Economic Contribution of the US Tugboat, Towboat, and Barge Industry

In May, the DOT quietly released a report on the economic contribution of the U.S. tugboat, towboat, and barge industry.  

The report highlights the important role the U.S. tugboat, towboat, and barge industry plays in domestic commerce.  Nearly 5,500 US-flag tugboats and towboats and more than 31,000 barges move an average of 763 million tons of cargo on the nation’s waterways each year, including raw materials and commodities as well as finished consumer products.

Report specifies tugboat contribution to the economy.

In 2014, the US tugboat, towboat, and barge industry....

  • Generated revenues of $15.9 billion,
  • Directly employed 50,480 workers, and
  • Paid out $4.7 billion in compensation (including wages and salaries and benefits), an average of $93,835 per worker
  • The industry also contributed $9.0 billion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and invested nearly $2.2 billion in property, plant, and equipment, including its purchases of vessels.

In 2014, the US tugboat, towboat, and barge industry also....

  • Directly paid or collected nearly $1.2 billion in federal, state, and local taxes
  • Indirectly supported an additional $4.1 billion in taxes borne and collected by suppliers
  • Had a combined tax impact of more than $5.2 billion
  • Contributed $9.0 billion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Invested nearly $2.2 billion in property, plant, and equipment, including its purchases of vessels.

For more information you can view the full report here.

Since 1935, MOPS has protected the licenses and livelihoods of more than 80,000 deck and engineering officers, state and federal pilots and certified tankermen.

We cover vessels of all types in every sector of the maritime industry. If you want a quote, give us a ring at 800-782-8902, ext. 3302 or 3608. Or fill out our online form and we'll e-mail you a quote.