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Mississippi River and Waterborne Freight

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mississippi River Watershed with Major Tributaries and Major Ports


The Mississippi River is the largest drainage basin in the United States and the second-longest river in North America. It is also the 15th largest river by discharge in the world. This schematic map of the Mississippi and its major tributaries shows the extent of this watershed. Major ports, as defined by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) based on total tonnage, are also shown.

Commodities on the Mississippi River: 2019


1 short ton = 2,000 pounds


According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Mississippi River carried more than 500 million short tons of  imports, exports, and domestic freight in 2019.


BTS analysis of USACE data