UNITED STATES
                       SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
                             Washington, D.C. 20549


                                  SCHEDULE 13G


                    Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                      (Amendment No.                   )*
                                    ------------------

                                Kirby Corporation
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                (Name of Issuer)

                                  Common Stock
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         (Title of Class of Securities)


                                    497266106
                        -------------------------------
                                 (CUSIP Number)

                                December 31, 2003
                         ------------------------------
           (Date of Event Which Requires Filing of this Statement)

     Check the appropriate box to designate the rule pursuant to which this
                               Schedule is filed:

                                [x] Rule 13d-1(b)
                                [ ] Rule 13d-1(c)
                                [ ] Rule 13d-1(d)


*The remainder of this cover page shall be filled out for a reporting person's
initial filing on this form with respect to the subject class of securities, and
for any subsequent amendment containing information which would alter the
disclosures provided in a prior cover page.

The information required in the remainder of this cover page shall not be deemed
to be "filed" for the purpose of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 ("Act") or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section of the Act
but shall be subject to all other provisions of the Act (however, see the
Notes).


<PAGE>

                                       13G
CUSIP No.    497266106
             ----------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1   NAME OF REPORTING PERSON /
     I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON

        Artisan Partners Limited Partnership
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2   CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IF A MEMBER OF A GROUP
     (see Instructions)
                                                                        (a) [  ]
        Not Applicable
                                                                        (b) [  ]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3   SEC USE ONLY
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4   CITIZENSHIP OR PLACE OF ORGANIZATION

        Delaware
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                5  SOLE VOTING POWER

                      None
  NUMBER OF
    SHARES     -----------------------------------------------------------------
 BENEFICIALLY   6  SHARED VOTING POWER
  OWNED BY
    EACH              1,354,740
  REPORTING
    PERSON     -----------------------------------------------------------------
    WITH        7  SOLE DISPOSITIVE POWER
     
                      None

                   -------------------------------------------------------------
                8  SHARED DISPOSITIVE POWER
    
                      1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9   AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING PERSON

        1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 10  CHECK BOX IF THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT IN ROW (9) EXCLUDES CERTAIN
     SHARES
     (see Instructions)

        Not Applicable
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 11  PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY AMOUNT IN ROW (9)

        5.6%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 12  TYPE OF REPORTING PERSON
     (see Instructions)

        IA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<PAGE>

                                         13G
CUSIP No.    497266106
             ----------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1   NAME OF REPORTING PERSON /
     S.S. or I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON

        Artisan Investment Corporation
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2   CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IF A MEMBER OF A GROUP
     (see Instructions)
                                                                        (a) [  ]
        Not Applicable
                                                                        (b) [  ]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3   SEC USE ONLY
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4   CITIZENSHIP OR PLACE OF ORGANIZATION

        Wisconsin
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                5  SOLE VOTING POWER

                      None
  NUMBER OF
    SHARES     -----------------------------------------------------------------
 BENEFICIALLY   6  SHARED VOTING POWER
  OWNED BY
    EACH              1,354,740
  REPORTING
    PERSON     -----------------------------------------------------------------
    WITH        7  SOLE DISPOSITIVE POWER
     
                      None

                   -------------------------------------------------------------
                8  SHARED DISPOSITIVE POWER
    
                      1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9   AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING PERSON

        1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 10  CHECK BOX IF THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT IN ROW (9) EXCLUDES CERTAIN
     SHARES
     (see Instructions)

        Not Applicable
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 11  PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY AMOUNT IN ROW (9)

        5.6%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 12  TYPE OF REPORTING PERSON
     (see Instructions)

        CO
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<PAGE>

                                         13G
CUSIP No.    497266106
             ----------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1   NAME OF REPORTING PERSON /
     S.S. or I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON

        Andrew A. Ziegler
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2   CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IF A MEMBER OF A GROUP
     (see Instructions)
                                                                        (a) [  ]
        Not Applicable
                                                                        (b) [  ]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3   SEC USE ONLY
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4   CITIZENSHIP OR PLACE OF ORGANIZATION

        U.S.A.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                5  SOLE VOTING POWER

                      None
  NUMBER OF
    SHARES     -----------------------------------------------------------------
 BENEFICIALLY   6  SHARED VOTING POWER
  OWNED BY
    EACH              1,354,740
  REPORTING
    PERSON     -----------------------------------------------------------------
    WITH        7  SOLE DISPOSITIVE POWER
     
                      None

                   -------------------------------------------------------------
                8  SHARED DISPOSITIVE POWER
    
                      1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9   AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING PERSON

        1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 10  CHECK BOX IF THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT IN ROW (9) EXCLUDES CERTAIN
     SHARES
     (see Instructions)

        Not Applicable
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 11  PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY AMOUNT IN ROW (9)

        5.6%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 12  TYPE OF REPORTING PERSON
     (see Instructions)

        IN
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<PAGE>

                                         13G
CUSIP No.    497266106
             ----------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1   NAME OF REPORTING PERSON /
     S.S. or I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON

