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APAC barge transportation market to acquire substantial returns by 2024, rising demand for petroleum products in the region to drive the industry expansion

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Barge transportation market has indeed gained a velocity in the past few years, and is in the midst of experiencing a profound commercialization portfolio, primarily driven by the escalating crude petrochemical shipments across the world. In this regard, it is important to note that U.S. and Japan are the two major economies where crude oil demand is significantly high, which quite aptly translates the profitability quotient of the barge transportation market in these regions. In fact, Asia Pacific is forecast to procure a significant portion of the overall industry, with a massive revenue collection by the end of 2024. However, North America is also slated to emerge as a crucial regional barge transportation market, on account of the rising shale oil production.

U.S. Barge Transportation Market, By Product, 2013-2024, (USD Million)

U.S. Barge Transportation Market, By Product, 2013-2024, (USD Million)

Global barge transportation industry, estimated by Global Market Insights, Inc., is claimed to surpass USD 170 billion by the end of 2024. Growing investments in fleet modernization and increment in the barge number has substantially driven the market dynamics over the years.  For instance, Kirby Corporation, one of the renowned barge transportation market giants, had spent almost USD 135 million in 2014 for the construction of 66 new island barges. Mergers and acquisitions is another strategy that the industry participants are readily adopting to consolidate their business position in the competitive space.

The yesteryear acquisition of SEACOR Holdings’ inland fleet by Kirby Corporation from subsidiaries of SEACOR at approximately USD 88 million bears a testimony to the aforementioned fact. Reportedly, the asset purchase will include 13 inland towboats, 27 inland 30,000-barrel tank barges, and one towboat which is presently under construction. Under the agreement, Kirby would transfer SEACOR Holdings the ownership of Florida based ship docking tugboat. On the other hand, SEACOR, through SCF Waxler Marine LLC, would transport petrochemicals, black oil, and refined petroleum products on Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Mississippi River System. Analysts claim this move by Kirby Corporations to be highly strategic, projecting the company to score a competitive advantage in the global barge transportation industry.

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Some of the other biggies involved in barge transportation market include American Commercial Barge Line, Campbell Transportation, Blessey Marine Services, Canal Barge, PTC Logistics, and Heartland Barge.  The overall industry is restrained by some of the crucial factors such as huge initial cost associated with fleet construction, limitations of international water ways, and climatic conditions. However, leading companies are continuously focusing on overcoming these challenges as much as possible by incorporating technology in the business module. For instance, GPS integration has helped the operators get a clear picture of the climatic conditions and the delivery time.

Outlining Asia Pacific barge transportation industry trends over 2018-2024

Asia Pacific is one of the most lucrative regional markets for barge transportation industry. Indeed, APAC barge transportation industry held USD 34 billion in 2017, accounting for the highest revenue of the market share, primarily driven by the rising foreign exchange and trade activities. Furthermore, the growing number of oil imports from the Middle East and North America will add to the industry growth.

Another factor that will add to the growth of the APAC barge transportation industry is the availability of huge waterways in addition to the escalating vessel freight traffic, especially alongside the coastal areas. As per estimates, Asia Pacific barge transportation market shipments will be 5.5 billion tons by 2024.

Powered by a plethora of unprecedented technological advancements and the escalating demand for petrochemical and agricultural shipments, barge transportation market is expected to chart an appreciable growth in the coming years. Global Market Insights, Inc., anticipates the overall barge transportation market size to register a CAGR of 5% over 2018-2024.

Author Name : Saipriya Iyer