Arkansas Waterways Commission

Our Rivers. Our Responsibility.


Workhorses of Industry


Self contained vessels that push the barges. Power varies from 500 to more than 6000 horsepower. 

Covered dry cargo barge

195 feet long, 1500 ton capacity
Carries: grain, soybeans, coffee, salt, sugar, paper products, packaged goods 

Deck barge

200 feet long, 2000 ton capacity
Carries: sand and gravel, construction equipment, prefabricated buildings, military equipment, oil rigs, spacecraft 

Open hopper barge

195 feet long, 1500 ton capacity
Carries: coal, steel and ore, sand and gravel, lumber 

Liquid cargo (tank) barge

297 feet long, 1 million gallon capacity
Carries: petroleum and petroleum products, liquid fertilizers, industrial chemicals, orange juice 


A towboat connected by wire cable to a number of barges. The typical number of barges varies by river, but can be two to 40 barges. 

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