Barge Transportation Market
Barge Transportation Market Analysis by Barge Type (Dry Bulk Cargo Barges, Liquid Cargo Barges, Car-Float Barges, Power Barges, Construction Barges), By Vessel Type (Open Barges, Covered Barges, Tank Barges), By Voyage (Inland, Offshore, Ocean), By Propulsion (Towed Barges, Self-propelled Barges) & By Region – Global Market Insights 2023 to 2033
Analysis of Barge Transportation Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more
Barge Transportation Market Outlook (2023 to 2033)
The global barge transportation market reached US$ 129.01 billion in 2022, according to the latest market study by Fact.MR. Over the projection period (2023 to 2033), worldwide demand for barge transportation services is predicted to rise steadily at 4.5% CAGR and climb to a market size of US$ 209.36 billion by 2033-end.
A barge is a flat-surfaced vessel that uses waterways for cargo transportation. Inland rivers are used to carry chemical, agricultural, and farm supplies. The import and export of petrochemicals and crude oil heavily rely on maritime transportation. The market is expected to grow as a result of increased demand for oil and petroleum products. A barge as a mode of transportation is used by big enterprises to move their cargo.
When it comes to logistics, barges are a medium of transportation that is underutilized. Even though truck and rail transportation are more common and obvious, there is a lot of data to show the benefits of carrying products across waterways compared to land transportation. Using a barge is a better option for a variety of factors, including economic and environmental considerations.
- In January 2020, Kirby disclosed that it would pay Savage Inland Marine US$ 278 million for bunkering services and a fleet of inland tank barges. Savage's 90 inland tank barges and 46 inland towboats had a combined capacity of almost 2.5 million barrels.
- To encourage the transportation of commodities via waterways, KSINC launched a 300-metric-ton acid barge in June 2022. This is anticipated to lower the risk involved with the transportation of acid over land.
Barge Transportation Market Size (2022)
US$ 129.01 Billion
Estimated Market Value (2023)
US$ 134.81 Billion
Forecasted Market Value (2033)
US$ 209.36 Billion
Global Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033)
China Market Value (2033)
US$ 43.54 Billion
China Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033)
South Korea Market Value (2033)
US$ 6.69 Billion
South Korea Market Growth Rate (2023 to 2033)
Key Companies Profiled
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What are the Factors Influencing the Demand for Barge Transportation Services?
“Rapid Industrialization and Rising Offshore Oil & Gas Production Fueling Demand for Barge Transportation”
Rapid industrialization across the globe and the rising offshore production of oil and gas are fueling the demand for barge transportation. The expanding need for medical supplies, the booming agriculture sector, and the rising consumption of packaged food goods due to busy lifestyles are all supporting market expansion. Increased government investment in the maritime transportation sector is anticipated to accelerate industry growth during the forecast period.
Governments in many countries are spending more money on developing inland waterway infrastructure. Several top businesses are providing unique capabilities such as infrastructure, warehousing, refueling, and intermodal shipping. These businesses also place a strong emphasis on joint ventures, collaborations, and partnerships with other businesses to improve current designs, create innovative goods, and broaden their market reach. This is expected to enhance the use of barge transportation over the coming years, along with the expanding adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Rising Need for Cost-effective and Sustainable Modes of Goods Transportation”
The market for barge transportation is predicted to expand due to the rising demand for packaged goods and other consumer items, particularly among the working population with better spending power. The rising need for economical transportation is anticipated to fuel demand for barge transportation.
Since barge transportation is a sustainable means of transportation, it is becoming more popular as a result of rising environmental awareness, which is anticipated to further support industry growth in the years to come.
Because of the escalating costs of rail and truck freight travel, barge shipping is still a viable shipping alternative. Despite technical breakthroughs in air, rail, and road travel for moving massive amounts of people and bulk commodities, inland waterways still play a vital role in improving domestic connectivity and lowering logistics costs. Water transportation is more cost-effective than air and rail transportation when it comes to maintenance expenses.
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What are the Hindrances to the Growth of the Barge Transportation Market?
“Capital-intensive Operations in Barge Transportation”
Transportation through inland waterways requires a lot of capital to operate. Huge sums of money are needed by inland shipping companies to acquire and maintain their fleets. The Merchant Shipping Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act in the United States, has had a substantial impact on barge pricing, resulting in higher costs for domestic players compared to international players.
A barge produced in the United States costs almost four times as much to purchase as one made abroad. The cost of fleet maintenance is especially significant because of routine tasks such as cleaning, modernization, and paying the employees who care for the ships.
“High Berthing Fees and Stringent Regulations Governing Foreign Barge Entry”
Inland waterway transportation is negatively impacted by charges such as berthing fees. A protectionist framework known as the Jones Act forbids foreign competitors from entering the American maritime market.
- The presence of the Jones Act, which stipulates that barges must be constructed and owned by U.S. residents, creates significant entry barriers for inland water transportation.
One of the primary hindrances to market growth during the projected period is these barriers to foreign entry.
