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 (U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, France, France, Belgium, Netherlands, China, India, Japan, Brazil, Mexico), Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2018 - 2024
Increasing capacities of barges along with the rising trade activities through inland waterways are proliferating the barge transportation market over the study timeframe. Growing demand for petrochemical shipments owing to the latest exploration advancements including shale oil and directional drilling techniques will further augment the barge transportation market growth till 2024.
Emergence of advanced technologies for faster navigation and communication coupled with greater regional accessibility will expand the barge transportation market share over the study timeframe. Industry players are continuously improving the barges with efficient technologies including vessel traffic management systems, solar powered monitoring systems, and GPRS navigation, providing a positive outlook for the industry growth.
The proper integration of Global Positioning Systems into the vessels provide real time scheduling and monitoring of the barge ships enabling service providers to increase their operational efficiency. The usage of LNG for operating ships, restructuring of thruster tunnels, and implementation of propulsion nozzles reduces carbon emissions and enhances the efficiency significantly, thereby positively influencing the barge transportation market share till 2024.
Barges with integrated outer and inner hulls result in lesser spills. Innovative design features including advanced navigational aids and double hulls reduces the probability of accidents significantly. Introduction of hydrogen fuel-cell technology for powering barges and advanced fleet management solutions will lower operational expenses inducing immense potential to the industry growth.
The higher acquisition and maintenance costs coupled with stringent regulations for reducing emissions and improving efficiency of the barges may restrict the business growth over the forecast timeframe. Further the increasing preference of OMCs to shift from barges to pipelines for transportation of liquid cargo may further limit the industry growth till 2024.
Dry cargo segment will dominate the barge transportation market with a revenue share of over USD 75 billion over the forecast timeframe. This can be credited to the growing demand for industries that deal with low value bulk including municipal and recyclable waste. The requirement for secure barge transportation market services for transporting lumbar, steel, gravel, coal, and ore will further support the segment dominance.
Barge transportation market from coal and crude petroleum will exhibit more than 3% CAGR over the forecast timeframe. This can be attributed to the growing petroleum consignments globally. Introduction of enhanced oil recovery techniques along with advanced drilling methods including hydraulic fracking and directional drilling are propelling the segment revenue till 2024. Increasing oil trading activities from Middle East, Europe, and North America will further supplement the industry growth.
The covered barge fleet dominated the barge transportation market with a volume share surpassing 4 shipments-billion tonnes in 2017 owing to the enhanced safety features offered compared to open fleets. The growing requirement for safe and low-cost movement of agricultural products across various parts of the globe will further escalate the segment dominance till 2024.
Asia Pacific will dominate barge transportation volume share with more than 5 shipments-billion tons in 2024 owing to the increasing domestic and international trading activities for non-renewable materials and chemicals through marine transportation. The availability of vast waterway channels along with increasing demand for petrochemical products will further escalate the industry growth over the projected timeframe.
The major industry participants in the barge transportation market place include SEACOR Holdings, Campbell Transportation, American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), and Kirby Corporation. Other significant players include Canal Barge, Heartland Barge, Blessey Marine Services, and PTC Logistics. Industry participants are focusing on constructing new barge with enhanced loading capacities and technically advanced features. For instance, in 2014, Kirby Corporation announced an investment amounting to USD 135 million for the construction of 66 inland tank barges and one inland towboat and approximately USD 80 million for the construction of two 185,000-barrel Articulated Tug & Barge.