barges carrying grain down river Ed Metz/Hemera/Thinkstock
River barge tows

U.S. tugboat, towboat, barge industry adds $33b to GDP

Average of 763 million tons of cargo moved annually.

The U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry plays an important role in domestic commerce, as nearly 5,500 U.S.-flag tugboats and towboats and more than 31,000 barges move an average of 763 million tons of cargo on the nation’s waterways each year. The industry provides tug and tow services in U.S. ports and facilitates trade between ports in the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island. It also facilitates international trade by providing tugboat services t

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