Manufacturing and power generation are natural fits with a major waterway like the Ohio River which provides water for cooling and processing and low-cost transportation for bulk and finished materials.
The Ohio River’s 451 miles of shoreline borders 10 counties in the APEG region. Its waters support electric generation plants and polymer manufacturing processes and provides a major thoroughfare for transporting coal, steel and other bulk materials. Industry values river transportation as it is the most cost efficient way to move raw materials and finished products.
Ohio River Industry and Commerce Facts
- Water transport is the most fuel efficient, safest and environmentally responsible way to move freight. It costs approximately 40% less to move goods by barge than rail and 73% less than by truck.
- Ohio ranks eighth in the nation for tonnage of goods shipped by water based on usage of the Ohio River.
- The Ohio River is at less than 50 percent capacity for river traffic. It is relatively congestion-free.
- The Ohio River moves more freight (by tonnage) than the Panama Canal.
- Every year 63 million tons of commodities valued at $7.4 billion are transported to, from and within Ohio via the Ohio River.
- From the Ohio River, there are two routes to the Gulf of Mexico: down the Mississippi to New Orleans and via the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway to the Port of Mobile. The Tenn-Tom has a system of locks and dams that maintain even water depth and offers an alternate route in the event that the Mississippi River gets too high or low for transport.