Compare
Cargo Capacity

Huge quantities of grain, corn, coal, petroleum, and other products make their way up and downstream on the Mississippi River each year. How huge? Study the comparisons on this page--then do the simple math problems at the bottom of the page, and you'll be amazed!

One Barge
1500 Ton
52,500 Bushels
453,600 Gallons


One 15 Barge Tow
22,500Ton
787,500 Bushels
6,804,000 Gallons

Jumbo Hopper Car
100 Ton
3,500 Bushels
30,240 Gallons

100 Car Train Unit
10,000 Ton
350,000 Bushels
3,024,000 Gallons

Large Semi
26 Ton
910 Bushels
7,865 Gallons


Equivalent Units

One Barge carries the same quantity as:

15 Jumbo Hopper Cars (above) & 58 Large Semis (right)

and subsiquently.....

One 15 Barge Tow carries the same quantity as:

2.25 100-Car Unit Trains (above) & 870 Large Semis (right)


Equivalent Lengths

One 15 Barge Tow
is .25 miles long

2.25 100-Car Train Units is 2.75 miles long & the 870 Large Semis are 11.5 miles long (bumper to bumper)


In 1997, 38.8 million tons of cargo was transported
on the Upper Mississippi River.
With the above information, figure out the answers to these questions.

1) If all the cargo transported in 1997 was done by semis, how many semis would it have taken?

2) If all the cargo transported in 1997 was done on barges, how many 15-barge tows would it have taken?

2) How many bushels of cargo is in the 11.5 mile long string of large semis?

3) EXTRA CREDIT........How long is a string of 58 large semis going down the highway, bumper to bumper?

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Center for Global Environmental Education
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