Grain, coal, oil

  • Containerization critical


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Cost Structure

  • Approximately 15% of costs are fixed

  • Remainder (85%) are variable

    • Labor represents approximately 20% of operating costs

    • Ships typically consume more fuel per mile than all the other modes (0.0128 miles per gallon)

    • Note that despite using more fuel on a per mile basis, water transporters use less overall fuel than other carriers

    • Thus, on a fuel per ton-mile basis, water is the most fuel-efficient


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