Barge is flat surfaced vessel that is used to transport cargo through waterways. Barges are tugged or toed by naval vessels in the water bodies. Furthermore, barges are generally utilized in water bodies such as rivers, canals, and lakes; however barge transportation is now extensively used at sea ports. Barge is a popular means for transportation adopted by large industries in order to transport their cargo.
The barge transportation market is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period due to rising import and export among countries. Barge transportation was a highly popular way of transportation until the invention of steam engines and the introduction of railways. Railway transportation hampered the barge transportation market as it was faster way of transportation; however, transportation of cargo through waterways, between different nations, coupled with high carrying capacity of barges has boosted the barge transportation market in the last few decades. Rising industrialization, globally, is likely to boost the barge transportation market during the forecast period.
The global barge transportation market can be segmented based on fleet, product, application, and region. Based on fleet, the covered barge segment is anticipated to hold a major share of the market, as popularity of the covered barge has been consistently increasing. The tank barge segment is estimated to witness significant expansion during the forecast period due to the rise in transportation of petrochemicals by barge.
Based on the product to be transported, the dry cargo segment is likely to hold a major share of the market, as other than oil and gas industry, most products are dry product, which is attributable for the large market share held by the dry cargo segment. The dry cargo segment is anticipated to maintain its dominance during the forecast period; however, liquid and gas cargo segments are likely to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period.
In terms of application, the barge transportation market is segmented on the basis of major industries. Among all the industries, crude oil and coal industry segment is anticipated to hold a notable share of the market. It is anticipated to maintain its dominant position in the market during the forecast period due to rising industrialization, which consumes the byproduct of crude oil and coal industry as their fuel. Barge transportation has been one of the most important mode for the transportation of agricultural products, thus the agricultural segment is likely to expand at a significant growth rate during the forecast period.
In terms of region, North America is a leading market for barge transportation, followed by Asia Pacific. Barge transportation in North America is rising consistently due to a well-established network of waterways in the region including the major rivers such as Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio. Government in the region is supporting to raise the fund for the development of the waterway transportation, thus boosting the barge transportation market.
Key players operating in the global barge transportation market include Kirby Corporation, Ingram Marine Group, neska Container Line B.V., SEACOR, and Campbell Transportation Company, Inc. Most key players are focusing on mergers and acquisitions in order to expand their business.
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