Transportation Rate Analysis of Waterborne Trip Movements on Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Academic Article uri icon


  • The limitations of and the alternative methodologies for field data collection used to estimate transportation rates from origin to destinationincluding transfer and handling feesfor 40 commodity movements on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West and alternative rail or truck land routings were studied. The study was intended to be a small-scale scoping exercise for the research team to benchmark more extensive efforts required to conduct future work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The study was originally intended to be based on field-collected data, but the researchers encountered stiff resistance from terminal operators when requesting cost information as well as substantial inaccuracies with the contact and ownership information contained in the trip data files and Port Series Reports of the USACE Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center. Therefore, it was necessary to use the Barge Costing Model (BCM) and the researchers' experience to develop transportation rates for most of the movements. The study found that no off-river origin or destination sites were associated with any of the movements. Barge shipment was found to be the least-cost alternative for every movement and, in most cases (38 of the 40 movements), the least-cost and most practical land-only transportation alternative to barge was rail. Detailed rate sheets for each of the 40 commodity movements were developed. The study concluded that in future research efforts, it will be vital to include barge operators in the data collection effort to verify the BCM and the researchers' assumptions.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Protopapas, A., Kruse, C. J., & Olson, L. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Protopapas, Annie||Kruse, C James||Olson, Leslie E

publication date

  • January 2011