Document and Entity Information
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2011
May 03, 2011
Document and Entity Information    
Document Type 10-Q  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Period End Date Mar. 31, 2011  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2011  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q1  
Entity Registrant Name KIRBY CORP  
Entity Central Index Key 0000056047  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   53,674,000