• Norbert Kriedel, Administrator for Statistics and Market Observation, CCNR
    Laure Roux, Administrator for Economic Affairs, CCNR

Setting the scene: market structure and price formation in the inland waterway transport sector

 

  • Arno Treur, CFO, NPRC

Price formation and its characteristics in the IWT dry bulk transport segment 

 

  • Patrick Kulsen, Chief executive officer, Insights Global

Price formation and its characteristics in the IWT liquid bulk transport segment

 

  • Johan Gemels, Director, Novandi

Price formation in container transport

 

  • Godfried Smit, Secretary general, ESC (European Shippers’ Council)

The impact of price formation on the choice of a transport mode and the impact of shippers’ practice on price formation

 

PRICE FORMATION MODELS IN INLAND NAVIGATION FREIGHT TRANSPORT: EVOLUTION AND IMPACT OF FUTURE TRENDS

 

In partnership with the European Commission, the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) carries out regular market observation reports about the development of inland navigation transport in Europe. Its publications consist of annual, semestrial and thematic reports. In the context of its market observation activities, the CCNR also organises thematic workshops.

The CCNR organised a thematic workshop on the topic “price formation in inland waterway transport” on 8 November 2023 in Strasbourg. The objective of this workshop was to identify the different schemes of price formation in inland navigation freight transport, their evolution over time and the possible trends that might affect such schemes in the future (low waters, energy transition).

For this purpose, the workshop addressed the different factors influencing price formation (market structure, type of contracting, acquisition of contracts, competition setting, market segment and geographical area concerned).

The views of a wide range of actors was sought: inland vessel operators, shippers, multimodal operators, freight forwarders, brokers, cooperatives, banks, institutes publishing information about freight rates, ports…

Information about price formation in other transport modes was also shared.

The workshop was held in English.

Programme

TABLE 1: YEARLY TRANSPORT VOLUME ON THE RHINE BY MAIN GOODS SEGMENTS (IN MILLION TONNES)

YearCoalSands, stones, gravelIron oreAgricultural and food productsMetalsMineral oil productsChemicalsContainer*
201436.1351.7426.9732.9215.2665.1044.9234.02
201534.6151.4227.4131.0715.2765.2144.2433.16
201633.8352.6426.5730.9315.0268.8646.6034.14
201731.2954.7426.1128.5015.7466.6848.8936.72
201826.8852.6723.8527.5914.2259.9146.1334.86
201925.9059.5322.4929.5715.2766.8349.2035.37
202019.7161.3919.2832.0713.3164.8049.6236.44
202125.1353.5322.0329.3015.8965.7649.8837.09
202227.7847.0621.4227.5614.6959.4849.0832.57

Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
* Weight of cargo in container

 

TABLES 2 – 6:1 RHINE FLEET

    TABLE 2: NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS (SELF-PROPELLED VESSELS AND BARGES)

    YearThe NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    20123.8142.2041.242118128.29
    20133.7372.1471.21199716128.12
    20143.6262.1041.16398314137.903
    20153.6042.0941.1149621497.797
    20163.5592.0621.0379351377.613
    20173.5192.0261.0369251167.523
    20183.4852.0519939401087.487
    20193.5222.02799693910167.51
    20203.4342.0049779788157.416
    20213.471.9399929498217.379
    20223.467##935919815##

     

    TABLE 3: NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS (SELF-PROPELLED VESSELS AND BARGES)

    YearThe NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    20128554348320956171.654
    20138574198119653171.623
    20148714066718456161.6
    20158494095316856161.551
    20168244185115851181.52
    20178114195014655171.498
    20187944554813351171.498
    20197804474613143231.47
    20207414514413642231.437
    20217394434814146281.445
    2022739##421414630##

     

    TABLE 4: NUMBER OF PUSH BOATS AND TUGBOATS

    YearThe NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    2012n.a.423n.a.77710n.a.
    2013851423n.a.78610n.a.
    2014833413n.a.80910n.a.
    2015821411n.a.7689n.a.
    2016820416n.a.851010n.a.
    2017838414n.a.78910n.a.
    2018806418n.a.761010n.a.
    2019841412n.a.721110n.a.
    2020791412n.a.801112n.a.
    2021789381n.a.80914n.a.
    2022841##n.a.801114n.a.

     

    TABLE 5: RHINE DRY CARGO FLEET PER LOADING CAPACITY CATEGORY 2016-2021 *

    2016The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1,3231,167725359353,582
    1,000 t - 2,000 t972587166272322,002
    2,000 t – 3,000 t772233126155501,291
    > 3,000 t492202014820682
    Total3,5592,0621,0379341377,612
    2017The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1,2571,150710341363,467
    1,000 t – 2,000 t956575173267321,976
    2,000 t – 3,000 t792221132160401,309
    > 3,000 t514222115720716
    Total3,5192,0261,0369251287,526
    2018The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    <1,000 t1,2411,172666343363,431
    1,000 t – 2,000 t955577181266221,983
    2,000 t – 3,000 t773219126164301,285
    > 3,000 t516232016720728
    Total3,4852,0519939401087,487
    2019The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1,1831,161657330363,340
    1,000 t – 2,000 t961552187270261,978
    2,000 t – 3,000 t876224134165331,405
    > 3,000 t502251817420721
    Total3,5222,02799693910157,509
    2020The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1,1861,137618337263,286
    1,000 t – 2,000 t988551195276362,019
    2,000 t – 3,000 t775228146171231,325
    > 3,000 t485281819410726
    Total3,4342,0049779788157,416
    2021The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1,1901,1106103182103,240
    1,000 t – 2,000 t967511195270371,953
    2,000 t – 3,000 t774221165168231,333
    > 3,000 t539302219311786
    Total3,4701,9399929498217,379
    2022The NetherlandsGermanyFranceBelgiumSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1,168##57630024##
    1,000 t – 2,000 t984##18926527##
    2,000 t – 3,000 t794##15115833##
    > 3,000 t521##191,19711##
    Total3,467##935920815##

    * Total numbers for Germany contain some vessels for which no deadweight value is known (between 55 and 65 per year).
     

    TABLE 6: RHINE LIQUID CARGO FLEET PER LOADING CAPACITY CATEGORY 2016-2021

    2016The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t2362246900313
    1,000 t – 2,000 t20620135141012478
    2,000 t – 3,000 t1571323725272380
    > 3,000 t22517403144303
    Total8244181585151181,520
    2017The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t2412347800319
    1,000 t – 2,000 t1992002813612458
    2,000 t – 3,000 t1511343027352379
    > 3,000 t22018382144296
    Total8114191435055181,496
    2018The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t2385138920338
    1,000 t – 2,000 t1892012914613452
    2,000 t – 3,000 t1501382723291368
    > 3,000 t21720392144296
    Total7944551334851181,499
    2019The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t2214639700313
    1,000 t – 2,000 t194199261507441
    2,000 t – 3,000 t1431402422292360
    >3,000 t22219422143302
    Total7804471314643121,459
    2020The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1744634800262
    1,000 t – 2,000 t186198271537436
    2,000 t – 3,000 t15613924192716381
    > 3,000 t22525512125320
    Total7414511364442281,442
    2021The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t1444332800227
    1,000 t – 2,000 t192187261637431
    2,000 t – 3,000 t16014928212916403
    > 3,000 t24326553145346
    Total7394431414846281,445
    2022The NetherlandsGermanyBelgiumFranceSwitzerlandLuxembourgTotal
    < 1,000 t129##32810##
    1,000 t – 2,000 t186##261529##
    2,000 t – 3,000 t173##29173215##
    > 3,000 t244##542126##
    Total732##141424730##

    Sources: CCNR analysis based on CBS/Rijkswaterstaat, WSV, ITB, VNF, Swiss Rhine ports, vessel register Luxembourg and Eurostat [iww_eq_age]
    ## = data are not yet available. n.d. = data are not available at all.
    * Total numbers for Germany contain some vessels (corresponding to the Tankschubleichter category) for which no deadweight value is known.

