Tepid waters: Revenue is expected to increase, but poor infrastructure threatens industry growth

IBISWorld’s Inland Water Transportation market research report offers insightful industry analysis and research into the market at the national level. IBISWorld’s in-depth industry market research is presented in a logical and consistent format. The industry report contains key industry statistics, market size, industry trends, and growth and profit forecasts for a 5-year outlook period.


Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Economic expansion, rising exports and demand from downstream industries will drive industry growth
  • Large declines in revenue were prevented due to strong demand for the transportation of liquid bulk
  • Increasing petroleum output will translate into more demand for the industry

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    Industry Analysis & Industry Trends

    Over the five years to 2017, the Inland Water Transportation industry sailed out of shallow water, as it recovered from the recession amid stagnant overall freight volume and detrimental weather events. The surge in US oil and gas production caused demand for the industry's tanker services to spike, aiding industry revenue growth. Over the five years to 2022, the industry will finally reach its prerecessionary levels. Increasing economic activity, combined with growth in key downstream markets, will push up the volume of freight transported via inland and costal waterways. As a result, demand for industry services will rise, supporting revenue growth...

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    Industry Report - Industry Products Chapter

    Transportation of dry bulk and manufactured goods

    An estimated 31.3% of industry revenue is derived from the transportation of dry bulk goods. In terms of tonnage, coal accounts for the greatest share of dry bulk transported. It is transported to power station or to ports for export. Agricultural products, especially grains and corn, make up another major dry-bulk commodity transported via inland waterways. Because the Mississippi River extends from some of the nation's most agriculturally productive regions to the Atlantic Ocean, it is natural that it would be one of the primary routes by which grains and corn are exported out of the country. Other freight transported includes raw material such as iron ore and gravel. In ..

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    Additional Insights for the Inland Water Transportation Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Inland Water Transportation Industry are

  • Optimum capacity utilization
  • Having a diverse range of clients
  • Ability to pass on cost increases
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as US oil and gas production index and Demand from coal mining in the Inland Water Transportation industry impact industry performance..

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    Industry Products

    What is the Inland Water Transportation Industry?

    This industry comprises establishments that provide inland water transportation for passengers and cargo on lakes, rivers and other inland waterways.

    Industry Products
    Transportation of liquid bulk
    Transportation of dry bulk
    Towing and tugboat services
    Passenger transportation
    Other services
    Manufactured and consumer goods
    Industry Activities
    Canal barge transportation
    Freight transportation on inland waters
    Intracoastal transportation of freight
    Lake freight transportation
    Lighterage (i.e. freight transportation except vessel supply services)
    River freight transportation
    Ship chartering with crew on inland waters
    Shipping freight on inland waters
    Towing services on inland waters

    Table of Contents

    About this Industry
    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry at a Glance
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Industry Performance
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • US oil and gas production index
  • Demand from coal mining
  • Demand from crop production
  • Price of diesel

  • Current Performance
  • An uneven performance
  • Oil boom and bust
  • Industry landscape
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Demand remains uncertain
  • External competition and poor infrastructure
  • Profit and other trends
  • Table: Inland Water Transportation Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Inland Water Transportation Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Products & Markets
    Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Corn Farming
  • Wheat, Barley & Sorghum Farming
  • Coal Mining
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Petrochemical Manufacturing
  • Consumers

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Boat Building
  • Ship Building
  • Tugboat & Shipping Navigational Services

  • Products & Services
  • Transportation of dry bulk
  • Transportation of liquid bulk
  • Towing and tugboat services
  • Manufactured and consumer goods
  • Other services
  • Passenger transportation
  • Chart: Inland Water Transportation Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • Petroleum and chemical product industries
  • Internal and other services
  • Manufactured and consumer goods
  • Coal-related industry
  • Iron, construction and other industries
  • Agricultural product industries
  • Consumers
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Inland Water Transportation Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Competitive Landscape
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
    ProfitPurchasesWagesDepreciationRent and utilities and marketingOther
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Inland Water Transportation

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal competition
  • External competition

  • Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Inland Water Transportation Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Major Companies
    Kirby CorporationAmerican Commercial Lines LLCIngram Industries Inc.
  • Table: Kirby Corporation - financial performance
  • Table: American Commercial Lines LLC - financial performance
  • Table: Ingram Industries Inc. - financial performance

  • Operating Conditions
    Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Inland Water Transportation Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Key Statistics
    Table: Industry Data for the Inland Water Transportation Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2008-2022)
  • Industry Gross Product (2008-2022)
  • Establishments (2008-2022)
  • Businesses (2008-2022)
  • Employment (2008-2022)
  • Wages (2008-2022)
  • US oil and gas production index (2008-2022)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Table: Industry Financial Ratios
    Jargon & Glossary
  • A flat-bottomed boat built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Most are not self-propelled and need to be moved by tugboats or towboats.
  • Bulk Cargo
  • Unpackaged cargo (e.g. coal, grain, wood chips and cement) that is transported in large quantities in a vessel's hold.
  • Hopper
  • A large chute used for the temporary storage of materials. The bottom of the chute typically controls the flow of materials, allowing them to be metered out at the desired rate.
  • Intercoastal
  • Extending or operating between sea coasts.
  • Intracoastal
  • Being within and close to the coast or belonging to the inland waters near the coast.
  • Lock
  • A device used to lower boats onto waterways.
  • Tank Barge
  • A barge that hauls liquid cargo (e.g. chemicals, petroleum and fertilizers) in holding tanks inside the hull.
  • The Jones Act
  • Legislation passed in 1920 that restricts waterborne trade within the country to American-owned and -flagged ships, and stipulates that 75.0% of a ship's crew must consist of American citizens.
  • Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Inland Water Transportation:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding of industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Inland Water Transportation market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Inland Water Transportation, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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