        Carlene Murphy Ziegler
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2   CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IF A MEMBER OF A GROUP
     (see Instructions)
                                                                        (a) [  ]
        Not Applicable
                                                                        (b) [  ]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3   SEC USE ONLY
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4   CITIZENSHIP OR PLACE OF ORGANIZATION

        U.S.A.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                5  SOLE VOTING POWER

                      None
  NUMBER OF
    SHARES     -----------------------------------------------------------------
 BENEFICIALLY   6  SHARED VOTING POWER
  OWNED BY
    EACH              1,354,740
  REPORTING
    PERSON     -----------------------------------------------------------------
    WITH        7  SOLE DISPOSITIVE POWER
     
                      None

                   -------------------------------------------------------------
                8  SHARED DISPOSITIVE POWER
    
                      1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9   AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING PERSON

        1,354,740

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 10  CHECK BOX IF THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT IN ROW (9) EXCLUDES CERTAIN
     SHARES
     (see Instructions)

        Not Applicable
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 11  PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY AMOUNT IN ROW (9)

        5.6%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 12  TYPE OF REPORTING PERSON
     (see Instructions)

        IN
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<PAGE>

Item 1(a)         Name of Issuer:

                        Kirby Corporation

Item 1(b)         Address of Issuer's Principal Executive Offices:

                        55 Waugh Drive, Suite 1000
                        Houston, TX 77007


Item 2(a)         Name of Person Filing:


                        Artisan Partners Limited Partnership ("Artisan
                              Partners")
                        Artisan Investment Corporation, the general partner of
                              Artisan Partners ("Artisan Corp.")
                        Andrew A. Ziegler
                        Carlene Murphy Ziegler


Item 2(b)         Address of Principal Business Office:


                        Artisan Partners, Artisan Corp., Mr. Ziegler and Ms.
                        Ziegler are all located at:


                        875 East Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800
                        Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202


Item 2(c)         Citizenship:


                        Artisan Partners is a Delaware limited partnership
                        Artisan Corp. is a Wisconsin corporation
                        Mr. Ziegler and Ms. Ziegler are U.S. citizens


Item 2(d)         Title of Class of Securities:

                        Common Stock


Item 2(e)         CUSIP Number:


                        497266106


Item 3            Type of Person:

                        (e) Artisan Partners is an investment adviser registered
                        under section 203 of the Investment Advisers Act of
                        1940; Artisan Corp. is the General Partner of Artisan
                        Partners; Mr. Ziegler and Ms. Ziegler are the principal
                        stockholders of Artisan Corp.


<PAGE>

Item 4            Ownership (at December 31, 2003):

                        (a) Amount owned "beneficially" within the meaning of
                            rule 13d-3:

                            1,354,740

                        (b) Percent of class:

                            5.6% (based on 24,254,000 shares outstanding as of
                            November 11, 2003)

                        (c) Number of shares as to which such person has:

                            (i) sole power to vote or to direct the vote: None 
                           (ii) shared power to vote or to direct the vote: 
                                1,354,740
                          (iii) sole power to dispose or to direct the 
                                disposition of: None 
                           (iv) shared power to dispose or to direct disposition
                                of: 1,354,740


Item 5            Ownership of Five Percent or Less of a Class:

                        Not Applicable


Item 6            Ownership of More than Five Percent on Behalf of Another
                  Person:

                        The shares reported herein have been acquired on behalf
                        of discretionary clients of Artisan Partners. Persons
                        other than Artisan Partners are entitled to receive all
                        dividends from, and proceeds from the sale of, those
                        shares. None of those persons, to the knowledge of
                        Artisan Partners, Artisan Corp., Mr. Ziegler or Ms.
                        Ziegler, has an economic interest in more than 5% of the
                        class.


Item 7            Identification and Classification of the Subsidiary Which
                  Acquired the Security Being Reported on by the Parent
                  Holding Company or Control Person:

                        Not Applicable


Item 8            Identification and Classification of Members of the Group:

                        Not Applicable


Item 9            Notice of Dissolution of Group:

                        Not Applicable


Item 10           Certification:

                        By signing below I certify that, to the best of my
                        knowledge and belief, the securities referred to above
                        were acquired and are held in the ordinary course of
                        business and were not acquired and are not held for the
                        purpose of or with the effect of changing or influencing
                        the control of the issuer of the securities and were not
                        acquired and are not held in connection with or as a
                        participant in any transaction having that purpose or
                        effect.


<PAGE>


                                    Signature
                                    ---------

      After reasonable inquiry and to the best of my knowledge and belief, I
certify that the information set forth in this statement is true, complete and
correct.