 

TABLES 7 – 8: LOW WATER DAYS AT IMPORTANT RHINE AND DANUBE GAUGE STATIONS

    TABLE 7: RHINE LIQUID CARGO FLEET PER LOADING CAPACITY CATEGORY 2016-2021

    BaselMaxauKaubOestrichCologneDuisburgEmmerichLobithNimwegenIJsselkopTiel
    2015830292337394634314027
    2016727191826353629293422
    20172428282723252525242522
    2018488010778121128134131136136131
    201900000344350
    2020000011142520173013
    202106104913271614220
    2022723412252606564626562

    Sources: CCNR calculation based on data from German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), provided by the German Federal Office for Hydrology (BfG) and from Rijkswaterstaat Traffic and Water Management.
     

    TABLE 8: NUMBER OF DAYS PER YEAR WITH A WATER LEVEL BELOW THE LOW NAVIGABLE WATER LEVEL – IMPORTANT GAUGE STATIONS ALONG THE DANUBE

    PfellingHofkirchenKienstockWildungsmauerDevinBudapestBezdanCalafatCalarasi
    201510692355466605311875
    201622612231913123624
    2017381824373219169232
    2018148126558980859711482
    2019471372712123110089
    202084535314105323
    2021362127472017385347
    20227155636222271127119

    Sources: CCNR calculation based on data from German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), provided by the German Federal Office for Hydrology (BfG), data from the Federal State of Lower Austria and the Danube Commission.

• European inland waterway freight transport suffered from the difficult economic and geopolitical context as well as the low water levels of July and August 2022. Compared to 2021, the amount of cargo transported in Europe (EU-27 plus Switzerland, Serbia and Republic of Moldova), decreased by -5.5% to 485.4 million tonnes and freight transport performance decreased by -10.6% to 122.0 billion TKM.
 
• Transport volume on the entire Rhine (from Basel to the North Sea) decreased by -6.8% in 2022. Apart from coal which increased by around +10.6%, all product segments experienced a decrease, in particular containers (-12.2%), sands, stones and gravels (-12.1%), as well as mineral oil products (-9.5%).
 
• On the Upper and Middle Danube, transport volumes for all cargo segments decreased in 2022, particularly in the downstream direction for grain and other agribulk, which was near to collapse by losing 80% on the Middle Danube. The Lower Danube region, in particular the canals connecting the Danube to the Black Sea, recorded a clear upward trend in goods transport. Transport volumes on the Sulina canal more than doubled in 2022 compared to 2021 driven by the need to support Ukrainian exports of grain via alternative routes.

 

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE AND BY COUNTRY IN MILLION TONNES-KM (TKM)

    TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN IWT ON THE NATIONAL TERRITORY OF EACH COUNTRY IN EUROPE – COMPARISON BETWEEN 2021 AND 2022 (IN MILLION TKM)


      Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo] and [iww_go_qnave], OECD (Switzerland, and the Republic of Moldova), UK Department for Transport
      The share of IWT performance in Europe in 2022 for Ukraine and Italy is not available due to a delay in the publication of the data.

       

      FIGURE 1: IWT TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 AND 2022 IN MAIN EUROPEAN IWT COUNTRIES (IN MILLION TKM)


      Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo] and [iww_go_qnave], OECD (Switzerlandand the Republic of Moldova), UK Department for Transport. The values for Ukraine, Italy (2022) and Serbia (2017) are not available.
      Note: for the UK, IWT is defined as non-seagoing traffic which takes place entirely within inland waters and sea-river transport (seagoing vessels navigating partly at sea and on inland waterways). In this figure, for the sake of consistency with the methodology used by Eurostat, only the transport performance related to the traffic taking place wholly within inland waters is reported (amounting to 76 million TKM). However, it is worth noting that most of IWT in the UK consists of sea-river transport (amounting to more than 1.3 billion TKM). Overall, the IWT performance in the UK is reported to reach almost 1.4 billion TKM.

       

    • In 2022, in terms of inland navigation for Europe (EU-27 plus Switzerland, Serbia and Republic of Moldova, and excluding Ukraine), freight transport performance decreased by -10.6% compared to 2021 and -5.5% in terms of the cargo volumes transported for EU. Rhine countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland) accounted for 81.9% of total inland waterway transport performance in the EU-27, plus Switzerland, Serbia and the Republic of Moldova. The share for Danube countries was 17.8% (excluding Ukraine).
    •  

      FIGURE 2: INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN 2022 (IN BILLION TKM) *


      Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo] and [iww_go_qnave], OECD (Switzerlandand the Republic of Moldova), UK Department for Transport
      * Data for Ukraine and Italy were not available for 2022.

       

    • From the total inland waterway transport performance in Europe in 2022, which amounts to around 122 billion TKM (without Ukraine, Switzerland, Serbia, and Republic of Moldova), 74.8% represented transport that crossed a border in one way or another – whether it be in the form of export, import or transit traffic. Transit traffic taken separately had a share of 18.1% and export and import traffic had a share of 28.8% and 27.8%, respectively.
    •  

      FIGURE 3: YEARLY INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN THE EU-27 (IN BILLION TKM) *


      Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]
      * EU-27 according to member countries in 2022

     
     

    TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE BY MAIN EUROPEAN RIVER BASINS


      Sources: CCNR analysis based on Destatis, VNF, Eurostat [IWW_GO_ATYGO], UK Department for Transport
      Figures for the Po are from 2021, the others are from 2022.

       

      RHINE BASIN

       
       
      Transport volume and transport performance on the entire Rhine (from Basel to the North Sea)

      • In the past, this chapter reported on the volumes transported on the Traditional Rhine only, namely the Rhine from Basel to the German-Dutch border. From now onwards, it will become possible to report on transport volumes on the entire Rhine from Basel to the North Sea.
      • Cargo transport on the entire Rhine (from Basel to the North Sea) amounted to 292 million tonnes in 2022, compared to 314 in 2021 (-6.8%).
        – The Traditional Rhine (from Basel to the German-Dutch border) amounted to 155.5 million tonnes in 2022, compared to 168.6 million tonnes in 2021 (-7.8%).
        – The Rhine delta in the Netherlands (from the German-Dutch border to the North Sea3) amounted to 237.8 million tonnes in 2022 compared to 254.6 million tonnes in 2021 (-6.6%).
      • When calculating the total volume of goods transported on the entire Rhine, all the steps were taken to avoid the double counting of volumes transported on both stretches. This is why the volumes on these two stretches cannot simply be added together, as certain volumes are transported on both stretches.
      •  

        FIGURE 4: FREIGHT TRANSPORT VOLUME (IN MILLION TONNES) AND TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE (IN MILLION TKM) ON THE ENTIRE RHINE


        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
        The transport performance is estimated based on the transport volumes on the entire Rhine.

         

        FIGURE 5: FREIGHT TRANSPORT ON THE TRADITIONAL RHINE AND ON THE LOWER RHINE IN THE NETHERLANDS (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
        * To avoid double-counting, the volumes on the different stretches cannot be added together, as certain volumes are transported on both stretches.

         
         

      Transport activity at different Rhine stretches, on Rhine affluents and on canals linked to the Rhine

      • In terms of geographical structure, the transport intensity is the highest on the Lower Rhine compared to the Middle and Upper Rhine, as illustrated in Figure 6. This higher intensity on the Lower Rhine can be explained by several reasons:
        – Dense delta network in the Netherlands, with important petroleum and chemical industrial hubs and a high number of container terminals.
        – Important steel and petroleum industrial hub in the Lower Rhine region in Germany.
        – High fairway depths on the Lower Rhine.
      •  

        FIGURE 6: FREIGHT TRANSPORT ON THE DIFFERENT STRETCHES OF THE RHINE (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
        * To avoid double-counting, the volumes on the different Rhine stretches cannot be calculated together, as certain volumes are present on several Rhine stretches.

         

      • Along with the overall cargo transport on the Rhine, cargo transport and vessel movements are registered at specific measurement points (locks or border points). The relevant volumes represent the transport activity only at these points and do not represent total Rhine transport. However, this approach reveals existing differences in transport intensity between different Rhine stretches, for example between the Lower and the Upper Rhine.
      •  

        TABLE 1: MEASUREMENT POINTS FOR FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN THE RHINE BASIN

        Rhine stretch or affluentMeasurement point Name Volume of transport (in million tonnes)Number of cargo vessels passing
        202020212022202020212022
        Lower RhineBorder DE/NLEmmerich130.0138.1161.9102,555105,886105,275
        Upper RhineBorder DE/FRIffezheim16.919.116.321,12123,63124,274
        Wesel-Datteln Canal *Junction with RhineWesel-Friedrichsfeld17.019.117.918,08518,96116,520
        Rhein-Herne Canal *Junction with RhineDuisburg-Meiderich13.213.612.410,6511,68815,400
        MainJunction with RhineMainz-Kostheim13.512.111.116,33315,21314,309
        MoselleJunction with RhineKoblenz8.19.28.67,0558,4599,106
        NeckarJunction with RhineMannheim-Feudenheim5.15.75.56,5645,6635,484

        Sources: German Waterway and Shipping Administration, Destatis, Moselle Commission
        * The source for the Lower Rhine and for the two canals is the German Statistical Office (Destatis), whereas for all other data in the table, the source is the German Waterway Administration.

