What is a barge?
A barge is a non self-propelled flat bottom vessel used for transportation on oceans, rivers, and canals. While barges were once made of wood, today’s barges are all constructed of welded steel. They are used to transport oversize materials and machinery, grain, coal, fuel, and many other commodities. Since barges are non self-propelled, they require tugboats or towboats to be moved.
Deck barge - a deck barge is a barge with a flat deck that is used both for transportation and construction support. The flat deck is capable of holding hundreds of tons of machinery such as cranes and excavators. The deck also serves as a platform for holding oversized objects such as bridge sections for coastwise or inland transportation. The inside of the deck barge is typically empty.
Hopper barge – a hopper barge is a barge like the one described above, except without a deck. Instead, it has a large hopper, or cargo bin, for transporting bulk items such as grain, coal, paper, stone, and other materials. They are commonly used in the dredging industry for holding dredge spoils that have been dredged from the bottom of a channel.