An Ohio Gem

I’ve read a lot about the history of Ohio and the Ohio River – thanks to the writings of Allan Eckert ( – so I am limited as to the present day Ohio River.  I mean, I have crossed it a number of times going into West Virginia to travel south.  Sure, I knew that there was some amount of river commerce going on, though I had no idea the extent of the traffic still going on in the waters of the Ohio River.  I had the opportunity to meet with Tracy Drake of the Columbiana County (Ohio) Port Authority ( and he enlightened me.

Coal Barge on the Ohio River - Wellsville, Ohio July 13, 2011

“The Ohio River accounts for over one-third of the maritime cargo moving inland in the United States each year, (approximately 275 million tons) and by comparison handles more cargo per year than the Panama Canal. Columbiana County’s southern border has modern industrial parks and river ports on the Ohio. The port system of Columbiana County which provides year round international cargo service via the Ports of new Orleans and southwest Louisiana, feeds the industrial base of Northeast Ohio. When combined with the adjacent 10 county Port of Pittsburgh system, Columbiana County would constitute the 7th largest Port in the United States.”

The above quote is from the Port Authority website.  The City of East Liverpool, Ohio is one of the busiest ports in the state of Ohio.  Downriver, the Columbiana County Port Authority has built an Intermodal Transportation Facility.  The facility, shown below, allow for barge traffic to load/unload heavy cargo from trains, or trucks.  The facility is complete with a deep water tie-off area, overhead cranes and nearby immediately adjacent rail tracks.

Barge Dock and Cranes at Wellsville, Ohio Intermodal Transportation Facility on Ohio River

Overhead cranes at Wellsville, Ohio Intermodal Transportation Facility - Ohio RiverBarge dock at Wellsville, Ohio Intermodal Transportation Facility on Ohio River

I am amazed at the facilities that are available to facilitate shipping and commerce in Ohio.  If you have companies that ship to places served by the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Columbiana County Port Authority has the facilities to assist Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia companies reach the rest of the world!


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