In the true sense of the word it’d be inaccurate to say that barges are a kind of ship; they would be better described as ‘marine vessels.’ A barge is a massive size boat with flat bottom. It doesn’t have any self-propelling mechanism, which is why it is always towed or tugged while transporting cargo from one shore or facility to another. A fair assumption would be that, if there’s no self-propelling mechanism in a barge, it must not have much practical use or it is outdated.

The status quo of current barges and their uses

According to Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association, there are over 26,000 dry cargo barges, 1,200 towboats and 3,000 tanker barges currently. The efficiency of barges is exceptional. One large size barge can carry over 15 times the quantity a rail car can, and nearly 60 times more than a trailer truck can; but barges often don’t work alone. They can in fact tied together with nearly 15 crafts at a time, pulled along by a towboat or tug.

Different types of barges

Barges are available in several types and they are all categorized into, but not limited to: log barges, hopper barges, pleasure barges and a few more. It won’t be feasible to deliberate on each of the barges in this article, however basically they are fairly similar in their creation. For instance, car float barge is utilized for transferring cars across rivers and a pleasure barge is used to carry freight or tourists.

Crane barge: These types of barges are often referred to as crane ship or crane vessel. They are typically used in offshore construction. Crane barges are actually crafts with cranes that help with hefty lifting.

Dry bulk cargo barge: They are basically used for carrying dry supplies such as coal, sands, and grains to finished steel. These barges have lids to safeguard weather-sensitive cargo.

Hopper barge: These barges do not have a self-propelling mechanism, however they are basically used for transporting rocks, soil and sands for disposing of into the ocean as they reclaim lands.

Jack-up barge: This type of barge is commonly referred to as a jack-up rig, they usually self-lift and are used to either service other vessels already involved in offshore construction or as experimental drilling base.

Liquid cargo barges: They are used to transport liquids, for example liquid fertilizer, oil products, refined products, petrochemicals and so forth.

Workboat Hire lists the largest fleet of barges for hire. We also provide the flexibility our clients require in order to book a suitable barge for their transport projects and marine construction. Our comprehensive fleet listings of offshore and inland barges include all types of barges currently available in the market and are operated worldwide.

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