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Inland Waterway Transport

Source: Adobe Stock / jotily

At an event held at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin today, Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer presented the Inland Waterway Transport Masterplan. The Inland Waterway Transport Masterplan is the foundation for future-proofing inland waterway transport and making it more attractive. It was developed in cooperation with the trade associations, the industry and other stakeholders in a process that was an example of best practice.

Mr Scheuer said:

We want to boost inland waterway transport and move as many goods as possible by waterway. Inland waterway vessels are secret freight transport giants – high-capacity, safe and efficient. Self-propelled barges with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes can replace up to 150 heavy goods vehicles. There is huge potential here, and we want to make even better use of it. For this purpose, we have now created the Inland Waterway Transport Masterplan. We will not be able to reduce carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions in Germany unless we modernize the inland waterway transport sector and shift more freight to the waterways.

The Inland Waterway Transport Masterplan focuses on five key priorities:

  • Infrastructure: by investing billions of euros, we will ensure that there is sufficient financial, structural and manpower capacity in the waterway sector.
  • Environmental friendliness and fleet structure: we will support the industry in switching to more efficient and lower-emission vessels.
  • Digitalization: we will create Inland Waterway Transport 4.0 – connecting the ports, digitalizing the locks and vessels, automating the terminals.
  • Boosting the multimodal transport chain: our objective is that inland waterway transport should account for 12 percent of the freight moved in the modal split.
  • More skilled workers: we will support the trade associations in attracting new workers and in their nationwide drive at recruiting fairs.

Work on the Inland Waterway Transport Masterplan started just under a year ago. All the relevant sector stakeholders were involved. They included representatives of various trade associations, companies from the inland waterway transport industry, ports, the construction industry, shippers, the shipbuilding industry, engine manufacturers and research establishments.

Click on the following links for further information on the Inland Waterway Transport Masterplan: