2012 45¢ Barge Fleeting
Issue Date: October 1, 2012
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America, Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Offset
Perforations: Die Cut 10 ¾
The city of New Orleans has been an important port at the mouth of the Mississippi River for centuries. Over the years, wooden sailboats have been replaced with barges to carry the cargo from the northern states to the Gulf of Mexico.
Barges are lashed together and pushed by a single towboat. In the southern section of the river, as many as 50 barges, each almost 200 feet long, are secured to one another. Each vessel can carry 1500 tons of coal, grain, or steel. A 50-barge tow transports as much as 3,000 trucks.
When they reach New Orleans, the barges may not be scheduled to leave for their trip through the Gulf of Mexico to the East Coast or foreign ports. Barge fleeting operations are similar to a parking lot for barges, where they are safely moored until departure. The facilities are also equipped to load and unload barges. Minor repairs can be made, and some areas have cleaning facilities. Fleet tug drivers skillfully move the barges around.
Care must be taken in mooring the barges because changing water levels and storms can lead to break-away barges that float down river and can cause damage. Well-maintained fleeting facilities are an essential part of keeping goods moving down America’s longest river, the Mighty Mississippi.