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Things you should know about inland waterway transport


Inland waterway transport is the oldest existing method of transporting goods and people. Nowadays, ships can rely on the newest technology, offering the high-performance information and communications technology that is a prerequisite for effective logistics chain management.

Inland waterway transport is extremely effective for bulk cargo, but we also transport all other kinds of goods, including containers, pallets, building materials, running shoes and beer and wine.

 

Intermodal solutions and consolidation of goods mean you don’t have to be settled alongside a river to use barges – trains, trucks and barges offer an intermodal solution.

 

Inland waterway transport is extremely reliable. You can organise your production around your deliveries, knowing that supplies will arrive on time, as barges do not risk being stuck in traffic jams.

 

 

One single ship carries the same amount of goods as 120 trucks – using inland waterways takes trucks off the road and reduces congestion, encouraging the free flow of vehicles on our roads.

 

There are 20 000 barges available throughout Europe. The many different sized vessels within the European inland fleet means that a large amount of flexibility can be offered. Small ships can operate as water trucks, transporting goods along short distances, while bigger ships can take more cargo further, using less fuel, than other transport modes.

 

Europe has 38 000 kilometres of navigable waterways. Putting more goods on water does not require taking land away from other uses. Inland waterways still offer a large amount of available capacity. For instance, currently only approximately 15% of the Danube’s total capacity is being utilized for inland navigation. As other modes of transport increasingly suffer from congestion, capacity problems and delays which affect mobility and economic competitiveness, inland waterway transport is an obvious choice to play a more prominent role in logistics chains.

 

 

Inland shipping has the lowest external costs of all modalities. Barges emit fewer greenhouse gases, make less noise and have fewer accidents. Air pollution from inland waterway transport could fall by as much as 85% once clean fuel is available from 2011.

 

Rivers and canals do much more than transport goods and people. They are catalysts for regional and environmental development, they are actors in water supply and flood defence and they foster leisure and tourism. The water transport sector puts a lot of effort into a safe combination of all of these functions, to create optimized profits for society.

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