         

      • For the lock of Iffezheim on the Upper Rhine, a detailed dataset is available. Based on this dataset, the average loading degree of dry and liquid cargo vessels that passed this lock were calculated. Empty trips, which represent a share of 47.0% of all vessels passing the lock were not taken into account in this calculation. For dry cargo vessels, the highest average loading degree was reached in February (60.7%), and the minimum in August (31.3%), due to the low water period. The annual average loading degree for dry cargo vessels was 49.8%. For tanker vessels, the annual average was slightly lower (48.7%).
      • On the river Moselle, iron ore, coal and agribulk play a large role due to the steel production in the Saar region in Germany and the agricultural production in the region of Lorraine in France. In 2022, a strong increase in the transport of coal (+63.0%) was recorded at the lock of Koblenz, mirroring similar figures observed for the Rhine. An increase in coal transport is also recorded at the lock of Apach, which is located further upstream, at the border between France, Germany, and Luxembourg. Despite the booming of coal transport, less cargo transport was registered overall on the Moselle, mainly because of dwindling volumes of iron ore, sands, stones, and gravel.
      •  

      Rhine transport by cargo segment

      • In terms of global cargo transport volumes for the entire Rhine, the segments of mineral oil products, chemicals and sand, stones, gravel, were the top three contributors both in 2021 and 2022.
      •  

        FIGURE 7: CARGO TRANSPORT ON THE ENTIRE RHINE BY TYPE OF GOODS (IN MILLION TONNES) *



        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
        * For containers: net-weight

         

      • Overall, in the transition from 2021 to 2022, transport of goods on the entire Rhine was negatively affected by factors such as reduced aggregate demand, high inflation, the pandemic re-surge in China and the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine leading to a global economic slowdown. The resulting supply side shortages for commodities, the energy crisis, and ultimately, the low water levels of July and August 2022, were additional negative elements which impacted transport on the entire Rhine.
      • In terms of cargo transport growth from 2021 to 2022, except for coal that increased roughly by +10.6%, all product segments experienced a decrease. Sand, stones, gravel (-12.1%); containers (-11.1%); mineral oil products (-9.5%); metals (-7.5%) and agri-food products (-5.9%) had relatively sharp decreases compared to slight reductions for iron ore (-2.8%) and chemicals (-1.6%).
      • Some particularities were observed in some of the segments. In 2022, for the agri-food segment, the war between Russia and Ukraine led to a disruption in grain exports which contributed to a fallout on the sectoral cargo transport. The rise in energy prices and production costs negatively affected the iron ore and steel, mineral oil products and chemicals transport volumes. Inflation and the global economic slowdown also had a negative impact on private consumption, thereby affecting all cargo segments.
      • The impact of low waters affecting Rhine navigation in July and August 2022 also contributed to this decrease. A comparison of monthly figures for 2021 and 2022 for the Traditional Rhine reveals that the segments that were most strongly hit by low waters and the war were fertilizers, chemical products, mineral oil products, building materials and containers. For fertilizer production (which is a part of the chemical segment), gas is the main feedstock, so that skyrocketing gas prices led to a decrease in fertilizer transport by as much as -26.0%.
      • Coal transport experienced a surge on its transport activity due to its important substitution effect in relation to natural gas. Indeed, the rise in gas prices and the abandonment of Russian pipeline gas imports triggered the need to find substitutes. Coal was hereby chosen as a main substitute, due to its availability and because renewable energies are still not sufficiently abundant to act as a baseload energy.
      • Before the start of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russian coal accounted for 50% of all coal imports of the EU. In the first half year of 2022, the EU decided on an embargo against coal from Russia. Anticipating this embargo, which came into force in August 2022, the volume of Russian coal that was unloaded in ARA seaports in the first half year of 2022 was significantly higher than one year earlier.4
      • As hinterland transport of seaborne coal is mainly delivered on the Rhine towards Germany, coal volumes on the Traditional Rhine rose by around +27% in the first six months of 2022. For the entire year, the increase was somehow smaller (+11%). The transport of coal heightened again between September and December, which suggests that Russian coal could be substituted by coal from other parts of the world. Important coal producer countries (outside Russia) are the US, Australia, South Africa and Indonesia.
      • The rising import volumes of coal for the German industry, alongside the low water effects and the transfer of dry cargo capacity from the Rhine to the Danube, led to a lack of available vessel capacity for dry cargo in the Rhine region and partly explains the negative results for other dry cargo segments, such as sands, stones, gravel and construction material. Hence, the reported drop of -17.5% by the Port of Strasbourg for construction material in 2022 compared to the previous year, which was accentuated by the low water period.
      • The price increase for final products such as steel, caused by higher raw material and electricity prices, must also be mentioned. This effect propagated within the entire production chains. The result was an increase in production costs for various steel using sectors (construction sector, automobile industry, etc.), leading to less consumer confidence and less transport demand (as mentioned by the Port of Mulhouse). Supply shocks of this kind are usually propagated through the entire economy and can unfold macroeconomic downward spirals.5
      • Mineral oil products are a market segment that immediately came under pressure due to rising oil prices. As an illustration, due to this sharp oil price increase, the Swiss government had to release a quota of certain mineral oil product volumes which resulted in the mandatory storage volumes being emptied. This explains the sharp decrease for the segment of mineral oil products in the Swiss Rhine Ports of Basel. On the contrary, the Port of Strasbourg reported an increase in the transport of mineral oil products (+5.7%), pointing out that the French government had been obliged to build up stocks and anticipate further increases in the prices of mineral oil products.
      • This example above shows that individual reactions of market participants (inland ports, governments) can differ from one case to another. The agribulk market is a good example of this. The following box contains a description of such economic reactions that emerged during the year 2022 in this freight transport segment.
      •  
        The hoarding concept and its market implications in the context of a conflict – Example of the segment of grain in the Rhine and Danube basins in the summer of 2022
        “Hoarding in economics refers to the concept of purchasing and storing a large amount of products belonging to a particular market, often creating scarcity of that product, and ultimately driving the price of that product up”.6 This concept can be illustrated by two specific cases which, in the context of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, had different market implications (saturation vs. scarcity).
        The Port of Strasbourg reported that French grain processors, whose companies are located at the port, feared at first a shortage of raw materials. Consequently, they made additional orders to compensate for a possible lack of Ukrainian grain and to secure their supplies. But following an agreement between Ukraine, United Nations, Turkey and Russia on 22 July 2022,7 these food processors found themselves with a surplus of grain, due to the reopening of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea ports. This situation resulted in a phenomenon of saturation of storage facilities throughout the Upper Rhine region.
        In Serbia and Hungary, restrictions on exports of agricultural and food products were imposed by governments in order to accumulate national stocks at the very beginning of the war. Thus, by purchasing and storing a large amount of agricultural and food products, these Danube countries created scarcity on the grain market which eventually increased the price of these products further. In this case, the anticipation by such countries of a possible shortage of cereals has in fact caused an aggravation of the price surges.

