Capacity utilization rates for small inland tank barges (10-30 MBbl) this year are sky high at 90-95 percent. Tank barges are being used to move crude oil shipped by rail from North Dakota and Canada to ports on the Mississippi River for transfer to Gulf Coast refineries. Low water levels caused by drought conditions in the Midwest have hampered Mississippi barges but that has not deterred companies from developing new terminal facilities to handle the traffic. Today we review inland waterway tank barge crude movements.
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