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Where We Operate

The United States inland waterway system extends 26,000 miles, with 12,000 miles used for significant domestic commerce. This navigable waterway system links the United States heartland to the world. Kirby's primary inland distribution area encompasses the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Brownsville, Texas, to St. Marks, Florida, plus the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Kirby Inland Marine is capable of transporting liquid bulk cargoes from one end of this inland waterway network to the other without a change of carrier.

 

How We Operate

Canal

Where We Operate Tow Map
 

Kirby Inland Marine's Canal operation encompasses the transportation of petrochemical feedstocks, processed chemicals and refined products along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Mississippi River below Baton Rouge, and in the Houston Ship Channel. Typical service includes the movement of petrochemical feedstocks between refineries and the delivery of processed chemicals and feedstocks to chemical plants and waterfront terminals. A canal tow consists of one to five barges, pushed by an 800 to 1,900 horsepower towboat.

Canal
 

River

Kirby Inland Marine's River operation transports petrochemical feedstocks, processed chemicals, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals along the Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio and Arkansas rivers. A river unit tow typically includes four to eight barges, pushed by a 2,000 to 5,600 horsepower towboat. River unit tows are generally considered "dedicated", with the same barges and towboat used for each trip.

River
 

Linehaul

Kirby Inland Marine's Linehaul operation transports petrochemical feedstocks, processed chemicals, agricultural chemicals and lube oils along the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers as well as the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. A linehaul canal tow usually comprises three to five barges with a 1,400 to 1,900 horsepower towboat.

A linehaul river tow is much longer, consisting of 10 to 25 barges and using a 3,000 to 5,600 horsepower towboat. The linehaul river tow functions similarly to a freight train, dropping off and picking up barges as it moves up and down the river.

Typically, loaded barges containing products from Gulf Coast refineries and chemical plants are collected in the lower Mississippi River area near Baton Rouge, Louisiana and transported up river to river-front terminals and plants on the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers.

Linehaul
 

Pressurized Fleet

Kirby operates the largest pressurized fleet in the U.S. These pressurized barges can handle products requiring pressures up to 265 psi. Kirby tankermen and shore personnel are specially trained in pressurized transportation technology and have a safety record that is among the best in the industry. Kirby is the leader in the technology of marine transportation of pressurized products. Transporting your pressurized products via Kirby ensures that your products will be delivered safely and reliably.

Pressurized Fleet
 

Black Oil Fleet

Kirby's fleet of black oil barges is equipped to handle the requirements of a wide range of product characteristics. Many of these barges feature high-capacity pumps and onboard heating systems for viscous oils including asphalt. Such flexibility contributes to Kirby's ability to satisfy our customer's needs for transporting a wide range of cargo viscosities. Refiners along the Gulf Coast count on Kirby for efficient delivery of black oils to meet their refining schedules.

Black Oil Fleet
 

Ship Bunkering Fleet

Ship owners and bunker suppliers rely on Kirby's fleet of bunkering barges, one of the largest along the Gulf Coast. These barges feature flow-through booms and are dispatched and deployed using a satellite communications system. This system also provides customers with up-to-the-minute position and scheduling information. You can trust Kirby for on-time bunkering to help you control your total cost of operations.

Ship Bunkering Fleet
 
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