         

      • An analysis of cargo segments split between the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands and the Traditional Rhine enables a better grasp on the dynamics regarding transport of goods per type of products along the Rhine. The Lower Rhine in the Netherlands has a far greater share of chemicals transport compared to the Traditional Rhine. Container transport as well as transport of sand, stones and gravel are also more intense on the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands. For commodities and final products of the steel industry, as well as coal for the energy sector, the volumes are rather evenly distributed between the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands and the Traditional Rhine.
      •  

        FIGURE 8: CARGO TRANSPORT ON THE RHINE BY TYPE OF GOODS – SPLIT BETWEEN THE LOWER RHINE IN THE NETHERLANDS AND THE TRADITIONAL RHINE IN 2022 (IN MILLION TONNES)


        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
         

      Container transport on the Rhine

      • Between 2018 and 2022, container transport on the Rhine was impacted by a series of negative events.
        – The low water period of 2018 and 2022 caused cargo losses in both years. The 2018 low water period led to modal share losses in the following years.
        – The introduction of new tariffs in world trade in 2019 caused a deterioration in the business climate and in world trade activity, which is impacting both seaborne container throughput as well as inland container barging.
        – The year 2020 saw the appearance of the Covid pandemic.
        – In 2021, the overall business climate and world trade were still rather bleak due to disruptions in supply chains and a rising inflation.
        – In 2022, the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, causing high inflation and further disruptions in world trade.
        – During all these years, inland container barging suffered also under congestion in seaports and related delays.
      • Both on the Traditional Rhine and on the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands, these factors can explain the lower average levels of container transport in the time span 2018-2022 compared to the period before 2018.
      • Measured in million tonnes, the result for container transport on the entire Rhine (from Basel to the North Sea) in 2022 was -11.1% lower than in the year 2021 (-14.5% for the Traditional Rhine and -11.0% for the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands). This is the strongest year-on-year reduction since 2014, showing, in addition to the impact of low waters, the negative impact of world trade disruptions. The impact of low waters is also visible in 2018.
      • In the TEU unit, the rate of decrease was -5.7% (-11.6% for the Traditional Rhine and -5.0% for the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands).
      •  

        FIGURE 9: CONTAINER TRANSPORT ON THE ENTIRE RHINE, THE TRADITIONAL RHINE AND THE LOWER RHINE IN THE NETHERLANDS (IN MILLION TONNES, NET WEIGHT OF GOODS IN CONTAINERS), 2009-2022


        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
         

        FIGURE 10: CONTAINER TRANSPORT ON THE ENTIRE RHINE, THE TRADITIONAL RHINE AND THE LOWER RHINE IN THE NETHERLANDS (IN MILLION TEU), 2009-2022


        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis and Rijkswaterstaat
         

      In-depth analysis regarding the Traditional Rhine: low waters and direction of transport

      • An analysis of monthly figures for the Traditional Rhine allows conclusions to be drawn regarding the impact of low waters on container transport. An analysis of monthly figures from January 2016 onwards shows the impact of the severe low water period in 2018. The level of container transport on the Rhine has never been the same since this extreme hydrological phenomenon (due to modal share losses). Regarding the Covid pandemic, data suggest that container transport on the Traditional Rhine was overall resilient. In fact, during Covid, barge operators reported that the development of container numbers much depended on the type of products (consumer products or feedstock for production processes) and the type of production processes. For instance, some consumer products boomed during Covid (such as food products or those ordered online) while other consumer products decreased. Some production processes (such as the production of cars in Germany) grounded to a halt, directly resulting in a sharp decrease of container numbers in this segment. On the other hand, other production processes boomed resulting in an increase of container numbers.
      • In addition, the end of the first lockdown in late 2020 clearly ‘boosted’ container transport. The return and aggravation of the pandemic in winter 2020-2021 left some traces.
      • A detailed comparison between 2021 and 2022 shows that monthly figures for 2022 were generally lower than in 2021. Although the development of the curve suggests that the low water period in July and August 2022 had a far more negative impact than the war in Ukraine, it is indeed difficult to distinguish the exact relative contribution of both effects.
      •  

        FIGURE 11: MONTHLY CONTAINER TRANSPORT ON THE TRADITIONAL RHINE (IN 1,000 TEU AND IN MILLION TONNES), 1/2016-12/2022


        Source: Destatis
         

      • Container transport on the Traditional Rhine can be differentiated according to direction of transport (export/import) and status of containers (filled/empty). These differentiations reveal that the main reduction taking place in 2022 is found in the category of ‘filled export’ (downstream transport of loaded containers). For this category, 748,000 TEU were recorded in 2022, representing a strong reduction of -16.6% compared to the year 2021. This pattern can be explained by a decrease in exports of machines and consumer goods from France, Germany and Switzerland towards ARA seaports.
      •  

        FIGURES 12, 13, 14, 15: CONTAINER TRANSPORT ON THE TRADITIONAL RHINE, DOWNSTREAM VERSUS UPSTREAM TRAFFIC AND LOADED VERSUS EMPTY CONTAINERS (IN 1,000 TEU)





        Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis
         

      • Data on container transport on the Moselle8 indicate a similar but not fully identical structure: container transport on the Moselle presents also higher values for loaded containers within the downstream or export direction. However, in contrast to the Rhine, for the upstream direction, the share of empty containers is higher than the share of loaded containers. This is a difference compared to the Rhine, where the share of loaded containers is higher for both downstream and upstream transport (although the ratio between ‘loaded’ and ‘empty’ is smaller for upstream transport).
      • While container transport has followed a growth trend on the Moselle in the last ten years, this trend weakened in 2021 and 2022. The peak in container transport on the Moselle was reached in the year 2020, with 25,521 TEU. After this peak, TEU volumes started to decrease in 2021 and 2022, down to 24,438 TEU (2021) and 17,484 TEU (2022).
      •  

    DANUBE BASIN

     

      Transport volume and transport performance on the Danube

      • Cargo transport on the entire navigable Danube between Kelheim (Germany) and the Black Sea via the Danube-Black Sea Canal and the Sulina Canal lies in the range between 34 and 40 million tonnes per year.9 Transport performance on the Danube (EU Danube countries plus Serbia) reached 23.9 billion TKM in 2022, a decrease of -20% compared to 2021.
      •  

        FIGURE 16: FREIGHT TRANSPORT VOLUME (IN MILLION TONNES) AND TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE (IN MILLION TKM) ON THE DANUBE *


        Sources: for transport volumes – viadonau, Annual reports on Danube navigation; for transport performance – Eurostat [IWW_GO_ATYGO]
        * Transport performance in IWT in all EU Danube countries.

         

      Danube transport at specific measurement points

      • The market observation system used for observing Danube cargo transport at certain measurement points is similar to the system in the Rhine basin. The waterway administrations register data at certain borders or measurement points which are described in the following table.
      •  

        TABLE 2: MEASUREMENT POINTS FOR DANUBE FREIGHT TRANSPORT

        Danube stretch or affluentMeasurement point Name Volume of transport (in million tonnes)
        202020212022
        Upper DanubeBorder Germany/AustriaLock of Jochenstein2.32.22.2
        Upper DanubeViennaLock of Wien-Freudenau6.76.45.5
        Upper DanubeBorder Slovakia/HungaryLock of Gabčíkovo5.04.94.3
        Middle DanubeBorder Hungary/Croatia/SerbiaMohács6.15.84.0
        Danube-Black Sea CanalNo specific point, total volumes on the canal are taken into accountCanal authority CAN1016.517.317.3
        Sulina CanalNo specific point, total volumes on the canal are taken into accountWaterway Administration AFDJ114.55.110.6

        Source: Danube Commission market observation
         

      • On the Danube, and in particular on the Lower and Middle Danube, transport by pushed convoys represents a high proportion within total goods transport. At the measurement point of Mohács on the Middle Danube, pushed convoys transported 73.0% of all cargo in 2022, compared to 78.0% in 2021, 75.7% in 2020, 79.5% in 2019 and 78.7% in 2018.
      • Due to the high-water depths in the lower Danube section, in particular in the Danube delta region (also known as ‘maritime Danube’), cargo transport in the Lower Danube area attains much higher values than on river sections further upstream. This is notably the case for the Danube-Black Sea Canal, running from Cernavodă on the Danube River to Constanţa on the Black Sea (southern arm) and to Năvodari (northern arm) on the Black Sea. In 2022, this canal had a transport volume of 17.3 million tonnes (same level as in 2021). Another estuary arm is the Sulina Canal, which flows into the Black Sea in the Danube delta region near the Romanian-Ukrainian border. Transport volumes on the Sulina canal more than doubled in 2022 compared to 2021 (10.6 million tonnes in 2022 compared to 5.1 million tonnes in 2021). This exceptional increase was driven by the blockade of Ukrainian seaports and the need to support Ukrainian exports of grain via alternative routes (‘Solidarity Lanes EU-Ukraine’). In this respect, the Danube Commission undertook a number of initiatives to contribute to solving problems related to the proper functioning of the Lower Danube corridor and to facilitate existing IWT logistics. It also promoted a more active use of the transport potential of the Danube waterway based on a systematic analysis of identified cargo flows and throughput capacity of the ports on the Lower Danube, including the Port of Constanţa.
      •  

