IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Investigating Lock Delay on the Upper Mississippi River: a Spatial Panel Analysis


  • T. Edward Yu

    () (University of Tennessee)

  • Bijay P. Sharma

    (University of Tennessee)

  • Burton C. English

    (University of Tennessee)


Abstract A set of 28 lock and dam sites on the upper Mississippi River is essential to transporting US agricultural commodities to the world market. Currently, increasing delay of tows and vessels at this aging lock and dam system have generated great concerns about the navigational efficiency of this inland waterway. However, limited studies have focused on the statistical analysis of the relationship between lock delay and lock characteristics. In addition, previous research on the association between lock delay and lock traffic, or other characteristics, have neglected the spatial dependence among locks although the departures (arrival distributions) at a given lock could affect (be affected by) the arrivals (departures) at the adjacent locks. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of selected factors on delay at the lock and dam system using a spatial panel analysis incorporating spatial interdependence among locks. Results suggest that a 1% increase in lockage processing time result in a 2.3% increase in lock delay considering both direct and spillover effects on the upper Mississippi River. Numbers of lockage for commercial vessels at a given lock also contribute to its own delay and delay at other locks. Our findings confirm the importance of incorporating spatial spillover effect in the analysis of delay issue on inland waterway given the interdependence among locks.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Edward Yu & Bijay P. Sharma & Burton C. English, 2019. "Investigating Lock Delay on the Upper Mississippi River: a Spatial Panel Analysis," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 275-291, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:netspa:v:19:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11067-018-9395-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11067-018-9395-0

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nauss, Robert M., 2008. "Optimal sequencing in the presence of setup times for tow/barge traffic through a river lock," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 187(3), pages 1268-1281, June.
    2. Xiushan Jiang & Lei Zhang & Chenfeng Xiong & Ruijun Wang, 2016. "Transportation and Regional Economic Development: Analysis of Spatial Spillovers in China Provincial Regions," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 769-790, September.
    3. Meyer, Seth D. & Kruse, John, 2007. "Factors Affecting Locking Times at 600 ft. and 1,200 ft. Locks on the Mississippi River with an Examination of Excessive Locking Time Charges," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 46(3), pages 1-21.
    4. repec:kap:netspa:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11067-017-9350-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:netspa:v:17:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11067-017-9359-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. David Novak & Christopher Hodgdon & Feng Guo & Lisa Aultman-Hall, 2011. "Nationwide Freight Generation Models: A Spatial Regression Approach," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 23-41, March.
    7. Dapeng Zhang & Xiaokun Wang, 2016. "Investigating the Dynamic Spillover Effects of Low-Cost Airlines on Airport Airfare Through Spatio-Temporal Regression Models," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 821-836, September.
    8. Yu Yvette Zhang & Meng-Shiuh Chang & Stephen W Fuller, 2015. "Statistical analysis of vessel waiting time and lockage time on the Upper Mississippi River," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 17(4), pages 416-439, December.
    9. William W. Wilson & Bruce L. Dahl & Richard D. Taylor, 2011. "Impacts of Lock Capacity Expansion on Delay Costs for Grain Shipped on the Mississippi River," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 45(1), pages 129-154, January.
    10. Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Mesawa, Takehiro & McVey, Marty J. & Baumel, C. Phillip, 2001. "Evaluating the Logistics and Economic Impacts of Extending 600-Foot Locks on the Upper Mississippi River: A Linear Approach," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5216, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:60:y:2009:i:4:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602587 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Daniel Griffith & Yongwan Chun, 2015. "Spatial Autocorrelation in Spatial Interactions Models: Geographic Scale and Resolution Implications for Network Resilience and Vulnerability," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 337-365, June.
    13. Jo Reynaerts, 2012. "Estimating Lock Congestion," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 34, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.
    14. Tun-Hsiang Yu & David Bessler & Stephen Fuller, 2006. "Effect of lock delay on grain barge rates: examination of upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 40(4), pages 887-908, December.
    15. Louis Grange & Angel Ibeas & Felipe González, 2011. "A Hierarchical Gravity Model with Spatial Correlation: Mathematical Formulation and Parameter Estimation," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 439-463, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:netspa:v:19:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11067-018-9395-0. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Mallaigh Nolan). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.