Barge Transportation Market Size By Product (Dry Cargo, Liquid Cargo, Gaseous Cargo), By Barge Fleet (Open, Covered, Tank), By Application (Coal & Crude Petroleum, Agricultural Products, Coke & Refined Petroleum Products, Metal Ores, Secondary Raw Materials & Wastes, Food Products, Beverages & Tobacco, Basic Metals & Fabricated Metal Products, Chemicals, Rubber & Plastic, Nuclear Fuel), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2020 – 2026

Published Date: Apr 2020  |  Report ID: GMI1945  |  Authors: Preeti Wadhwani, Prasenjit Saha

Report Format: PDF   |   Pages: 260   |   Base Year: 2019

Summary Table of Contents Industry Coverage Methodology

Industry Trends

Barge Transportation Market size valued at USD 40 billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 4% between 2020 and 2026. The global industry cargo shipments are projected to reach 4 billion tons by 2026. Rising trade activities of commodities including refined petroleum and metal ores across the globe will drive the market growth.

Increasing offshore crude oil production is further boosting the market revenue. Moreover, the emergence of advanced technologies for faster navigation & communication coupled with declining price of electronic products is anticipated to propel the market demand.

Barge Transportation Market

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The barge transportation market is positively influenced by fundamental forces of supply-demand that are affected by numerous factors including navigation circumstances, domestic weather patterns, local & international consumption of industrial and agricultural products, steel prices, trade policies, and crop production. Increasing agricultural production along with rising agricultural export & import activities across the globe are providing a positive outlook to the market.

The major factor challenging the industry is high operating cost associated with barge transportation, such as maintenance, repair, replacement, fuel, and labor. The other costs include maintenance of heavy machinery and equipment, infrastructure, and port facilities. However, high ROI is expected to attract viable service providers inducing immense growth potential to the industry size.

The impact of COVID-19 has led in reduction in import and export activities, which is poised to hamper the barge transportation industry in FY2020. According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the global economy can shrink by about one percent in 2020, posing a challenge to the market growth.

Barge Transportation Market Report Coverage
Report Coverage Details
Base Year:2019
Market Size in 2019:USD 40 Billion (2019)
Forecast Period:2020 to 2026
Forecast Period 2020 to 2026 CAGR:4%
2026 Value Projection:USD 50 Billion (2026)
Historical Data for:2015 to 2019
No. of Pages:260
Tables, Charts & Figures:318
Segments covered:Product, Barge Fleet, Application
Growth Drivers:
  • Availability of large capacity barges and increasing quality of inland waterways
  • Increasing demand for petrochemical shipments
  • Rising investments in port modernization
Pitfalls & Challenges:
  • High operating expenses in barge transportation
  • Stringent government regulations pertaining to marine transportation
  • Replacements of barges with pipelines for liquid cargo

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Increasing demand for cost-effective transportation solution for dry commodities

The dry cargo product segment in the market is predicted to cross USD 22 billion by 2026 owing to rising demand for coal, iron ore, and grains, particularly in the U.S., Germany, and Asia Pacific countries including India and China. Furthermore, growing need for cost-effective transportation of products, such as steel, ore, gravel, and lumber, across the globe will drive the market value.

High production volumes of dry bulk commodities require competitive transportation, making barge transportation a preferred choice for end users, supporting the market trend. Innovation in the shipping sector of dry cargo is bringing a new barge transportation business model such as online freight platform. Through the platform, shippers can provide the best price to haul goods, such as copper and iron ore, to their customers. This new business model bypasses the brokers, supports in minimizing the shipping cost, and brings in high operational efficiency.

Growing chemicals and petrochemicals import & export activities

Global Barge Transportation Market By Barge Fleet

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The tank barges segment holds around 25% of the barge transportation market share in 2020. The growth can be attributed to rising exports and imports of chemical and petrochemicals across the globe. According to the European Chemical Industry Council, the European Union (EU) chemical industry exports reached around USD 175 million in 2018, providing ample market opportunities to barge transportation service providers.

The rising domestic and international trade of LNG has encouraged the industry players to make significant investments for purchasing new barge fleet. For instance, in January 2020, Kirby announced to purchase bunkering services along with the fleet of inland tank barges from Savage Inland Marine for around USD 278 million. The acquisition will allow Kirby to take over operation of Savage’s 90 inland tank barges fleet with a total capacity of approximately 2.5 M barrels along with 46 inland towboats. Such initiatives by the market players to provide efficient customer services and gain enhanced market share will propel the industry size.

