(270) 444 - 4772 | 2308 S 4th St, Paducah, KY 42003


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The SMS Machine Fabrication Shop was added to Western Rivers in 2010 to accommodate the needs of land-based heavy equipment operators.

First Marine

It began when we started rehabbing vessels, and quickly grew to what is now a machine shop, a fabrication shop and electrical shop with a dry-dock that can handle 2,000 tons.

WR Diesel Division_NEW3

Western Rivers Diesel Division was created out of a need to ensure all of the engines on their vessels were running at the highest quality and efficiency.

Our Numbers


Why Western Rivers

Western Rivers has been transporting commodities along our nation’s waterways since 1996.  We offer a vast array of transportation for the marine and industrial industries, and can meet ANY of your shipping needs.  Our focus is on safely shipping your cargo, whether it’s dry goods, liquids, or specialty items.  As industry leaders in both quality and technology, you know your shipment is in good hands.

Western Rivers has been a leader in the river transportation industry since it was introduced in 1996 by Charles Strait.  As a member of the American Waterways Operators, our commitment to safety and service are what make us the right choice to transport your freight.

Western Rivers Boat Management can deliver your goods anywhere along the Inland Waterway System, and our Freedom Trucking fleet can transport your cargo border to border, coast to coast.

Our mission is to transport your goods while maintaining our reputation for unprecedented service and productivity for a competitive price.  Our business is family owned and operated, and when you partner with Western Rivers, you will be treated like family.

What kind of cargo do you have?

Western Rivers specializes in the transport of dry goods to any destination along the inland waterways.  Our vessels transport a variety of dry goods, including aggregates, coal, steel, grain, fertilizer and other bulk products.  We promise to get your goods delivered in an efficient manner and at a competitive price.
Western Rivers has been providing safe and reliable transportation of your liquid cargo for 20 years.  We can deliver any of your liquid materials, whether it is fuel, oil, along with any other liquid product you need transported along the inland waterway system.
No matter what type of material you are shipping, we have the means necessary to get it there.  In addition to waterway transfer, our Freedom Trucking branch can haul dry or frozen cargo of any type border to border and coast to coast.
5.5.14 phone 850



Running the River since 1996.

  • 2016
  • Present

    Present – Western Rivers Boat Management is the largest, independently owned tow company in the United States with over 300 people employed and 34 vessels running the river.
    February 14, 2016Read More
  • 2010
  • 2010

    2010 – SMS Machine and Fabrication is added to the list of services under Western Rivers Boat Management.
    December 14, 2010Read More
  • 2008

    2008 – Charles L. Strait purchases the First Marine repair facility to add more versatility to Western Rivers Boat Management.
    January 15, 2010Read More
  • 2007
  • 2007

    2007 – Western Rivers Boat Management heads down south to Paducah, KY to take advantage of the booming river industry and adds a Diesel Division to their services.
    December 15, 2007Read More
  • 1996

    1996 – Charles L. Strait starts Western Rivers Boat Management out of his kitchen in Ash Flat, Arkansas.
    January 14, 2007Read More

Corporate Office

2308 S 4th St, Paducah, KY 42003