      Danube transport by cargo segment

      • While the end of 2021 and first two months of 2022 were showing positive signs towards a certain growth in transport volumes on the Danube, the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine led to the emergence of several factors weighing heavily on Danube navigation: the energy crisis, the shortage and rise in iron ore prices, restrictions to the export of grain and other food products as well as rising fuel prices.
      • As a result, in 2022, volumes of transport decreased for all cargo segments. This decrease was particularly marked in the downstream direction for grain and other agribulk, which nearly collapsed by losing -80% on the Middle Danube. Food products and feedstuff – although of a lower importance in terms of volume – diminished by -90%. This can partly be explained by the fact that Middle Danube countries, in particular Hungary and Serbia, imposed export restrictions for agricultural and food products in order to accumulate national stocks at the very beginning of the war. Fears of a future shortage of grain and foodstuff, and the possibility of another period of severe drought fuelled this phenomenon, known as ‘hoarding effect’ (see previous box on hoarding).
      •  

        FIGURE 17: GOODS TRANSPORT ON THE MIDDLE DANUBE (IN MILLION TONNES)


        Source: Danube Commission market observation
        * At Mohács (southern Hungary – border area with Croatia and Serbia)

         
         

CONTAINER TRANSPORT PER COUNTRY IN EUROPE

 

    THE WHOLE EUROPE AND GEOGRAPHICAL STRUCTURE

    • With 12 billion TKM, more than 6 million TEU and over 52 million tonnes of cargo in containers, container transport on EU inland waterways represents 9.8% of the total IWW transport performance of approximately 122 billion TKM in the EU. Moreover, 99.4% of the container transport performance (TKM) takes place in Rhine countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg). Container transport on the Danube accounts for 0.5% and 0.1% in Sweden.

     

    RHINE COUNTRIES

    • In 2022, container transport measured in TEU regressed by -4.4% in the Netherlands, by -11.3% in Germany, by -8.6% in Belgium and progressed by +3.8% in France. In the Netherlands, 45.6 million tonnes of cargo were transported in containers (-9.8% compared to 2021), making this country the frontrunner in inland waterway container transport in Europe.
    •  

      FIGURE 18: IWW CONTAINER TRANSPORT PER RHINE COUNTRY (IN MILLION TEU) *


      Source: Eurostat [iww_go_actygo]
      * In Luxembourg, 17,436; 14,132; and 9,995 TEU were recorded for 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.

       

    DANUBE COUNTRIES

    • The two Danube countries with the highest container transport are currently Romania and Hungary. In 2022, 4,360 TEU were transported on Hungarian inland waterways. In Romania, container transport amounted to 22,675 TEU in 2022, which was a spurred increase compared to 2018, 2019 and 2020. Considering the weight of cargo, container transport on Hungarian waterways represented 9,000 tonnes in 2022. In Romania, 190,000 tonnes of cargo were transported in containers. These values illustrate the immense gap towards Rhine countries. In 2022, 45.6 million tonnes were transported in containers on inland waterways in the Netherlands, 19.0 million tonnes in Belgium, 18.3 million tonnes in Germany and 3.5 million tonnes in France.
    • Container transport in Bulgaria reached 3,156 TEU in 2022. Over the last 15 years, no upward movement has been observed, and with a strong decline in 2017 and 2021, this has since remained at a more or less low level. In 2022, Austrian container transport reached 1,168 TEU.

 
 

INLAND NAVIGATION AND OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORT

 

    FIGURE 19: MODAL SPLIT SHARE OF INLAND TRANSPORT MODES IN THE EU-27 (IN %) 2009-2021


    Source: Eurostat [tran_hv_frmod]
     

  • Over the last decade, modal split shares have overall remained rather stable. However, the modal split of IWT at the level of the EU-27 has lost a 1.8 percentage point in the last 10 years, to reach 5.6% in 2021, its lowest level since 2005. It is well behind road transport (77.3% in 2021, +3.4 percentage points in the last 10 years) and rail transport (17.0%, -1.7 percentage point in the last 10 years). As many EU countries do not have inland waterways, the overall modal split of IWT at the EU level should not be used as a performance indicator for the success of inland waterway transport in the EU.
  •  

    FIGURES 20 AND 21: IWW MODAL SPLIT EVOLUTION IN RHINE AND DANUBE COUNTRIES (IN %, BASED ON TONNE-KILOMETRES) *



    Source: Eurostat [tran_hv_frmod]
    * Share of inland waterway transport performance in total (IWT + Road + Rail) transport performance

     

  • In the Netherlands, the IWW modal split increased until 2012, to reach a peak at 47.2%. It decreased in the following years, reaching 41.9% in 2021. Similar trends are visible in Belgium, Germany and France. In Luxembourg, the modal split of IWT has increased in recent years and has remained stable since 2019 (8.0% in 2021). Within Danube countries, Romania and Bulgaria record high IWT modal shares reaching respectively 25.1% and 24.4% in 2021. But the IWT modal share in both countries lost respectively 3.7 and 4.3 percentage points between 2020 and 2021, to the benefit of road transport. In 2020, the IWT modal share in Bulgaria had already lost 3 percentage points, which also benefited road transport.

• The fleet of inland cargo vessels in Europe consists of approximately 10,000 vessels registered in Rhine countries, 3,500 vessels registered in Danube countries and more than 1,200 vessels registered in other European countries.
 
• The total loading capacity of the dry cargo Rhine fleet has remained rather constant since 2008 and amounted to 10.6 million tonnes in 2022. The total loading capacity of the liquid cargo Rhine fleet amounted to 3.4 million tonnes in 2022.
 
• Overall, the newbuilding activity in 2022 for the Rhine fleet slowed down compared to the previous year. This can partly be explained by the overall decline in the transport of dry goods in the year preceding 2022, weaker growth in tanker shipping and cost increase in shipbuilding.
 
• The number of innovative vessels in service increased significantly between 2021 and 2022 but still represent less than 0.2% of the entire inland navigation fleet in Europe.

 

SIZE OF FLEETS PER MACRO-REGION AND COUNTRY IN EUROPE

    TABLE 1: SIZE OF FLEETS (NUMBER OF INLAND VESSELS) PER MACRO-REGION AND VESSEL TYPE IN EUROPE

    Dry cargo vesselsLiquid cargo vesselsPush & tugsTotal number of vessels
    Rhine fleet7.2831.4351.2689.987
    Danube fleet *2.6522046423.498
    Total number of vessels (Rhine and Danube)9.9351.6391.9113.484
    Other countries **9512661.217
    Total number of vessels12.5252.17614.701

    Sources: 1) Rhine countries: VNF (France), CBS/Rijkswaterstaat (Netherlands), ITB (Belgium), German Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), national fleet register of Luxembourg, Swiss Waterway Administration. 2) Danube countries: Danube Commission. 3) Other countries: Eurostat [iww_eq_loadcap], [iww_eq_age], Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic, Statistics Poland, Statistics Lithuania. For push and tugs: Eurostat [iww_eq_age].
    * Data for 2017
    ** Other countries = Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Finland, Lithuania

     

  • The following figures show the number of dry and liquid cargo vessels taken together (self-propelled vessels and barges) and the number of push and tugboats per country in Europe.
  •  

    FIGURE 1: NUMBER OF DRY AND LIQUID CARGO VESSELS PER COUNTRY IN EUROPE


    Sources: Eurostat [iww_eq_loadcap] and national sources for Rhine countries
    * Most data are from 2021 or 2022.

     

    FIGURE 2: NUMBER OF PUSH BOATS AND TUGBOATS PER COUNTRY IN EUROPE *


    Sources: Eurostat [iww_eq_age], ITB (Belgium), National fleet register of Luxembourg
    * Most data from 2021 or 2022, Italy figure for 2017

     

    EVOLUTION OF THE RHINE FLEET

      DRY CARGO FLEET IN RHINE COUNTRIES

      • Fleet data used for this part are entirely based on national fleet data from waterway administrations. The reason for this is that a distinction between dry and liquid cargo vessels is only available in national fleet databases and in the IVR database, but not in the Eurostat databases.
      • Data used for the Dutch fleet contain the inland vessels that are registered in the Netherlands and which were active in that country in 2022.34 The total number of dry cargo vessels registered in Rhine countries was, according to these sources, 7,283 in 2022 compared to 7,377 in 2021, 7,423 in 2020 and 7,510 in 2019.
      •  

        FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES IN 2022 *


        Source: CCNR based on national data (see Table 1)
        * Data for Germany relate to 2021.

