Barge Transportation Market to Generate Incremental Revenues in the Global Market

Barge Transportation Market size valued at USD 40 billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow at over 4% CAGR between 2020 and 2026.


Abhishek Verma

a year ago | 2 min read

Rise in port infrastructure development activities across the globe is likely to favor the expansion of barge transportation market.  Several countries are making huge investments in developing economical modes of transportation and port modernization to cater to the rising trade activities, which in turn is facilitating barge adoption and deployment.

Barges are extensively used across various countries to transport bulk goods between several business verticals, which is increasing their deployment across various industries. Additionally, the market is also witnessing a significant product demand owing to the mounting government as well as private sector investments towards the exploration of new offshore drilling projects.

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For instance, deck barges are the open rectangular barges with flat surface decks. Thee barges are commonly utilized for handling non-perishable commodities such as coal and iron ore. However, open barges lack walls and can’t be used for goods that require containerization. Deck barges are experiencing high demand for carrying heavy equipment loads.

Elaborated below is a brief overview of the top three trends that are expected to influence the global barge transportation market size over the forthcoming timespan:

  • Increasing traction of the gaseous cargo barge transportation segment 

With respect to the product segment, the gaseous cargo barge transportation market is poised to exhibit immense growth owing to the increasing global trade of non-renewable and gaseous products like LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), CNG, gaseous chemicals, and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) among others.

Large-scale industrialization and increasing manufacturing activities, majorly in Asia Pacific countries, is fueling secondary raw materials and the waste sector growth. Over the past few years, barge transportation has become one of the most efficient way of transporting bulk raw materials & wastes on account of bulk carrying capabilities and cost-effectiveness.

  • Mounting deployment of open barges fleet for heavy equipment

Open barges fleet segment currently observes massive deployment for transportation of non-perishable commodities like coal and iron ore. Deck barges are open rectangular barges with flat surface decks. While these barges do not have walls, and thus cannot be used for moving goods that need containerization, they are witnessing a substantial amount of demand for applications that involves the transportation of heavy equipment loads.

The cost-effectiveness of these open barges, when compared with the counterparts, is projected to aid the open barge transportation industry size through the forthcoming years.   

  • Growing cargo volumes across the MEA

The MEA barge transportation market is anticipated to grow substantially as the key ports in the region manage heavy cargo volumes on a daily basis. The region already possesses a large fleet of barges, especially in some of the region’s most prominent countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, which further supports growth of  the regional market.

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Furthermore, as per MAWANI (Saudi Ports Authority), Saudi ports have handled an overall cargo tonnage of more than 21 million tons in April 2019. This number is about 3% more than the amount of cargo it handled in April 2018.

In addition to this, the number of containers used across Saudi ports reached around 622,000, with a jump of nearly 22% from the same period in 2018. The rising stats seem to indicate major opportunities for regional barge transportation industry growth, particularly after the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020 subsides.

The competitive landscape of the barge transportation market is inclusive of players such as Crowley Maritime Corporation, Campbell Transportation Company, APL Logistics, SEACOR Holdings, Ingram Marine Group, Kirby Corporation, and American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) among others.

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Abhishek Verma







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