Positive outlook for the global agriculture industry will boost the market revenue

The agricultural application segment exceeded USD 4 billion market revenue in 2019 and is set to witness a growth rate of over 4.5% from 2020 to 2026. The positive outlook of the agricultural industry is creating a huge demand for efficient & enhanced logistics services, supporting the market size expansion. Economies of scale in the agricultural sector is enhancing the demand for covered barge transportation services. Agricultural products are majorly transported via hopper covered barges owing to their weather protection advantage.

Increasing agricultural production across Asia Pacific and North America will further drive the market growth. The agriculture sector contributes significantly to the GDP of several countries including the U.S., India, and China. Additionally, farmers and agricultural product distributors prefer barge transportation owing to its low cost and high efficiency.

Increasing investments in new port terminal developments across Europe

Europe Barge Transportation Market By Region

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The Europe barge transportation market surpassed a valuation of USD 14 billion in 2019. The rising investment in port terminal developments across Europe is positively influencing the market demand. For instance, in February 2020, QTerminals announced that it will invest around USD 120 million in a Ukrainian port to increase container, oil & bulk trade and work for tugboats in the country.

The UK inland waterways offer a network of over 2,000 miles, which provides a wide range of opportunities to the barge transportation service providers. Also, the presence of various major ports in the country including Howden, Corpach, Sharpness, Caldaire, Selby, and Weston Point positively influences the market growth.

The Netherlands is strategically located at the Rhine-Scheldt Delta, offering an important mode of international transportation. The improvements in the barge transportation fleet size and cooperation between private and public shipping partners are driving factors for the industry growth in the country. However, several countries across Europe are planning to shut down coal production in the coming years. For instance, in January 2020, Germany announced its plans to completely phase out the coal power by 2038. This will impact the industry trend negatively as coal import & export activities in the region will reduce significantly.

Offering enhanced customer services is the key strategy by leading market players

Barge transportation service providers are engaged in offering distinct types of facilities such as infrastructure, warehouses, intermodal shipment, and shipping documents. The infrastructure facility provides stations for refueling, electricity, cranes, dredges, etc. Intermodal shipment services include transportation facilities via different modes. Storage or warehouses are offered by barge transportation service providers for storing goods to be imported or exported. A few goods are also assembled at the storage facility. Administrative documents include the management of river transport certificates, insurance, etc.

Some of the key players operating in the market include American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), SEACOR Holdings, Campbell Transportation Company, Ingram Marine Group, APL Logistics, Kirby Corporation, and Crowley Maritime Corporation.

The barge transportation market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue in USD and cargo shipments in million tons from 2015 to 2026 for the following segments:

Market by Product

  • Dry cargo
  • Liquid cargo
  • Gaseous cargo

Market by Barge Fleet

  • Opened
  • Covered
  • Tank Barge

Market by Application

  • Coal and crude petroleum
  • Agricultural products
  • Coke and refined petroleum products
  • Metal ores
  • Secondary raw materials and wastes
  • Food products, beverages, and tobacco
  • Basic metals, fabricated metal products
  • Chemicals, rubber & plastic, nuclear fuel
  • Others

The above information has been provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Belgium
    • Netherlands
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • MEA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of barge transportation surpassed USD 40 billion in 2019.
The industry share of barge transportation is anticipated to grow at 4% CAGR between 2020 to 2026.
The European industry demand can be credited to rising investment in port terminal developments across the region.
The agricultural application segment exceeded USD 4 billion market revenue in 2019 and is set to witness a growth rate of over 4.5% from 2020 to 2026.
According to the analysts at GMI, the dry cargo segment in the market is predicted to cross USD 22 billion by 2026.
Some of the key players operating in the market include American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), SEACOR Holdings, Campbell Transportation Company, Ingram Marine Group, APL Logistics, Kirby Corporation, and Crowley Maritime Corporation.

Premium Report Details

  • Published Date: Apr 2020
  • Pages: 260
  • Tables: 298
  • Charts / Figures: 20
  • Companies covered: 23
  • Countries covered: 13

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