         

        FIGURES 4 AND 5: DRY CARGO FLEET IN RHINE COUNTRIES *



        Source: CCNR based on national data (see Table 1)
        * Data for Germany relate to 2021.

         

      • The total loading capacity of the dry cargo Rhine fleet has remained rather constant since 2008 and amounted to 10.6 million tonnes in 2022.
      • It is often cited that the number of small vessels in the inland navigation sector is decreasing. Long-term data tend to confirm this hypothesis (see 2022 Annual Report, Chapter 6).
      •  

      LIQUID CARGO FLEET IN RHINE COUNTRIES

      • The share of the Dutch fleet within all liquid cargo vessels in Rhine countries is 52%. Switzerland and Luxembourg have relatively high numbers of tanker vessels. From a quantitative perspective, the total number of tanker vessels decreased since 2012, as the number of vessels being phased out was higher than the number of new double hull vessels entering the market.
      •  

        FIGURE 6: NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES IN 2022 *


        Source: CCNR based on national data (see Table 1)
        * Data for Germany relate to 2021.

         

        FIGURES 7 AND 8: LIQUID CARGO FLEET IN RHINE COUNTRIES *



        Source: CCNR based on national data (see Table 1)
        * Data for Germany relate to 2021.

     

    EVOLUTION OF THE DANUBE FLEET

      DRY CARGO FLEET IN THE DANUBE REGION

      • According to the statistics of the Danube Commission (with clarification based on surveys of shipping companies in the DC Member States), by the end of 2017,35 there were around 400 push boats, 242 tugs, 409 self-propelled dry cargo vessels, and circa 2,100 dry cargo barges in the Danube fleet (the German-flagged fleet is counted by port of registry on the Danube). More than 70% of the total transport volume is carried by pushed convoys, whose composition is set out in the following table, depending on the waterway class and shipping conditions.
      •  

        TABLE 2: TYPE OF DRY CARGO TRANSPORT ON THE DANUBE (SHARE OF TOTAL TRANSPORT IN %)

        Push boat + 7-9 pushed barges (lighters)40-42%
        Push boat + 6 lighters20-23%
        Push boat + 4 lighters12-14%

        Source: Danube Commission market observation
         

      • The total Danube fleet of dry cargo vessels diminished as from 2005. However, from the year 2014 onwards, this decreasing trend came to a halt, and the fleet size has now stabilised. The Romanian dry cargo fleet is the largest in the Danube area with a share of around 48% of all dry cargo vessels. Its size is increasing.
      •  

      LIQUID CARGO FLEET IN THE DANUBE REGION

      • According to the statistics of the Danube Commission (with clarification based on surveys of shipping companies in the DC Member States), by the end of 2017, there were 74 self-propelled tanker vessels and 128 tanker barges, with a total cargo capacity of around 0.22 million tonnes.36

     

    NEW VESSEL CONSTRUCTION IN RHINE COUNTRIES37

    • Overall, newbuilding activity in 2022 has slowed down compared to the previous year. While the number of new dry cargo vessels remained the same compared to 2021, the number of newly built tanker vessels decreased by 27 units (40 in 2019, 54 in 2020, 58 in 2021 and 31 in 2022).
    • The strong decrease in the newly built capacity can be explained by several factors: overall decline in the transport of dry goods in the year preceding 2022, weaker growth in tanker shipping, cost increase in shipbuilding. In addition, for the dry cargo segment a constant decrease has been observed since 2020, which corresponds to the start of the pandemic. With the boom in coal transport and the pressure on dry cargo capacity, a reversal of this tendency might be observed in 2023.
    • This will however strongly depend on the evolution of inflation. Indeed, as a result of inflationary tendencies, steel prices and prices for other materials that are needed in shipbuilding have strongly increased. Up to 50% in cost increases for new builds has been reported by the sector.
    •  

      DRY CARGO

      • The majority of the new dry cargo vessels entering the market in 2022 are registered in the Netherlands (16 out of 21), followed by Belgium and Germany with two new vessels each.
      •  

        FIGURE 9: NEW DRY CARGO VESSELS COMING ON THE MARKET PER COUNTRY OF REGISTER (NUMBERS, 2011-2022)


        Source: IVR
         

      • The most common loading capacity within this vessel type is usually 3,000 < 4,000 tonnes. In 2022, most newbuilts were however recorded within the category 2,000 < 3,000 tonnes. The average capacity of newly built dry cargo vessels amounted to 2,499 tonnes in 2022, which is a slight decrease compared to the average of 2,726 tonnes in 2021.
      •  

        TABLE 3: NEWLY BUILT DRY CARGO VESSELS ACCORDING TO LOADING CAPACITY

        Loading capacity201720182019202020212022
        0 < 1,000 t5441751
        1,000 < 2,000 t647705
        2,000 < 3,000 t7812838
        3,000 < 4,000 t1661314117
        > 4,000 t236120
        Total362542472121

        Source: IVR
        Note that in 2022, for five newly built vessels the deadweight was partly estimated due to initially missing values. Estimations were also made in the previous years.

         

        TABLE 4: NEWLY BUILT DRY CARGO VESSELS IN 2022 BY LENGTH

        LengthNumber of vessels
        < 55 metres1
        55 to < 70 metres4
        70 to < 86 metres6
        86 to 110 metres10
        > 110 metres0
        Total21

        Sources: IVR, CCNR analysis

       

      LIQUID CARGO

      • According to the IVR database, 31 new tanker vessels entered the market in 2022, 27 less than in 2021. In the Netherlands 18 new vessels were registered, six were registered in Germany, two in Belgium, three in Luxembourg and two in France.
      •  

        FIGURE 10: NEW TANKER VESSELS COMING ON THE MARKET PER COUNTRY OF REGISTER (NUMBERS, 2011-2022)


        Source: IVR
         

      • The most common loading capacity of the new tanker vessels is in the category 2,000-3,000 tonnes with 24 new tanker vessels in 2022. The overall average loading capacity reduced from 3,452 tonnes in 2021 to 2,868 tonnes in 2022.
      •  

        TABLE 5: NEWLY BUILT TANKER VESSELS ACCORDING TO LOADING CAPACITY

        Loading capacity201720182019202020212022
        0 < 1,000 t121000
        1,000 < 2,000 t14131610144
        2,000 < 3,000 t141216231924
        3,000 < 4,000 t2439131
        > 4,000 t531014122
        Total363446545831

        Sources: IVR, CCNR analysis
        Note that in 2022 for four newly built vessels, the deadweight was partly estimated due to an initially missing value. Estimations were also made in the previous years.

         

        TABLE 6: NEWLY BUILT TANKER VESSELS IN 2022 BY LENGTH

        LengthNumber of vessels
        < 55 metres0
        55 to < 70 metres0
        70 to < 86 metres4
        86 to 110 metres23
        > 110 metres4
        Total31

        Sources: IVR, CCNR analysis
         

      • In the category of push boats and tugs, four new builds came on the market (compared to seven in 2021) of which three are registered in the Netherlands and one is registered in Germany.
      • Figure 11 illustrates the new loading capacity entering the market by year and for dry and liquid cargo vessels. After a long decline following the financial crisis, new dry and liquid capacity showed an increase in recent years. For liquid cargo vessels, this was more significant than for dry cargo vessels. The year 2021 was marked by a moderation in newbuilding activity due to the deterioration of transport demand conditions caused by the pandemic. This moderation was further accentuated in 2022, particularly for liquid cargo capacity, most probably as a result of the economic and geopolitical uncertainties which were already high in 2021 and remained high in 2022.
      •  

        FIGURE 11: NEW CAPACITY COMING ON THE MARKET FOR DRY AND LIQUID CARGO (LOADING CAPACITY IN 1,000 TONNES)


        Source: IVR

     

    AGE STRUCTURE OF THE RHINE CARGO FLEET

    • According to the vessel database of the IVR,38 around 85.3% of the dry cargo fleet was constructed in the 20th century whereas the respective share for the tanker fleet amounts to 48.0%. According to the IVR database, the Netherlands holds the largest vessel numbers within the Rhine fleet in almost every vessel category, followed by Germany.
    •  

      FIGURE 12: COMMISSIONING YEARS FOR THE RHINE FLEET OVER TIME (NUMBER OF INLAND VESSELS)


      Sources: IVR, CCNR analysis
      Note that 121 dry cargo vessels and 15 push and tug vessels have an unknown year of construction.
      Furthermore, 235 additional tanker vessels, 1,750 dry cargo vessels and 500 push and tug vessels are recorded in the IVR database as being registered in countries other than Rhine countries.