What Makes the United States a Lucrative Market for Providers of Barge Transportation Services?
“Growing Usage of Inland Waterways for Transportation and Increased Government Investments in Marine Transportation”
The market in the United States is projected to reach US$ 40.40 billion by 2033, expanding at a steady CAGR of 4.7%.
During the forecast period, the market in the United States is anticipated to account for a leading position in the barge transportation market. This expansion can be linked to the increase in crude oil shipping and transportation as well as the country's increased shale oil output. Increasing government spending for the marine transportation industry is also anticipated to fuel market expansion.
Growing usage of inland waterways for the delivery of agricultural products is predicted to contribute to the industry's expansion. Demand for barge transportation is projected to increase due to technological improvements.
Expansion of the United States barge transportation market is influenced by changes in the prices of crude oil and petrochemicals.
- The United States generated more than 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2020, to become the world’s leading producer of ethanol, according to the United States Department of Energy.
The country's barge transportation sector operators stand to benefit significantly from the growth of the ethanol industry.
What is the Demand Outlook for Barge Transportation in the United Kingdom and Ukraine?
“Growing Demand for Efficient Supply Chain Management and Increased Investments in Infrastructure Development”
The barge transportation market in the United Kingdom is expected to exhibit steady growth in the coming years. Increasing emphasis on sustainable transport solutions, growing demand for efficient supply chain management, and ongoing infrastructure developments are likely to drive the sales of barge transportation.
The 2,000-mile network of inland waterways in the United Kingdom offers provides abundant opportunities for service-based companies in the market to utilize water transportation. Presence of important ports such as Howden, Corpach, Sharpness, Caldaire, Selby, and Weston Point in the country has a favorable impact on market growth.
Ukraine is generating high demand for barge transportation due to investments flowing in from prominent port operators.
- For instance, in February 2020, QTerminals invested US$ 120 million in the development of a port terminal in Ukraine. The expansion of this port is expected to increase the country's oil and bulk trade, container traffic, and tugboat employment.
How is Demand for Barge Transportation Shaping Up in India?
“Expanding Inland Trade Opportunities and Rapid Infrastructure Development”
During the projection period, India is predicted to occupy a leading market share. This expansion is linked to expanding inland trade opportunities and rapid infrastructure development in the country.
The safety of inland navigation throughout India has steadily improved due to the measures introduced by the Indian Register of Shipping. Emerging countries in the Asia Pacific also rely on inland waterways for domestic trade since they reduce total manufacturing costs and produce less carbon dioxide than trucks and trains do.
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Why is Usage of Dry Bulk Cargo Barges Increasing in the Transportation Industry?
“Rising Demand for Dry Bulk Cargo and Petroleum Products for Upstream & Downstream Businesses”
Sales of dry bulk cargo barges are anticipated to rise at a moderate CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period.
The market is expected to be dominated by dry freight barges. The growing popularity of barge transportation can be attributed to the significant share of dry cargo, including goods and commodities like sandy soil, food grains, charcoal, and more.
How is Growing Demand for Inland Voyages Contributing to Market Expansion?
“High Demand for Barges for Inland Transportation Due to Cost-effectiveness and Efficiency”
Demand for inland voyages is expected to advance at a moderate CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period. Inland waterways provide a cost-effective and efficient mode of transportation for bulk cargo and goods.
Barges are designed to navigate through rivers, canals, and other inland water bodies, allowing for the transportation of large quantities of goods in a single trip. This mode of transportation is particularly advantageous for heavy and bulky cargo such as construction materials, agricultural products, and raw materials.
Even though there is fierce competition among the industry's players, the worldwide barge transportation market is consolidated. Enormous investments made by market participants in fleet operations and technological innovation are responsible for the escalating rivalry. Several market participants who are well-established in the market concentrate their efforts largely on inland transportation services due to the substantial growth potential they present.
- In August 2019, BHP Group committed US$ 283 million to the Ruby project in Trinidad and Tobago.
- U.S. Shipping Corp. was purchased by SEACOR Holdings, Inc. in August 2021. According to the Jones Act, this transaction made SEACOR Holdings one of the major tanker operators.
Key Segments of Barge Transportation Industry Research
By Barge Type :
- Dry Bulk Cargo Barges
- Liquid Cargo Barges
- Car-Float Barges
- Power Barges
- Construction Barges
By Vessel Type :
- Open Barges
- Covered Barges
- Tank Barges
By Voyage :
By Propulsion :
- Towed Barges
- Self-propelled Barges
By Region :
- North America
- Latin America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa
- FAQs -
The global barge transportation market stands at US$ 134.81 billion in 2023.
Global demand for barge transportation is forecasted to rise at a CAGR of 4.5% through 2033.
Worldwide revenue from barge transportation is set to reach US$ 209.36 billion by 2033.
The United States market is set to advance at 4.7% CAGR through 2033.
Demand for barge transportation is forecasted to increase at a CAGR of 3.2% in Japan.