With the system of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, we have over 400 miles of navigable inland waterway available for transporting cargo the most environmentally friendly and efficient way possible. If barge navigation were halted, it would take an additional 120,000 rail cars or more than 700,000 semi-trucks annually to haul the cargo currently being carried via barge. Not only does barge transportation require a great deal less fuel than rail or truck to haul the same amount of cargo, it also results in significantly lower emissions being released into the environment.

                                                                                      Five barges carrying 5,000 BDU’s of wood chips is equivalent to over 100 rail cars or over 350 semi-trucks.

                                          

                                           Five barges carrying 5,000 BDU’s of wood chips is equivalent to over 100 rail cars or over 350 semi-trucks.

Cargo Capacities Compared by Mode

Barge: 1500 tons, 52,500 bushels, 453,600 gallons

Rail Car: 100 tons, 3,500 bushels, 30,240 gallons

Truck Trailer: 25 tons, 875 bushels, 7,560 gallons

 

Relative Energy Efficiencies

(number of miles one ton can travel per gallon of fuel)

Barge: 514

Rail Car: 202

Truck Trailer: 59

 

Comparison of Cargo

(in pounds per horsepower)

  • BARGE: 10,700
  • RAIL CAR: 4,500
  • TRUCK TRAILER: 300

 

Emissions Compared by Mode

(in pounds per one ton of cargo moved 1000 miles)

  • BARGE: hydrocarbons .09,  carbon monoxide .20, Nitrous Oxide .53
  • RAIL CAR: hydrocarbons .46,  carbon monoxide .64, .Nitrous Oxide 1.83
  • TRUCK TRAILER: hydrocarbons .63,  carbon monoxide 1.90, Nitrous Oxide 10.17