       

    CAPACITY MONITORING

      DRY CARGO VESSELS

      • The armed conflict in Ukraine led to violent disruptions of supply chains in the dry cargo segment. As a result of the blockade of deep-sea ports in Ukraine, there was a great need for capacity in the Danube basin, in particular to export grain from Ukraine to ports in Romania (Galaţi and Constanta). As indicated in previous chapters, a large number of dry cargo vessels were then sold from the Rhine basin to the Danube Basin.
      • As explained in previous chapters, the tensions in the gas market associated with the war in Ukraine led to an increase in demand for coal transport on inland waterways. Many vessels were therefore used to transport coal which would have instead been used to transport other goods, including containers for instance.
        Last but not least, the effects of the low water period in July and August 2022 came as an additional strain on dry cargo vessel capacity, to the extent that some cargo could no longer be transported.
      • Overall, the dry cargo capacity in 2022 was too low compared to the demand for dry cargo capacity. As a result, capacity utilisation was at its highest level since many years, exceeding values from 2018, for all vessel size categories. The average utilisation rate was 90% in 2022, showing signs that the fleet capacity is tight to cope with low water periods. This is significantly higher than in 2021 (81%) and comparable to the low-water year of 2018 (88%). The highest increase took place for the large vessels (> 2,000 tonnes), from 77% in 2021 to 89% in 2022.
      • At the same time, the macroeconomic outlook remains highly uncertain. Similarly, it is uncertain whether the drivers that led to the increase in demand for dry cargo vessel capacity in 2022 are only temporary or will remain in future years. For instance, under the pressure of climate change, demand for coal transport is expected to decline again, in line with the decreasing trends observed in previous years. Similarly, it remains unclear whether the Rhine basin dry cargo capacity which was transferred to the Danube basin will come back to the Rhine basin or not depending on the evolution of the armed conflict in Ukraine.
      •  

        FIGURE 13: CAPACITY UTILISATION FOR THE DRY CARGO FLEET IN RHINE COUNTRIES (PER VESSEL SIZE CLASSES) *


        Source: Panteia analysis based on data provided by CCNR.
        * The methodology according to which water levels affect capacity utilisation was modified compared to previous years. This leads to a divergence in the absolute values reported in this year’s report compared to previous years without affecting the trend analysis. German fleet data are accurate for 2021 and estimated for 2022. A correction for the German fleet data is always applied for the year N-1.

       

      LIQUID CARGO VESSELS

      • For tanker shipping, the average utilisation of the fleet in 2022 also increased sharply compared to the previous year. The average utilisation rate was 81% in 2022 compared to 65% in 2021, a similar level as in 2018 (82%).
      • This increase was driven mainly by the effect of low waters and not necessarily by the macroeconomic conditions. Indeed, the tanker market is more sensitive to low water periods than the dry cargo market due to the higher deadweight of tanker vessels. To give an example, where a standard dry cargo vessel can still use about 20 to 25% of its cargo capacity at a water level of 40 centimetres in Kaub, a standard tanker can only use 5 to 10% of its capacities.39
      • In the liquid segment, capacity was almost fully used for small (< 1,000 tonnes) and medium-sized (1,000 to 2,000 tonnes) vessels, reaching respectively 96% and 99%. In almost all cases, these are highly specialised tankers that are active in the transport of specific products, for example, cement or edible oils. In other cases, they are specifically built for a single client and are therefore used in an optimal way. In this market, capacity is under pressure and a disruption such as prolonged low water levels are expected to cause production losses or modal shift.
      • For large-size (more than 2,000 tonnes) tanker vessels, capacity utilisation reached 77%.
      • It is worth highlighting that, despite the substantial navigation restrictions in summer 2022, transport was still able to continue, and security of supply was not compromised. This statement is true for both the dry, container and the liquid cargo segments.
      •  

        FIGURE 14: CAPACITY UTILISATION FOR THE LIQUID CARGO FLEET IN RHINE COUNTRIES (PER VESSEL SIZE CLASSES) *


        Source: Panteia analysis based on data provided by CCNR
        * Same as Figure 13

     

    INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INLAND NAVIGATION FLEET CONTRIBUTING TO REDUCING EMISSIONS

    • In accordance with the mandate given by the Mannheim Ministerial Declaration of 17 October 2018, the CCNR adopted in December 2021 a roadmap for reducing emissions from inland navigation,40 which called for the creation of a database on innovative vessels.
    • To develop such a database, available data on innovative inland navigation vessels was compiled within the framework of the Inspection Regulation Committee of the CCNR, with the following scope:
      – innovative vessel understood as designed to emit less air pollutants or greenhouse gases than a conventional diesel vessel;
      – freight and passenger vessels with a Rhine Vessel Inspection Certificate or a Union certificate;41
      – vessels planned, under construction, in service or projects cancelled.
    • Even if biofuels contribute to reducing – under certain conditions – greenhouse gas emissions, vessels running on biofuels were not taken into account in the analysis, as switching to biofuels does not call for a specific design or technical adaptation at the level of the vessel.
    • For the purpose of this analysis, 49 freight vessels, of which nine were eventually cancelled or put out of service, and 13 day-trip passenger vessels, were considered.42 The vast majority of the innovative vessels sail with a Rhine Vessel Inspection Certificate. They are mainly new built vessels, but also retrofitted vessels.
    • While the number of innovative vessels in service represent less than 0.2% of the entire inland navigation fleet in Europe, their number increased significantly between 2021 and 2022. This trend is expected to continue given the 12 innovative vessels expected to become operational in the coming years. Several projects were foreseen to be built in 2022 and 2023 but suffered some delays. This trend does not prejudge the evolution of the number of innovative vessels outside the scope of this database.
    • These innovative vessels run or are expected to run on – as the primary energy carrier43 – batteries, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, compressed hydrogen (GH2) mainly in combination with batteries, or sodium borohydride with batteries (NaBH4).
    •  

      FIGURES 15 AND 16: NUMBER OF VESSELS CONSIDERED IN THE DATABASE PER STATUS AND PER PRIMARY ENERGY CARRIER



       

    • Regarding Figure 15, the reasons behind the cancellation of a project could be of a different nature, economic (not enough demand, lack of subsidies), organisational (withdrawal of a partner) or even technical (safety or operational issues). Most of the projects cancelled were LNG propelled vessels. Indeed, fossil LNG is no longer considered as a long-term option, notably for reducing carbon emissions in inland navigation.
    • Figure 16 above reflects the technologies used (possibly combined) as the primary energy carrier for vessel propulsion. It often comes with other energy carriers onboard, notably diesel engines for redundancy purposes or as an emergency power source. In other words, it is anticipated that different (modular) options for zero-emissions powertrains, using mixes of energy sources/fuels, will play a role in achieving the ambitious emission reduction objectives set at international level. This is confirmed by the profile of the innovative vessels (in service, under construction or project) which almost all use multiple energy carriers.
    • Moreover, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for achieving the energy transition. The choice of an appropriate emissions reduction technology depends on several factors, that include the sailing profile of the vessels, their type, the market segment in which they operate, but also the related technical constraints.
    • This is reflected in the following figure, showing how innovative applications find their way into the inland navigation sector.
    •  

      FIGURE 17: DISTRIBUTION OF INNOVATIONS PER VESSEL TYPE AND PRIMARY ENERGY CARRIER44


       

    • Most of these innovative vessels still operate with a combustion engine (32), of which 27 are also equipped with an electric motor. This is a positive evolution which should facilitate a modular system approach. Indeed, the integration of batteries or fuel cell systems in existing vessels require a vessel to be equipped with an electric motor in the first place. Sixteen vessels operate with battery electric propulsion systems and six with fuel cell systems. It should be highlighted that one vessel is designed to use swappable batteries containers. The number of vessels with similar design might grow in the coming years.

