U.S. Inland Waterways Contribute to Soybean Sustainability

The extensive U.S. inland waterways system of more than 19,300 km, or 12,000 miles, of connecting waterways and 218 locks1 efficiently and sustainably delivers a reliable supply of soy to global customers. Barge transportation is the safest, most environmentally friendly, economical, and fuel-efficient way to move goods like soybeans for export.1

U.S. soybean farmers rely on inland waterways to ship soybeans and soy products via barge to Gulf of Mexico ports for export. On a single gallon of fuel, one barge can move freight more than four times farther than trucks, releasing 10 times fewer emissions.1 Barges have the smallest carbon footprint of transportation modes to deliver soybeans to ports.

Barges contribute to making inland waterways ideal for sustainable, efficient, cost-effective transportation of agricultural goods, energy products, building materials and industrial chemicals to deep water ports for export. The sustainability represented by this smaller carbon footprint is passed on to soybean customers, supporting the sustainability of U.S. soybeans.


1 Inland Waterways State Profiles, National Waterways Foundation, August 2020.

USSEC Staff Writer

Staff Writer

U.S. Soybean Export Council

USSEC is a dynamic partnership of key stakeholders, representing soybean producers, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses and agricultural organizations. Through a global network of international offices and strong support in the U.S., we help build a preference for U.S. soybeans and soybean products, advocate for the use of soy in feed, aquaculture and human consumption, promote the benefits of soy use through education and connect industry leaders through a robust membership program.