Barge Transportation Market Size, Share and Growth Analysis By Barge Fleet (Covered, Open, and Tank), By Product (Liquid Cargo, Dry Cargo, and Gaseous Cargo), By Application (Agricultural Products, Coal & Crude Petroleum, Metal Ores, Coke & Refined Petroleum Products, Food Products, Secondary Raw Materials & Wastes, Basic Metals & Fabricated Metal Products, Beverages & Tobacco, Rubber & Plastic, Chemicals, and Nuclear Fuel) - Global Industry Analysis, Trends, Regional Outlook and Forecast 2020 - 2027


The global barge transportation market size was valued at US$ 42.2 billion in 2020 and is predicted to hit around US$ 56.68 billion by 2027, growing at a noteworthy CAGR of 3.8% over forecast period 2020 to 2027.

Barge Transportation Market Size 2020 to 2027

Growth Factors

Increasing import and export activities between different countries is likely to boost the barge transportation market growth. Its high good carrying capacity and favorable means of transportation for industrial product compared to other modes of transportation drives the growth of barge transportation over the past few years. Industrial revolution in Asian countries and global expansion strategy adopted by the major players based in USA and Europe to capture the untapped market offered great opportunity for the barge transportation market to grow in the near past. Further, rising industrialization in the Asian countries is still booming the demand for barge transportation within two nations.

However, advancement in the railway transport expected to hinder the market growth for barge transportation. Besides this, attractive return on investment is likely to attract various service providers that induce significant growth of the market during the forecast period.

Barge Fleet Insights

Tank barges segment emerged as a significant revenue shareholder of nearly 25% of the barge transportation in the year 2020. The significant growth of the segment is mainly attributed to the rising import and export of petrochemicals and chemicals across the world. As per the European Chemical Industry Council, the chemical industry export in European Union had reached approximately USD 175 Mn in the year 2018, this proved to be the ample opportunity for the service providers in the barge transportation market to grow prominently in the coming years.

Barge Transportation Market Share, By Barge Fleet, 2020 (%)

Further, rising international and domestic trade of LNG has motivated the industry participants to invest significantly for purchasing new barge fleet. For example, in January 2020, Kirby Corporation purchased bunkering services coupled with the fleet of inland tank barges for USD 278 Mn from Savage Inland Marine. The acquisition helped Kirby to take over the Savage’s operation of 46 inland towboats along with 90 inland tank barges fleet having total capacity of nearly 2.5 Mn barrels. Such initiatives taken by the industry players to amplify their market share and also to provide enhanced customer service are expected to propel the market growth for tanked barges in the coming years.

Product Insights

Increasing demand for iron ore, coal, and grains especially in the Asia Pacific, Germany, and the U.S. had significantly boosted the sales for dry cargo products over the past few years. The dry cargo product segment is projected to cross the revenue of USD 22 Billion by 2027. The rising need for cost-efficient transportation of products that include ore, steel, lumber, and gravel across the world predicted to further drive the market growth. High production volume of dry cargo products triggers the competition for advanced transportation, making it a preferred choice for the end-users. Innovation in the shipping sector such as online freight platform has uplifted the barge transportation for dry commodities.

Regional Insights

In 2020, Europe emerged as the global leader in the barge transportation market accounting a revenue share of nearly 40%. Rising investment for the port development has positively influenced the European barge transportation market over the years. For example, in February 2020, QTerminals announced to invest USD 120 Mn for developing port terminal in Ukraine. The port development determined to intensify the oil & bulk trade, container, and work for tugboats in the nation. The UK inland waterways offered 2,000 miles of water transportation network that provide ample opportunity to the service providers in the market. In addition, the presence of major ports in the region that includes Howden, Corpach, Sharpness, Caldaire, Selby, and Weston Point positively influence the market growth.

Barge Transportation Market Share, By Region, 2020 (%)

The Asia Pacific followed Europe in the global barge transportation market and predicted to forecast promising growth opportunity in the coming years. Major government initiative for the development of inland waterways along with rising export & import business in the region are some of the prime factors that drive the growth of the region. Abundant water resources along with extensive waterways network in the Asian countries such as China and India contribute prominently towards the flourishing growth of the region.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The global barge transportation market is nearly a consolidated market though offer high competition among the industry participants. The increasing competition is majorly due to significant spending by market players for the improvement of fleet operation and advancement in the technology. Several players operating in the market focus that have strong market presence primarily focuses on the inland transportation services as it offers significant opportunity to grow.

Some of the prominent players in the barge transportation market include:

  • SEACOR Holdings
  • American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL)
  • Ingram Marine Group
  • Campbell Transportation Company
  • Kirby Corporation
  • APL Logistics
  • Crowley Maritime Corporation

Segments Covered in the Report

This research report includes complete assessment of the market with the help of extensive qualitative and quantitative insights, and projections regarding the market. This report offers breakdown of market into prospective and niche sectors. Further, this research study calculates market revenue and its growth trend at global, regional, and country from 2016 to 2027. This report includes market segmentation and its revenue estimation by classifying on the basis of barge fleet, product, application, and region:

By Barge Fleet

  • Covered
  • Open
  • Tank

By Product

  • Liquid Cargo
  • Dry Cargo
  • Gaseous Cargo

By Application

  • Agricultural Products
  • Coal & Crude Petroleum
  • Metal Ores
  • Coke & Refined Petroleum Products
  • Food Products
  • Secondary Raw Materials & Wastes
  • Beverages & Tobacco
  • Rubber & Plastic
  • Chemicals
  • Nuclear Fuel

By Regional Outlook

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • France
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
  • Rest of the World
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current size of barge transportation market?
According to Precedence Research, the global barge transportation market size is predicted to be worth around US$ 56.68 Billion by 2027.
The barge transportation is now largely used at sea ports.
Numerous benefits offered by barge transportation in terms of efficiency, cost, and security & safety of cargo propel the growth of the market. Rising import & export business along with improving economic condition across different parts of the world plays significant role in triggering the market growth.
As per Precedence Research, the global barge transportation market was valued at USD 42.06 Billion in 2019.
The global barge transportation market is expanding with a CAGR of 3.8% during the forecast period 2020 to 2027.
Europe led the global barge transportation market with prominent revenue share of approximately 40% in the year 2019.
Some of the key players operating in the barge transportation market are SEACOR Holdings, American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), Ingram Marine Group, Campbell Transportation Company, Kirby Corporation, APL Logistics, and Crowley Maritime Corporation among others.
Barge is a flat surfaced vessel used for cargo transportation through waterways. Barge is a popular mode of transportation embraced by major industries for transporting their cargo.

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