Barge Shipping: Why it Makes Sense for Sea Transport


Have you ever wondered why barge freight is employed by many people out there? If not, then this blog will clear all your doubts regarding the same.

Container barging is a popular route of shipping, particularly at large seaports with good interior waterway access. In comparison to other forms of transportation, it is both cost-effective and environmentally benign.

So without any further ado, let’s learn a lot about barge shipping.

What is Barge?

A barge is a logistics vessel that is used to move people or commodities along waterways or canals. Such shipping vessels are typically long, plain boats with no self-propelling equipment. In the early 1800s, marine barges were the primary mode of transportation in Europe for transporting freight over small watercourses.

However, due to speed limits, the desire for barges as cargo transporters began to decline during Industrialization and with the introduction of steam locomotives and trains. The very first barge was used in Europe to move ferry cargo between locations connected by tiny water bodies. But even today, barge shipping is used because of its capability to carry heavy weight. To know more about barge shipping, visit Cogoport.

Types of Barge

There are different types of barge available; let’s understand each one of them.

  1. Barracks Barge – Barracks barge is also known as houseboats. It is pretty clear from the name that these barges are employed for residential purposes.
  1. Dry Bulk Cargo Barges – As the name implies, these barges transport dry materials such as sand, grain, coal, and other things. All the dry stuff can easily be transported via dry bulk cargo barges.
  1. Liquid Cargo – Liquid cargo barges carry liquid materials such as diesel, petroleum, and other chemicals.
  1. Car Float Barge – This kind of barge is used as a ferry to carry individuals from one place to another.
  1. Split Hopper Barge – This kind of barge is used to carry the construction materials such as soil, sand, and other material.
  1. Power Barge – These barges are also known as movable power plants.
  1. Royal Barge – Lastly, as the name suggests, these barges are used by the royal people on special occasions.

Why Go With Barge Shipping?

Generally, a group of 15 barges travels down the river. A single convoy of American barges is equivalent to 216 freight trains or 1,050 trucks. Barge freight provides clear materials management benefits for enterprises located near major rivers. When it comes to a product like grain, which can be loaded at a rate of 907 Tph, a conventional river barge can be filled in a matter of hours. In comparison, packing 60 trucks is a logistical headache. Barges enable fast product loading and transportation.

Things to Consider While Barge Loading

When loading barges, there are numerous aspects to consider. River levels fluctuate considerably all year, the elevation of the barge fluctuates as it fills with goods, and standard loading techniques do not cover the entire span of the barge. Barge loading systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Open chutes, flexible hoses, telescoping booms, and articulating arms are some of the options. Further, self-propelled barges could be used to move in calm seas, whether downstream or upstream, and can push themselves, making it easier to convey any cargo.

There you go! Barges can be effective means of transporting goods. They are capable of transporting large quantities of goods at a lesser price than other means of transportation. Another important reason for their widespread use is that they come in various sizes from 1400 tonnes to 2700 tonnes and can be customized to fit the needs of the products being transported.