Jobs & The Economy
See below for additional information, fact sheets and infographics that highlight the safety, environmental, and economic benefits of the nation’s tugboat, towboat and barge industry.
- The tugboat, towboat and barge industry is the largest segment of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, employing more than 33,000 American mariners aboard its vessels.
- The nation’s domestic maritime industry is an economic engine and a jobs creator which supports 500,000 jobs and provides $100 billion in economic output.
- Moving goods on the water is the most efficient transportation mode. A typical inland barge has a capacity 15 times greater than one rail car and 60 times greater than one semitrailer-truck, and one 15 barge-tow can move the equivalent of 216 rail cars or 1,050 semitrailer-trucks.
- Water transportation plays a critical role in facilitating the nation’s trade, moving 60 percent of U.S. grain for export.
- The single largest commodity that moves on U.S. waterways is petroleum – 244 million tons annually.
- Twenty percent of the nation’s coal is moved on the water.