Date:  January 23, 2004


                           ARTISAN INVESTMENT CORPORATION
                           for itself and as general partner of
                           ARTISAN PARTNERS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP


                           Janet D. Olsen*
                           --------------------------------


                           ANDREW A. ZIEGLER

                           Andrew A. Ziegler*              
                           --------------------------------


                           CARLENE MURPHY ZIEGLER

                           Carlene Murphy Ziegler*         
                           --------------------------------

                           *By: /s/ Janet D. Olsen
                                ---------------------------
                           Janet D. Olsen
                           Vice President of Artisan Investment Corporation
                           Attorney-in-Fact for Andrew A. Ziegler
                           Attorney-in-Fact for Carlene Murphy Ziegler


<PAGE>


                                  Exhibit Index
                                  -------------

Exhibit 1               Joint Filing Agreement dated as of January 23, 2004 by
                        and among Artisan Partners Limited Partnership, Artisan
                        Investment Corporation, Andrew A. Ziegler, and Carlene
                        Murphy Ziegler

Exhibit 2               Power of Attorney of Andrew A. Ziegler dated as of
                        April 2, 2002

Exhibit 3               Power of Attorney of Carlene M. Ziegler dated as of
                        April 2, 2002





                                                                       EXHIBIT 1

                             JOINT FILING AGREEMENT

      The undersigned hereby agree to the joint filing of the Schedule 13G to
which this Agreement is attached.




Date:  January 23, 2004


                           ARTISAN INVESTMENT CORPORATION
                           for itself and as general partner of
                           ARTISAN PARTNERS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP


                           Janet D. Olsen*
                           --------------------------------


                           ANDREW A. ZIEGLER

                           Andrew A. Ziegler*              
                           --------------------------------


                           CARLENE MURPHY ZIEGLER

                           Carlene Murphy Ziegler*         
                           --------------------------------


                           *By: /s/ Janet D. Olsen
                                ---------------------------
                                Janet D. Olsen
                                Vice President of Artisan Investment Corporation
                                Attorney-in-Fact for Andrew A. Ziegler
                                Attorney-in-Fact for Carlene Murphy Ziegler





                                                                       EXHIBIT 2

                                POWER OF ATTORNEY


      The undersigned, Andrew A. Ziegler, hereby appoints Lawrence A. Totsky,
Janet D. Olsen, and Gregory K. Ramirez, and each of them individually, his true
and lawful attorney-in-fact and agent, with full power to execute and file with
the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and any stock exchange or
similar authority, for and on his behalf in any and all capacities, any and all
reports required to be filed pursuant to Section 13 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and the rules thereunder, including but not limited to reports on
Schedule 13D or 13G, any and all amendments to such reports, with all exhibits,
and any other forms or documents as may be necessary in connection with the
filing of such reports with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
and any stock exchange or similar authority, granting unto said attorney full
power and authority to do and perform any and all acts for and on behalf of the
undersigned which may be necessary or desirable to complete, as fully as the
undersigned might or could do in person.

      This Power of Attorney shall remain in full force and effect until revoked
by the undersigned in a signed writing delivered to the foregoing
attorneys-in-fact
 and agents.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned has caused this Power of Attorney to be
executed this 2nd day of April, 2002.



                                    /s/ Andrew A. Ziegler
                                    ---------------------
                                    Andrew A. Ziegler



STATE OF WISCONSIN )
                   ) SS.
COUNTY OF MILWAUKEE)

      I, Marie V. Glowacki, a Notary Public in and for the County of Milwaukee,
State of Wisconsin, DO HEREBY CERTIFY that Andrew A. Ziegler, who is personally
known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing
instrument, appeared before me this day in person and acknowledged that he
signed and delivered the said instrument as his own free and voluntary act, for
the uses and purposes therein set forth.

      Given under my hand and notarial seal, this 2 day of April, 2002.


                                       /s/ Marie V. Glowacki
                                       ---------------------
                                       Notary Public


                                                                       EXHIBIT 3

                                POWER OF ATTORNEY


      The undersigned, Carlene Murphy Ziegler, hereby appoints Lawrence A.
Totsky, Janet D. Olsen, and Gregory K. Ramirez, and each of them individually,
her true and lawful attorney-in-fact and agent, with full power to execute and
file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and any stock
exchange or similar authority, for and on her behalf in any and all capacities,
any and all reports required to be filed pursuant to Section 13 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules thereunder, including but not
limited to reports on Schedule 13D or 13G, any and all amendments to such
reports, with all exhibits, and any other forms or documents as may be necessary
in connection with the filing of such reports with the United States Securities
and Exchange Commission and any stock exchange or similar authority, granting
unto said attorney full power and authority to do and perform any and all acts
for and on behalf of the undersigned which may be necessary or desirable to
complete, as fully as the undersigned might or could do in person.

      This Power of Attorney shall remain in full force and effect until revoked
by the undersigned in a signed writing delivered to the foregoing

attorneys-in-fact and agents.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned has caused this Power of Attorney to be
executed this 2 day of April, 2002.



                                    /s/ Carlene Murphy Ziegler
                                    --------------------------
                                    Carlene Murphy Ziegler



STATE OF WISCONSIN )
                   ) SS.
COUNTY OF MILWAUKEE)

      I, Kim R. Ruffert, a Notary Public in and for the County of Milwaukee,
State of Wisconsin, DO HEREBY CERTIFY that Carlene Murphy Ziegler, who is
personally known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed to the
foregoing instrument, appeared before me this day in person and acknowledged
that she signed and delivered the said instrument as her own free and voluntary
act, for the uses and purposes therein set forth.

      Given under my hand and notarial seal, this 2 day of April, 2002.


                                       /s/ Kim R. Ruffert
                                       ------------------
                                       Notary Public