IRPT has opened registration for our upcoming 2017 Annual Conference to be held in Kansas City, Missouri April 25th-April 27th.

Early bird registration ends April 1st (no joke).

Please find the registration form here.

The conference agenda and itinerary of events can be found here.


Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals announces Martin Hettel as the Keynote Speaker:

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Martin Hettel, Vice President of Government Affairs at American Commercial Barge Lines and Chairman (2013-2019) of the Inland Waterways User Board will be the Keynote Speaker at IRPT’s 2017 Annual Conference on Wednesday, April 26th in Kansas City, Missouri.

Just recently, the Inland Waterway Users Board, an industry Federal advisory committee, released its 29th Annual Report to Congress and the Secretary of the Army on the priorities and spending from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund for construction and rehabilitation projects on the fuel-taxed system. The eleven-member Inland Waterway Users Board represents all geographic areas on the fuel-taxed inland waterways system of the United States. The composition of the Board also reflects a balanced industry focus, including shopper and carrier members from companies of different sizes and specializing in the transport of different commodities.

Mr. Hettel started his waterways career as a deckhand in 1980, and has held positions in Logistics, Purchasing, Operations, Insurance/Claims, Personnel, Shipping & Receiving, Freight Sales, and Regulatory. The past 21 years of his career has been with AEP River Operations in the capacity of Logistics, Sales, and Regulatory. When ACBL purchased AEP River Operations, in November of 2015, he was hired by ACBL as the Vice President of Government Affairs.

Having held (and continues to hold) positions with the following advocacy groups within the Inland Waterways Industry, Mr. Hettel continues to be an extremely valuable asset to our industry:

Illinois River Carriers Association
Secretary: 2004 – 2007
President: 2008 – 2010

Ohio River Basin Alliance
Steering Committee 2010-2017

Waterways Council, Inc.
Board Member 2011-2018
Executive Committee Member 2012-2018

Inland Waterways User Board
Board Member 2012 – 2019
Appointed Chairman for 2013-2019

River Industry Executive Task Force
Board Member 2014 – 2018

Transportation Research Board
Committee Member on Inland Water Transportation 2016-2018

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Committee Member on Transportation, Infrastructure, and Logistics 2016-2018

Please plan on joining us at the 2017 Annual Conference to hear from Mr. Martin Hettel.


About IRPT: Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals (IRPT) is a nationwide trade association for users of the U.S. Inland Waterway system. IRPT promotes the use of our nation’s rivers as the most cost effective, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation. Our mission is to be a resource for inland river ports, terminals and river-borne transportation services and to promote the value of the inland river transportation system to users and policy makers. With that, we also know how vital of a roll the rail and trucking industry play as well. We understand and appreciate the value of an all-inclusive transportation package that includes all modes of transportation.


About the Commissioner’s Tract: The International Association of Marine Port Executives (IAMPE) will hold a Commissioner’s and Board Members program to orient the member of a sitting policy making body to the current trends in the public and private port sector. The 4-hour program focuses on current trends in the industry as well as the duties and responsibilities of commission/board members and their staffs.

In addition to the tremendous conference offerings this year, we have a Commissioner’s Tract that one of your attendees may benefit from.

At no additional cost, your commissioner can attend the 3.5 hour session on Tuesday, April 25th.

Operations, strategic planning and growth depend heavily on the support received from Port Board Commissioners and/or Directors, depending on your structure. With proper planning, management and governance, you have the tools for success and growth for your port, your tenants and your communities. Because you are an economic engine, a public asset and utility, it is important you have the tools necessary to achieve the expectations upon you. One of those tools includes the support you receive from your Port Board.

For that, I would like to share with you the Conference Registration form found here. The fourth line of the second section is how to register your Directors/Commissioners for the Tuesday Commissioner’s Tract. The tract runs from 8am to 11:30 am on Tuesday, April 25, but its impact will last the length of their term.


About the Who Works the Rivers Career Fair: RiverWorks Discovery will hold a Who Works the Rivers (WWR) career awareness program for high school students. The program begins with an introductory lesson using content from RWD’s “Energy and Our Rivers Curriculum” developed by NEED corporation. Additionally, students attend a mini career fair and meet representatives from a full range of river industries – from non-profit to military, from recreational to industrial – to learn about the many job opportunities in the river sector. Hands-on artifacts and activities help make the “job fair” atmosphere fun and memorable for the students.


About Manufacturer’s Day: For the first time ever, Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals is offering complimentary registration to manufacturers/owners of cargo/shippers/freight forwarders. IRPT is inviting the above on Thursday, April 27th to IRPT’s National Annual Conference held in Kansas City, Missouri to explore how America’s Rivers Welcome Their Transport. We understand they have many shipping options to consider using and we are inviting them to explore incorporating the inland rivers into their supply chain.

Inland Marine Highways move commerce to/from 38 states throughout our nation’s heartland, serve as transport ramps to industrial and agricultural centers and facilitate imports/exports at gateway ports to the Coasts. Delivering your product door-to-door while incorporating inland marine highways is achievable and we invite you to Kansas City to learn how.


Hotel Details: The host hotel is the Kansas City Marriott Downtown located at 200 West 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64105. Guests may make reservations by calling 877-303-0104 and referencing the “IRPT Annual Conference”; event ID 15942646. Room rate is $159.00 / night.

Please access the conference registration form here. 

