Innovation and Diversity

in Marine Design


Robert Allan Ltd. has a long and successful history of barge design which dates back to the earliest years of the company.

Tugs and barges are the primary means of transportation on the coast of British Columbia for almost all general and bulk cargoes. The company has grown up with this industry, meeting the challenges of designing tug-barge transportation systems to handle all manner of cargoes with various means of loading and unloading, and for all kinds of routes, from very shallow rivers to open ocean. In the 1960’s, the company was amongst the first in the world to develop barge designs for long distance ocean towing and some of the first ocean-towed, multi-barge “drop and swap” type cargo systems. The company records include designs for a vast array of barges, each designed for a specific transportation need.

Some barges are just simple work platforms, but many are transporters of valuable cargoes, optimized to maximize transport efficiency and profitability for the owners. Robert Allan Ltd. has always been at the leading edge of design technology for barges and has performed extensive model testing to minimize resistance and verify towed directional stability. The company has an extensive library of performance data on which to base the most efficient barge hull forms and skeg designs.

Today advanced CFD techniques are applied to prove and evaluate the resistance and directional stability of all new barge designs.


As a consequence of the use of these powerful new design tools, Robert Allan Ltd. has developed a new standard series of deck cargo barges, designated as the RAfter series, with numeric designations correlating to the barge dead weight capacity. These are rugged, high-capacity barges designed with uniform deck load strength of 10, 15 or 20 T/m2. The standard barges in this series have a cargo box of 2.0 metre height, but the box configuration can be easily adapted to any specific cargo type. RAfter series barges can easily be developed from 15 m to 200 m.

In addition to this new standard deck cargo barge series, our design portfolio contains many hundreds of barge designs, too numerous to describe in detail. Commodities carried on these barges include general and Ro-Ro deck cargo, bulk cargoes (sand, gravel, rock, etc.), logs, lumber, wood chips, paper products, pulp, bulk cement, clinker, limestone, oil, chemicals, containers and much more.

The following illustrate but a very few of the diverse array of barge types designed by Robert Allan Ltd.:

One of two 3,500 tonne oil spill response barges for WCMRC

15,000 T self-loading/self-dumping log barge

Convoy of open hopper ore barges

20,000 T self-loading/self-dumping log barge

12,000 T combination bulk/container barge

Self-unloading bulk cement barges

Self-unloading bulk product barges

Sectional barges for remote site transportation challenges

Multi oil product barge

8000 T newsprint carrier

Series of double hull shallow draft barges

Related Press Releases

2017.10.12 Unique Barge-Ferry Designed by Robert Allan Ltd. Delivered by Waiward Steel LP
2017.03.13 Robert Allan Ltd. Designs for New Fleet of Pusher Tugs & Barges for Louis Dreyfus Company in Brazil
2016.10.19 Robert Allan Ltd. Develops a Comprehensive Design Package for ITB Marine Group’s New ATB Push Tugs
2016.03.16 Robert Allan Ltd. Designs for New Pushboats and Barges for Cargill Transportation’s Amazon River Service
2015.09.15 16,000 DWT deck cargo barge Seaspan 252 on delivery voyage to Canada
2015.07.31 Optimized tug-barge system designs by Robert Allan Ltd. performing well in South America by David R. Conn and Robert G. Allan, P. Eng.
2013.10.04 Shallow-draft, double-hull, combination bulk oil and deck cargo barges for ITB North Ltd.