Inland waterway transport

published: 03-10-2020

Inland navigation is an essential mode of transport. The sector's strengths are its relatively low energy consumption, its low costs for both infrastructure and transport and its high degree of reliability. Inland navigation can be applied all over the world; however, it requires sufficient availability of (fresh) water for navigation and adequate management of this water. In inland waterway management, several goals can be combined: accessibility, water safety and irrigation.

Panteia has a second to none understanding of all facets of the inland shipping sector. We have insight into the infrastructure, the fleets and company structures. We have an excellent understanding of the cost profiles of waterborne transport and are well positioned to benchmark these against market conditions. This gives us in-depth knowledge of the financial capacity of the sector to adapt to the future. Panteia has been at the forefront of the development of the most recent European legislation, providing policy makers with Impact Assessment Studies on greener engines, and expert knowledge for adjusted directives for professional qualifications and working times. We have been working with the Central Rhine Navigation Commission for years, supporting them in the quarterly publication of the European Market Observation. In this, Panteia has been monitoring the development of freight rates and capacity in the sector for many years. Moreover, we provide data on the use of the European waterway network.

Worldwide, we have been active in IWW transport development projects in i.a. Rhine, (Germany/Holland) Donau (Romania/Serbia), Mekong (Vietnam), Dnjepr (Ukraine), Nile (Egypt), Xiangjiang (China), and Zambezi (Zambia). Our IWW experts are an excellent asset to our international consultancy team, thus being able to deliver our knowledge and experience on any continent.

We help the sector embrace the opportunities offered by digitalization. For example, we have launched the Blue Wave Twente Canal project and extended it into Flanders. In this project, digital solutions were introduced to increase the efficiency of shipping, through matchmaking software between cargo and ships. A route planner has also been developed, which takes into account real-time conditions with regard to water levels and shipping reports. We are doing this on a pan-European level and have thus created a unique solution that is used on a daily basis by no fewer than 1.000 inland shipping companies and 250 shippers. We also carried out a study into the economic effects of Smart Shipping, which showed that significant benefits can be achieved for a considerable part of the fleet by further digitalizing daily operations.

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