Market Insight
SPRING 2018

Annual report
Year 2018

Market Insight
FALL 2018

Market Insight
WINTER 2018-2019

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• The number of accidents on inland waterways has decreased considerably over the past 20 years. In particular, the number of collisions between ships follows a clear downward trend, which can be explained by the introduction of electronic devices and equipment.
• Accident rates vary from one river to another. The Rhine, for example, has a far lower accident rate than the Danube.
• Collisions with infrastructures and bridges remain a type of accident that still shows relatively high numbers.

 

OVERVIEW AND OVERALL EVOLUTION

OF ACCIDENTS

Statistics on accidents in inland shipping are currently very scarce. Eurostat collects accident statistics on a voluntary basis by national statistical offices. Not many countries in the EU deliver accident data and there is no clear evidence on a common methodology among the countries. In addition, the current Eurostat data collection does not provide information about the type or the causes of the accidents. Nevertheless, over the last two years, preparative studies are being carried out in order to set up such a system within the EU. A Eurostat working group, comprised
of Eurostat experts, the national statistical offices, the CCNR, other European river commissions and DG MOVE, has been working on establishing a set of definitions, categories and types of accidents. From 2019 onwards, Eurostat will carry out pilot studies in the EU member countries to test if the elaborated definitions and categories can be put into practice.

In Germany, a collection and very detailed analysis of statistics on accidents was carried out by the German Waterway and Shipping Administration and the Ministry of Transport, but this collection of data ended in 2013. Currently, preparations are in place to set up a new system, based on the older one, but with more categories, and in a regionally more harmonised way. This new system is being prepared within the HAVARIS project. Statistical data from this project, for the period after 2013, are currently only available for three German waterways: the Main, Main-Danube-Canal and Danube. Data for other rivers and canals will follow.

Concerning the total number of accidents, it is interesting to look at the data provided by the “old” system up until 2013.

 

EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS ON GERMAN INLAND WATERWAYS (1993-2013)

Source: German Ministry of Transport

CH8 Evolution of the number of accidents on German inland waterways

 

The figure reveals that, within a time span of 20 years, there was a decrease in the number of accidents, from around 1,000 cases in 1993 down to 650 in 2013.

 

TYPES OF ACCIDENTS

Within the previous system (accident statistics until 2013), the following categories for accidents were identified:

• Grounding
• Ship gets stuck
• Collision between ships
• Collision with infrastructure and bridges
• Pounding of waves
• Other accidents

For the years 2010, 2011, 2013 (the latest years for which all inland waterways in Germany are currently covered), the most frequent type of accident was the collision with infrastructure and bridges. This type accounted for 38-40% of all accidents in these three years. The second most frequent type of accident was the collision between ships (18-19%).

 

ACCIDENTS ON GERMAN INLAND WATERWAYS BY TYPE (SHARE IN %)

Source: German Ministry of Transport

CH8 Accidents on German inland waterways by type

 

For the years 2012 and 2013, additional information is available regarding the number of people injured and the number of casualties. In 2012, there were 29 injured persons and 2 fatal casualties. For 2013, the respective figures are 19 injured persons and 2 fatal casualties.

It also must be said that a significant amount of all accidents are in fact accidents of small pleasure boats (not cruise vessels or day trip vessels). In 2013, 82 of all 653 accidents were accidents of pleasure boats. In 2012, this figure was 89 out of 737 accidents.

In order to analyse the evolution of the number of accidents by types of accidents over a longer time period, the Rhine is compared with the Danube.

The reason for choosing the Rhine is obvious, as it is the river with the highest transport activity of all German rivers. Even without its tributaries, it accounts for around 70% of the total transport performance of IWT on German inland waterways. In the years 2010, 2011 and 2013, the Rhine’s share of all accidents on all German waterways was 33%, 35% and 34% respectively.

These figures indicate that the accident rate on the Rhine is relatively low, compared to its transport activity. It seems reasonable to attribute this to the high level of quality of its navigational infrastructure. It should also be kept in mind that among the German waterways, there are many smaller ones, on which the quality of navigational infrastructure is certainly not as good as on the Rhine.

 

EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS ON THE RHINE BY TYPE OF ACCIDENT

Source: German Ministry of Transport

CH8 Evolution of the number of accidents on the Rhine by type of accident

 

For the Rhine, the share of cases “ship gets stuck” was 32% in 2013, compared to 16.5% on all German inland waterways. The share of cases “collision between ships” was 15% in 2013, compared to 18.5% over the whole network. The collision with infrastructure and bridges represented 36% on the Rhine, and 40.1% in the whole network.

Overall it is observed that the number of collisions of ships on the Rhine reduced in number between 1993 and 2013. This can be explained by the introduction of electronic systems, which reduce the probability of this type of accident. Also, the category “ship gets stuck” shows far fewer cases in 2013 than 20 years previously. However, the collision with infrastructure and bridges does not show a reduction but an increase.

The share of the German part of the Danube in total transport performance on German waterways is 1.4%. The share of accidents on the Danube in all accidents on the German network was 6.9% in 2013. The Danube’s accident rate is therefore relatively high.

 

EVOLUTION OF THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS ON THE GERMAN DANUBE BY TYPE OF ACCIDENT

Source: German Ministry of Transport and German Waterway and Shipping Administration (data for 2015, 2016, 2017)

CH8 Evolution of the number of accidents on the German Danube by type of accidents

 

For the German Danube, the accidents of the type “ship gets stuck” decreased strongly in numbers up until 2017. In that year, its share in all Danube accidents was 14%.

Also the number of collisions between vessels shows a falling trend. Nevertheless, it still represented 22% of all Danube accidents in 2017. This share is above the national average observed for the year 2013.

The collision with infrastructure and bridges represented 44% on the Danube in 2013, but it decreased constantly to reach 27% in 2017. The absolute number rose until 2005 but fell afterwards.

Overall it is observed that both on the Rhine and on the (German part of the) Danube, the more dangerous types of accidents, such as collisions between ships, showed a decreasing trend between 1993 and 2013 (for the Rhine) and between 1993 and 2017 (for the Danube). Both the installation and introduction of further electronic devices are expected to reduce the number of such accidents further in the future.

Also, the type of accident “ship gets stuck” has strongly reduced on the Rhine and Danube. However, the collision with infrastructure and bridges does not show a clear reduction.

Annual report
Year 2018

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Market Insight
WINTER 2018-2019

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