A type of vessel which is primarily used for transporting cargo is termed as a ‘Barge’. Barges are not something like independent vessels or boats but are floating vessels generally towed or tugged along with other vessels.
A barge is flat-shaped on its bottom, just like a raft. The main reason for this particular shape is to ensure that the cargo-carrying capacity is enhanced and more bulk can be hauled and transferred.
Europe used the first barge to transport ferry cargo across the places which were connected by small water bodies. But with the Industrial Revolution, there came the evolution of the steam engine and trains which resulted in a steep decline in the demand for barges to serve as cargo-transporters.