North American Barge Transportation Market will grow at 4% CAGR, the open barge fleet to cross USD 56 billion over the projected timeframe

Dry cargo segment will dominate the barge transportation market size 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.

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Asia Pacific will dominate barge transportation market 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.

Barge transportation market size 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 size 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.

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.

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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 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.