5 Transport of Coal and Coal Products
Like all fuels, coal needs to be transported to an end-user before it can be used. Growth in coal use depends on having a required amount to deliver and at reasonable prices. With the electric power sector making up about 90 per cent of U.S. coal use, its transport to the more than 600 coal-burning power plants in the country is especially important. Of these, rail transportation serves approximately 58%, waterborne transportation 17%, trucks 10%, 12% served by multiple modes of transportation (primarily barge and rail), and 3% mine-mouth plants with conveyor systems.