Containers on Barge (COB) has been long touted as one of the ways movement of goods on our inland waterways can be made efficient, safely, and environmentally friendly. Read this article from the Inland Rives Ports and Terminals on how the Port of Greater Baton Rouge has instituted a service in which empty containers are accepted into the Port’s Inland Marine Terminal and loaded with products from nearby industries.
A container carried on a barge can carry up to five tons more than those towed by an over-the-road truck, eliminating weight restrictions as well as reducing road congestion and ozone levels. A standard hopper barge (35 ft x 195 ft) can load 24-28 fully loaded forty-foot-equivalent barges at 30 tons each, or 840 tons per barge, which means the tow can operate in shallower channels (depending on size of tugboat itself). On the Alabama River, less than 1000 tons per barge means the barges can be moved at six feet depth.