April 2015

The Importance of America’s Waterways

Watch the WCI Waterways Commercial and learn about the importance of our nation’s waterway system and how viable it is to our economy.


America’s Central Port Welcomes Test-Run Container on Barge

April 9,2015
Contact: Megan Dittman


Madison County, IL– A press conference was held today at America’s Central Port to welcome the Ingram Barge Company towboat, M/V Miss Shirley, as it arrived at the Port’s South Harbor facility, transporting intermodal containers via barge as a part of a demonstration to show the opportunity of intermodal transportation in the St. Louis region.

Speakers for today’s press conference included:  Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis, Missouri, Mayor Tom Thompson of Grafton, Illinois, Col. Anthony Mitchell with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dan Mecklenborg, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Ingram Barge Company, and  Aimee Andres, Executive Director of Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc. Other attendees included  Bill Paape with the U.S. DOT Maritime Administration, Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director of America’s Central Port, and Brant Walker, Mayor of Alton, IL.

“Currently our nation’s highways and railways are operating near full capacity, while our inland waterways are vastly underutilized,” said Dan Mecklenborg, of Ingram Barge Company.  “We know there is substantial room to grow in transporting goods on the rivers with minimal investment.  And the inland waterways network is the safest and most environmentally friendly mode of transporting cargo in the U.S.”

The press conference was held to discuss, acknowledge, and raise awareness of the importance and opportunity of transporting containers of goods via barge.

“The Maritime Administration predicts the U.S. will need to move an additional 14 billion tons of cargo by 2050 to accommodate population growth,” said Mayor Francis Slay.  “This means we will need to almost double our freight movement capacity within 35 years. If we are to meet this demand, remain competitive in the global marketplace, and reduce our carbon footprint, then the inland waterway system should be used as a competitive option.”

“We are pleased to be a part of this demonstration and to bring all of these industry and city leaders together today,” said Dennis Wilmsmeyer.  “This test is a combined effort involving leaders from other companies, ports and agencies, and it’s being conducted to exhibit the benefits of intermodal river transportation for our industry and our economy.  We are optimistic that shippers and retailers will see the potential here.”

The inland river system could be used to ship containers filled with agricultural goods and construction materials.

Mayor Tom Thompson, a member of the Board of Commissioners at America’s Central Port and the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative spoke on what an outstanding opportunity this is for the economy along the Mississippi River.  “We are witnessing a significant development toward sustainably developing the economy of the Mississippi River Valley – returning container movement back to the America’s Waterway,” said  Mayor Thompson, “This is not an easy undertaking. The effort requires key partnerships between the public and private sectors, and the mayors along the Mississippi River have forged those partnerships.”

The test run began at the Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority on March 27th. The Ingram towboat will return to Paducah where it will be unloaded.



Container on barge to Arrive at America’s Central Port



Madison County- On Friday, March 27th, Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority loaded the first test container on an Ingram barge successfully. Ingram Barge Company announced plans to assess the viability of Intermodal River Transportation, utilizing the largest flat-top crane in North America owned by the Paducah Riverport Authority and Ingram’s towboats and barges.

It is due to coordinated efforts to pursuing containerized shipping on the Mississippi River of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Ingram Barge, America’s Central Port and other private and public entities that this service is advancing.

Many achievements have been made through cooperation and collaboration to protect, sustain, and enhance the economic vitality of the Main Stem Mississippi River. The first arrival of the container barge will have a positive impact and provide an introduction of the service to the shipping community to and from the St. Louis region. The barge is scheduled to arrive at America’s Central Port Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 11:45 a.m. where there will be a press event held to mark this achievement.

Invitees include: Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis, Missouri, Mayor Tom Thompson of Grafton, Illinois, State Senators and Representatives and Congressional Delegation, Ingram Barge, Col. Anthony Mitchell from the St. Louis District US Army Corps of Engineers, Bill Paape, Director of the Inland Waterways Gateway Office, U.S. Maritime Administration, Board members of America’s Central Port and numerous members of the national trade association:  Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals (IRPT).


ABOUT AMERICA’S CENTRAL PORT– Originally created in 1959, America’s Central Port is a special-purpose unit of local government. The Port’s activities include its operators loading or unloading over $1.1 billion of goods each year; rail and truck bulk transfer facilities for agricultural products, steel, fertilizer and asphalt; foreign trade zone operations; commercial warehousing; industrial property development; office space leasing; recreational facilities and residential apartments.  The Port receives no general tax revenue and operates self-sufficiently through its leases and operations.

 ABOUT MISSISSIPPI RIVER, CITIES AND TOWNS INITIATIVE: The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) was created to provide an influential voice for the Mississippi River, dramatically increasing demand for effective river protection, restoration, and management in Washington, DC. It addresses matters of mutual concern, including:  river water quality and habitat restoration, flooding and floodplain issues, river-focused recreation, sustainable economies, and celebration of the River culture and history.

 ABOUT INGRAM MARINE GROUP: Ingram Marine Group encompasses Ingram’s operating units involved in transporting bulk commodities on America’s inland waterways, terminaling bulk commodities, and delivering fuel and supplies to the towing industry. The largest of the operating units is Ingram Barge Company, which transports coal, aggregates, grain, fertilizer, ores, alloys, steel and chemicals with a fleet of 140 towboats and 5000 barges. Other units include Custom Fuel Services (diesel fuel and supplies) and Triangle Fleet (ship anchorage in Louisiana).


ABOUT INLAND RIVERS, PORTS AND TERMINALS, INC.: Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals, Inc. is a trade association for the nation’s inland waterway, port, and terminal professionals. Our goal is to provide a platform for inland river port and terminal professionals to improve their businesses and to inform policy makers on the needs and economic impacts of our industry. The mission of IRPT is to be a resource for inland river ports, terminals, and river-borne transportation services and to promote the value of the inland river transportation system to users and policymakers.