There are many kinds of vessels that are used for transport, and on inland waterways like canals there are certain units which have been the backbone of high volume trades in days gone by. These are still in use, especially where there is much need of transferring trade goods or raw materials through these channels.
There will be certain outfits which make new items or vessels of this kind. And there are commercial concerns which could be itemized as barges for sale. This is for either brand new or secondhand items that are available. The sales of these items are reliant on related industries and certain experts with experience in this field.
These will not be items that are on display or could be seen as commercial products. The fact remains that these could be big enough, and while in the range of commercial vessels they are actually smaller, ships are a range of their own when it comes to size. They are usually a simpler vessel too and can either have no motors for forward motion or have small ones for maneuvering.
A barge looks squat and flat and rectangular, and usually the bottom is not too deep for it. This creates enough space for being able to accommodate commodities like coals, sand and even fresh produce. The shallow draft is also useful for this vessel when it comes to navigating the shallower channels
The design is ancient in fact, and usually associated with river transportation. Flat rafts were often used in this, and in time shallow draft vessels not only are used for transport of goods but also of people. Rivers and similar waterways were often the most important trade routes and highways for ancient civilizations.
The control or use of these was often related to successful empire and trade or commerce. The ancient people fought over control of these, and in the Fertile Crescent there were many wars fought for control over the Tigris, Euphrates and their many branches and channels, and in the meantime all sorts of barges sailed on it to supply both sides with their necessities.
The sale of such a vessel is usually brokered by an expert in transport equipment. The specialization for ships or boats could also be at work. This means that the outfits operating in this field belong to a specific part of an industry that is actually big, and while not connected to more maritime or naval concerns, these could actually be used on saltwater too.
These are often strung together to make a line of transports that could easily and affordably transfer tons of goods at any one time. These are towed either from the shore, when they are used in canals or rivers, or towed by a powerful tug. Tugboats too may be in use for these when they are being used on the coasts.
These are not usually used in deep see trips or travel and transport. And the risk factor goes up when folks use them this way. It means their capacity is something that is really more about flat and peaceful waters, in fact no one has ever used this kind of item on white water rivers.