The IRPT is a relatively young organization which was founded in 1974.

A few days before Christmas 1973 Milton Barschdorf, Port Director of the Greenville (Mississippi) Port, took personal action which resulted in the birth of the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Incorporated, on May 29, 1974, at St. Louis, Missouri. The reason for its formation was the inauguration of the first generation of deep draft container ships carrying special barges which could transport their freight directly to and from inland ports without transloading. The applicable special export/import regulated rate structure adversely effected, directly, the inland rivers transportation industry and, indirectly, the inland rivers, ports and terminals industry. Concerted professionally oriented action through the IRPT, its newly formed trade association, produced the desired beneficial changes.

One year after its organizational meeting the IRPT published Membership Letter No. 1. It noted that the IRPT had already been recognized as the industry spokesman for inland rivers, ports and terminals by the Waterways Journal, Traffic World, Journal of Commerce, and other publications. It also reported on contacts with key officials in Washington regarding 14 bills from the legislative mill before Congress. Naturally, it also included a plug for new members. Today, the NEWS BULLETIN is published quarterly with the additional publication of timely NEWS FLASHES.

In May of 1987 the office management was converted from one in St. Louis operated on a personal contribution basis to a contract with Public Offices Services in Jefferson City, Missouri.

IRPT growing membership created ever broadening internal organizational and individual realizations of the importance of the inland river port and terminal business in today’s internationalizing world of competition. The IRPT as an organization continues to demonstrate that the industry is and will continue to be a dynamic force in the nations’ economic growth and stability.

A barge port at which the dry-land modes are subordinate to the wet one has been passé for many years but inland port and terminal managers are, as a group, only now becoming sufficiently aware of that fact for it to create a decade of vigorous changes and growth. The new breed of professional inland rivers terminal managers and port directors who now are united through IRPT in a deliberative action body working within appropriate limitations.