A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mostly for river and canal transport of important goods. Most barges are not self-propelled and need to be moved by tugboats towing or towboats pushing them. Barges on inland waterways (towed by draft animals on an adjacent towpath) contended with the railway in the early industrial revolution but were out competed in the carriage of high value items owing to the higher speed, falling costs, and route elasticity of rail transport.
Barges are still used today for low value bulk items, as the cost of hauling goods by barge is very low. Barges are also used for very weighty or bulky items; a typical barge events 195 feet by 35 feet (59.4 meters by 10.6 meters), and can take up to 1500 tons of cargo.