Barge Operations: The difference between a barge and a vessel

Often, a barge is confused with a vessel. Meanwhile in the real sense, a barge is a long, spacious, flat-bottomed boat that is used to transport goods on inland waterways such as rivers and canals. Some barges are not powered and cannot propel on their own as they are mostly towed or pushed by tow boards. These are usually used to transport very heavy or bulky items. While a vessel is a craft of considerable size, a vessel can be described as a ship or a large boat used to move goods or people.

Self-propelled barges are sometimes used when travelling downstream or upstream in placid waters, but when travelling upstream in faster waters, they are operated as unpowered barges, with the assistance of a tugboat. Sometimes several barges can be held together with rigging and towed by a single tugboat also known as a tow.

The captain of the barge steers the tugboat, and deckhands in the barge are supervised by the mate; the whole crew live abroad the towboat as they move along the inland waterways. A barge is a type of vessel which is mainly used for the purpose of carrying cargo. However, the most important part about barges is the fact that they are not independent boats or vessels. They must be tugged or towed along with other naval vessels in the water. Barges are mostly used in smaller water parts like rivers, lakes or canals; however, they are now used extensively at seaports.

Our Barge Operations covers but are not limited to Importation, Exportation and Empties management. We at TGL are readily available to smoothen your journey with our swift logistics system. Our services cover logistics, commodities trading and providing EPC services in the energy sector and other related sectors. With a team of over 50 years’ combined experience in freight forwarding, out-country and in-country logistics, compliance/documentation, and core technology services and we are more than able to ensure that the logistics process(es) of your business stays afloat.


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