Sand, gravel and rock shipments push Arkansas River tonnage up 8% through April

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 521 views 

Arkansas River shipping continues to build upon 2023 gains, with 4.569 million tons carried on the river in the first four months of 2024, up 8% compared with the same period in the previous year, according to the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

Inbound shipments – those coming from off the river system – totaled 1.654 million tons during the first four months, down 11% compared with the same period in 2023. Outbound shipments totaled 1.591 million tons, up 21% compared with the same period in 2023. Internal shipments – those sent between port operations on the river – totaled 1.332 million tons, up 23%.

Following are the top five shipment categories by tonnage in the first four months of 2024, with the percentage change from the same period in 2023.
• Sand, gravel, rock: 1.612 million tons (up 36%)
• Chemical fertilizer: 1.079 million tons (down 12%)
• Iron and Steel: 348,728 tons (down 27%)
• Wheat: 323,517 tons (down 4%)
• Minerals and building products: 297,058 tons (up 9%)

The Corps’ April report had 1.057 million tons shipped on the river in the month, down 9% compared with 1.161 million in April 2023.

TONNAGE HISTORY, RIVER INFO
Tonnage shipped on the river in 2023 totaled 12.208 million, up 10.9% compared with 11.011 million tons in 2022. Shipments of sand, gravel, rock and chemical fertilizers helped drive the 2023 gains.

Inbound shipments – those coming from off the river system – totaled 4.491 million tons during 2023, up 30% compared with 2022. Outbound shipments totaled 4.175 million tons, up 6% compared with 2022. Internal shipments – those sent between port operations on the river – totaled 3.542 million tons, down 1% compared with 2022.

The Arkansas River system – McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) – is 445 miles long and stretches from the confluence of the Mississippi River to the Port of Catoosa near Tulsa, Okla. The controlled waterway has 18 locks and dams, with 13 in Arkansas and five in Oklahoma. The river also has five commercial ports: Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Muskogee, Okla., and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa in Oklahoma.