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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Downbound Grain Barge Rates Jan 2013-Oct 2023

Figure

Time series line graph showing the dollars per ton of downbound grain barges on the Mississippi River System and its tributaries from January 2012 to November 2022. There are seven series depicting the weekly barge rates originating from seven locations along the Mississippi River System and its tributaries: Cairo-Memphis, St. Louis, Lower Illinois, Twin Cities, Mid-Mississippi, Cincinnati, and Lower Ohio. All series show similar trends across the entire time frame with notable spikes occurring in the month

Notes:

Weekly barge rates for downbound freight originating from seven locations along the Mississippi River System, which includes the Mississippi River and its tributaries (e.g., Upper Mississippi River, Illinois River, Ohio River, etc.). The seven locations are: (1) "Twin Cities," a stretch along the Upper Mississippi; (2) "Mid-Mississippi," a stretch between eastern Iowa and western Illinois; (3) "Illinois River," along the lower portion of the Illinois River; (4) "St. Louis"; (5) "Cincinnati," along the middle third of the Ohio River; (6) "Lower Ohio," approximately the final third of the Ohio River; and (7) "Cairo-Memphis," from Cairo, IL, to Memphis, TN. Under the percent-of-tariff system, each city on the river has its own benchmark, with the northern most cities having the highest benchmarks. They are as follows: Twin Cities = 619; Mid-Mississippi = 532; St. Louis = 399; Illinois = 464; Cincinnati = 469; Lower Ohio = 446; and Cairo-Memphis = 314. Breaks in the lines indicate no rate record for that week at that location.
 

Source:

United States Department of Agricultures, Downbound Grain Barge Rates, available at https://www.usda.gov as of May 2024