Please notice on the registration form, there is a place to indicate whether or not you’d like to have a table. This is an opportunity for Members Only to have a complimentary table on Manufacturer’s Day. We will have the room lined with tables so our Members can display their location, capabilities and access (river, road and rail). This will give you an opportunity to connect to Manufacturers/Shippers/Owners of Cargo to learn about how they can incorporate your location using the river into their supply chain.

Because of generous Conference Sponsors, IRPT can continue to keep registration low. Our sincerest thanks to this year’s Conference Sponsors:





Natchez Adams


sennebogen-logoPort of MemphisCTLC - original EPS - white letters (1)


Bryan Cave

color horizontal




Oakley Port

Port of Indiana

Lange Stegmann

PrintUnion Pacific


America's Central Port

Missouri River Towing

St. Louis Port Authority


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please find the sponsorship application and benefits here.


I am very excited to introduce you to this year’s Conference Exhibitors:

Interested in exhibiting at IRPT’s Conference? Please find the Exhibitor Application here.


Maritime Administration to Attend the IRPT 2017 Annual Conference:

As many of you know, the Maritime Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation, has been a strong voice in Washington for the Nation’s inland river system and its many ports and terminals that serve it.

Maritime Administration has many programs that our ports and terminals can benefit from including:

  • StrongPorts (Port Infrastructure Development)
    • Port Planning and Investment Toolkit
    • National Freight Strategic Plan
    • Technology and Demonstrations
    • System Data and Information
    • Port Assistance Programs
    • Port Conveyance
  • Marine Highway Program (Waterborne Supply Chain Alternatives)
    • Marine Highway Project Planning and Development
    • Marine Highway Grants

Please take a moment to visit their website ( to learn more about, and possibly benefit from the above programs. Team Members from Maritime Administration will be on hand at this year’s conference to answer any questions you may have.


Site Selection Magazine to Attend the IRPT 2017 Annual Conference:

I would like to share with you the following link to the Directories & Tools section of the Site Selection Magazine website:

This link is a tool for shippers to identify global free trade zones and ports. Once on the page, you can select a state or region and unfortunately, you will find that many of our inland ports and foreign trade zones are missing from the directory and not being recognized.

If your port is missing from the list, here is how to fix that: Site Selection Magazine will be attending this year’s conference in Kansas City. Please stop by their booth, introduce yourself and your location!

Site Selection Magazine is the leading U.S.-based magazine covering the corporate real estate and economic development industries. For over 63 years, Site Selection has delivered strategic location intelligence to corporate executives charged with managing their organizations’ property assets and choosing locations around the world in which to build new facilities or expand existing ones.


Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center to Attend the IRPT 2017 Annual Conference:

I would like to share with you the following link to the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center: The page lists the top 150 ports by tonnage in alphabetical order by port name. If you are unfamiliar, The primary function of the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, under the authority of the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1922, is to collect, process, distribute, and archive vessel trip and cargo data. These statistics are used to analyze the feasibility of new projects and to set priorities for new investment, and for the operation, rehabilitation and maintenance of existing projects.

I understand that each of our ports may not be in the millions, but every ton counts and it is important to be recognized. There are many ports not recognized. If your port is missing from the list, here is how to fix that: In accordance with the Federal regulations that cover this topic (EP1130-2-520), any change to the definition of a port area or the establishment of a new port area must meet one of the following criteria:

(1) The Port limits are defined by legislative enactments of state, county, or city governments.

(2) The Port limits are specifically defined by the corporate limits of a municipality.

The Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center will be attending this years conference. If you are missing from the list, please bring:

1. Copy of Legislative enacting your port, activities, governance, etc.

2. Ariel photo of property.

 A copy of the spreadsheet showing all ports (coastal and inland) can be accessed here.

Calling All Golfers!

The week will begin with a golf tournament at Shoal Creek Golf Club on Monday, April 24. The day will begin at 11:30 with lunch and networking before the start of the tournament at noon. Drinks will be offered throughout play. Golf clubs are available for rent to accommodate light travelers. To register, please complete the application HERE.

Shoal Creek Golf Course, which opened in the fall of 2001, has become one of the most talked about daily fee golf and banquet facilities in the Kansas City area. This 6,950 yard par 71 golf property was sculpted by golf course architect Steve Wolfard, and offers a truly unique golfing experience for players of varying skill levels. This extraordinary design features breathtaking elevation changes and expansive landing areas that meander through some of the most picturesque terrain in the Northland.”

Please visit their photo gallery here – spectacular!

We invite the most experienced golfers AND the least experienced. The annual golf outing is a spectacular way to socialize one-on-one and build lasting relationships.  

Lunch @ 11:30
Shotgun start at 12:00pm 

Since traveling with clubs can be difficult, club rentals are available to accommodate light travelers.

All Golfers are invited to the Monday evening reception at the Steamboat Arabia. This year’s reception is sponsored by Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, RiverWorks Discovery and Port KC.

Thank you to this year’s golf sponsors:

Howell Tractor and Equipment
Environmental Restoration, LLC
Missouri Port Authority Association

Alter Logistics
SCF Marine
PND Engineers, Inc.

I look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference as it is my goal for you to reap great rewards and find your association with IRPT a profitable and beneficial experience. If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me.

Aimee Andres, IMPE
Executive Director

Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Inc.
One Confluence Way
East Alton, IL 62024
Phone (618) 468-3010

Rediscover the strength of America’s Inland Rivers