According to a recent market study published by Growth Market Reports, titled, “Global Barge Transportation Market by Cargo Type, Barge Fleet, Application, and Region: Size, Share, Trends and Opportunity Analysis, 2016-2031”, the market size was valued at USD 96.4 Billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a growth rate of 3.7% by 2031.

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According to the Growth Market Reports industry analyst, Pratiksha Deshmukh, the “global barge transportation market” is anticipated to register significant growth during the forecast period 2022-2030. Barge transportation is a method of transport that involves the use of barges, which are long, flat-bottomed boats, for moving heavy goods. Barges are not self-propelled and are usually towed or pushed by other vessels. Barges are capable of carrying thousands of tons of cargo along inland water routes, providing a cost-effective solution for businesses. Various sizes and types of barges are available to cater to specific projects and types of materials. For instance, dry bulk cargo barges are employed to transport dry goods, such as food grains, sand, and minerals. Barges carrying liquid cargo are utilized to transport petrochemicals, fertilizers, and other industrial liquid chemicals.

Key factors such as rising government funding and traffic congestion mitigation are anticipated to drive the global barge transportation market. However, high operating costs hamper the barge transportation market. Moreover, the rising technological advancements are creating opportunities in the market.

Primary and secondary research methodologies are used for keen observation and study of the barge transportation market. The primary research methodology involves commercial agreements made with the primary respondents as well as consulting partners to extract critical information pertaining to the syndicated as well as consulting projects. Primary interviews were conducted with the stakeholders across industry verticals at regular intervals in line with the ongoing studies and to keep ourselves abreast with the latest market trends and developments. Validation of the estimated market size and current & future trends are done by the key opinion leaders (KOLs). These KOLs are the CXO level people from foremost companies in the industry and possess experience of around 10-20 years in the industry. On the other hand, the secondary research methodology involves exhaustive desk research undertaken to understand the prevailing market trends & dynamics, market competition, customer insights, and other KPIs. Company websites, their SEC filings, annual reports, broker & financial reports, and investor presentations are scanned for understanding the competitive scenario, details and developments, and the overall competitive landscape. Regional government and statistical databases were analyzed for macro & micro analysis. Research publications and paid data are referred to obtain and validate the market estimations, budget, expenditure, and other statistical insights.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted economic disparities, created global interdependence, and challenged various governments. The pandemic became a major concern for businesses and prospects for identifying emerging patterns and vulnerabilities. The barge transportation sector has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Initially, maritime container imports fell by 7.0% due to disruptions in shipping and air freight services, resulting in canceled sailings, port delays, and container shortages. However, the latter half of 2020 saw a 9.5% increase in container imports, largely due to a surge in trade with Asia, especially China. The value of US imports of maritime freight transport services rose by 16.5%. The high infection rates among port workers led to reduced cargo movement, causing shipping container backlogs and delays in loading and unloading merchandise. The industry had to adapt to new norms, explore new transport operations, and prioritize safety. Furthermore, the market bounced back by over 3% in 2021.

Key Takeaways from the Study:

  • In terms of cargo type, the dry cargo segment accounted for a substantial share of the market in 2022 and is expected to expand at a significant CAGR during the forecast period.

  • Based on barge fleet, the tank segment accounted for a substantial share of the market in 2022 and is expected to expand at a considerable CAGR during the forecast period.

  • In terms of application, the coal & crude petroleum segment accounted for a substantial share of the market in 2022 and is expected to expand at a significant CAGR during the forecast period.

Report Scope:

Report Metric


Market Value in 2022

USD 96.4 Billion

Market Growth Rate (from 2016 to 2031)


Historical Data


Base Year


Forecast Period

2023 – 2031

Units Considered

Value (USD Million)

Market Segments

Cargo Type, Barge Fleet, Application, and Region

Key Companies Profiled

Valero Marketing and Supply Company; Hapag-Lloyd AG; Ingram Marine Group; DP WORLD; Kirby Corporation; Crowley; Maersk; American Commercial Barge Line; Savage Companies.; Arcosa, Inc.; Florida Marine Transporters; SEACOR HOLDINGS INC.; Campbell Transportation Company Inc.; Blessey Marine Services, Inc.; McAllister Towing; Rong-An Inc.; Poh Tiong Choon Logistics Ltd.; PSA INTERNATIONAL PTE. LTD.; Alter Logistics Company; Seawind Shipping Services; and Rooskens Group.

Customization Scope

Report customization available on request

Pricing and Purchase Options

Avail tailor-made purchase options to meet your research requirements.


Target Audience:

  • Supply-side: Manufacturers, Raw Material Suppliers, and Distributors

  • Demand Side: Government Agencies, Consulting Firms, Private Research and Development Firms, Equity Firms, and Investment Firms.