Innovations in Barge Transportation on Columbia River

by William E. Torget, Chf.; Economics Branch, Planning Div., U.S. Army Engrg. Div., North Pacific, Portland, OR,
Rowena Funston, Chf.; Proj. Evaluation Section, Economics Branch, U.S. Army Engrg. Div., North Pacific, Portland, OR,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 411-432

Document Type: Journal Paper


Barge traffic on the Columbia River is dissimilar in may respects to that of the typical inland waterway. The average haul is short, less than 300 miles. Resources, population, and industrial activity of the tributary area restrict the volume and diversity of traffic. Effectiv utilization of barge transportation under these limitations has led to some significant innovations, both in equipment and terminal facilities developed to serve the traffic requirements of this particular economy. Several forest products plants move almost their entire output by water. This is accomplished in conjunction with a unique terminal and distribution facility in Portland, Oregon, which provides an interchange between barge and other transportation media. The combination barge, capable of carrying variety of commodities, was developed to better serve the needs of the upriver agricultural economy. Also in this category is the large ocean-river barge, the Kenai, which transports fertilizer materials from Alaska to the mid-Columbia area.

Subject Headings: Barges | Innovation | Terminal facilities | Water transportation | Rivers and streams | Inland waterways | Population projection | Industries | Oregon | Alaska | United States

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