• In America, where the movement of petroleum products was one of the most important uses for tugs and barges, there was a steady reduction in the number of marine terminals, and in the amount of inventory kept on hand at those which remained.
  • Towed barges provided very low rates, but were very unreliable schedule-wise, and subject to extensive weather delays.
  • The cost to operate tankers and other U.S. flag self-propelled vessels was increasing past the point where coastwise operation became less and less profitable. Both the crewing and regulatory environment favored tug/barge.