• The iron ore and steel segments experienced a decrease in both Rhine and Danube countries in 2022. The effects of the war, inflation and supply-chain related disruptions are expected to continue in 2023 and will lead to persisting uncertainty. A rebound is foreseen in 2024.
 
• Regarding the 2022/23 harvest season, on the one hand, wheat and barley harvest volumes are expected to increase, whereas on the other hand, maize harvest volumes are foreseen to contract, compared to the previous year.
 
• In light of the uncertain geopolitical environment and the deteriorated economic conditions, prospects remain bleak for the chemical industry in 2023. Production and demand are expected to decline as a result of lack of orders, disrupted supply chains and high energy costs.
 
• The demand for river cruises is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. However, it remains uncertain to which extent factors such as rising energy and fuel prices, difficulties in recruiting staff and inflation will impact the new building activity.

 

  • Inland waterway transport in its present structure relies on traditional market segments. Examples are the steel, agricultural, chemical and food segments.
  •  

    IRON ORE AND STEEL SEGMENT

    • On the entire Rhine, around 20% of all cargo transport is related to steel production in 2022 (iron ore, scrap steel, coking coal, metals, metal products). On the Danube, this share is even higher and amounts to 40% for the Middle Danube.
    • Iron ore transport on the Rhine in general follows the trend in steel production. Steel production in Rhine countries decreased by -7.9% in 2022 compared to 2021. Transport of iron ore on the entire Rhine decreased by -2.8% in 2022.
    •  

      FIGURES 1 AND 2: STEEL PRODUCTION IN RHINE COUNTRIES AND TRANSPORT OF IRON ORE ON THE ENTIRE RHINE (IN MILLION TONNES)



       
      Sources: World Steel Association, Eurofer, Destatis, Rijkswaterstaat, CCNR analysis
       

    • Steel production in Danube countries61 amounted to 18.1 million tonnes in 2022, a decrease of -12% compared to 2021. Transport of iron ore in Lower Danube countries decreased by -4.4% in 2022.
    •  

      FIGURES 3 AND 4: STEEL PRODUCTION IN DANUBE COUNTRIES AND TRANSPORT OF IRON ORE ON THE LOWER DANUBE (IN MILLION TONNES)



       
      Sources: World Steel Association, Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]
      * Lower Danube = Romania and Bulgaria
      Data for Middle Danube countries were mostly missing.

       

      OUTLOOK FOR THE IRON ORE AND STEEL SEGMENT

      • According to Eurofer,62 the second quarter of 2022 – taking into account the global geopolitical context, the war-related disruptions, weaker demand and the rise in energy prices and production costs – saw a rapid end to the positive post-Covid trend which had prevailed for the steel market until the first quarter of 2022. Hence, in 2022, steel demand experienced its third recession in four years. This is expected to continue in 2023, but at a lower rate. The steel outlook for 2024 is more favourable and steel demand is expected to rebound.
      • Despite the above-mentioned difficult conditions, production growth of steel-using sectors was still observed in 2022. It is expected to slow down in 2023 (+0.3%)63 and to pick up some speed again in 2024 (+2.3%) thanks to improved economic confidence and recovery in the industrial cycle. The automotive sector will be the only exception as growth is expected to continue moderately in 2023 and a drop in output is foreseen for 2024 (-1.8%).
      • The World Steel Association, in its short-range outlook dating from May 2023,64 foresees similar trends as Eurofer, with a tendency to more pronounced changes. A slight decline in steel demand within the European Union and the UK (-0.4%) is expected in 2023 due to the lasting effect of the war, as well as due to inflation and supply-chain related disruptions. A rebound of +5.6% is foreseen in 2024 as it is assumed that the afore-mentioned effects will dissipate. However, the outlook is subject to persisting uncertainty.
      •  

    AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD PRODUCTS

    • Agricultural and food products have a share of around 10% in Rhine navigation and around 23% in Danube navigation. In general, agricultural transport on inland waterways in one specific year is partly determined by harvest results in the previous year.
    •  

      FIGURES 5 AND 6: GRAIN HARVEST PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS IN RHINE COUNTRIES (IN MILLION TONNES)



      Source: Eurostat [apro_cpsh1] and [iww_go_atygo]
       

      FIGURES 7 AND 8: GRAIN HARVEST PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS IN DANUBE COUNTRIES (IN MILLION TONNES)



      Source: Eurostat [apro_cpsh1] and [iww_go_atygo]
       

      OUTLOOK FOR THE AGRI-FOOD SEGMENT

      • The war disrupted the Ukrainian and Russian grain exports, mainly due to the closure of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, and sanctions imposed on Russia. The increase in prices for agricultural commodities that followed lasted until the end of July 2022. In August 2022, the Black Sea ports were reopened. The supply shortage disappeared, bringing prices down to their pre-crisis levels. Until the end of 2022, maize and barley prices remained on this pre-crisis level, while wheat prices continued a downward trend.65
      • Wheat
        For the 2022/23 harvest season66 of soft wheat, an increase is foreseen on a worldwide scale, as well as for the EU-27. For France, as the most important producing country in the EU-27, volumes are expected to be slightly lower than the 5-year-average. For the following season 2023/24, soft wheat harvest volumes are expected to rise further, to reach 787 million tonnes. The growth is supposed to come from Russian, Ukrainian and US-American regions.67 For hard wheat, the 2022/23 harvest season produced 33 million tonnes, which is a 5% higher result than in the previous season.
        Exports of soft wheat (grain and flour) from the European Union are expected to increase in the 2022/23 harvest season by +7% compared to 2021/22 and by +11% compared to 2020/21. The main destinations of these exports are countries in northern Africa such as Morocco, Algeria and Egypt.68 Grain is, in particular, exported from ports in northern France to these countries, and inland vessels are used to deliver the grain from the hinterland to the seaports. The river-sea Port of Rouen is the largest export harbour for grain in Europe.
      • Barley
        Worldwide production is foreseen to increase by +3% in the 2022/23 season, to 154 million tonnes. The prices for European barley have decreased, which strengthened the competitive position of European barley compared to Russian barley.
      • Maize
        Harvest results are expected to contract by -6% in the 2022/23 season compared to the previous one. A strong reduction for maize exports from Argentina is the main contributing factor, the reason being the low harvest volumes in Argentina. Maize exports from the US are also expected to decrease.
      •  

        TABLE 1: HARVEST VOLUMES IN THE SEASON 2022/23 COMPARED TO 5-YEAR-AVERAGE

        Harvest season 2022/23 in million tonnesWorldEU-27France
        Soft wheat768126.033.7
        5-year-average728124.135.0
        Hard wheat337.11.3
        5-year average347.61.7
        Maize1,15052.19.9
        5-year average1,14466.412.9
        Barley15451.511.4
        5-year-average14952.411.8

        Sources: FranceAgriMer mai 2023, Banque CIC agriculture, European Commission, Service de la statistique et de la prospective (SSP) du Ministère de l’agriculture et de l’alimentation (France)
         

      • On the demand side, the forecasts for wheat consumption have been revised downwards due to the economic situation in 2023. This downward revision is made for all kinds of wheat consumption (human, industrial and animal consumption).

     

    CHEMICALS

    • In 2022, the main macroeconomic indicators influencing the chemical sector were mostly linked with the aftermaths of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine: global inflation, weakening of GDP growth, falling consumer confidence, oil price volatility impacting the financials of several global chemical producers, high gas price, bottlenecks in the supply of feedstock and high prices affecting the entire chemical value chain, extreme weather events (low waters) affecting transport of chemicals and leading to further economic disruption.69
    • The share of chemicals transported on the entire Rhine amounts to approximately 17% and 11% on the Danube. The transport performance for chemicals in Rhine countries has remained at somewhat stable levels over the last five years, with significant drops in 2018 (low water effect) and 2022 (as a consequence of the war in Ukraine and the low waters).
    • In Rhine countries, production of chemical products followed the upward movement of the business cycle until 2018. In 2019 and 2020, it came under pressure from various trade barriers and the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, chemical production recovered in a rebound effect. It then sustained a sharp decrease in 2022 in all Rhine countries, due to the price surges for its petrochemical input factors. Indeed, the chemicals sector is resource-intensive and the largest energy consumer in Europe.
    • The volumes of chemicals transported along the Danube, albeit on a lower level, follow a rather positive trend, with, like in Rhine countries, some decreases in 2018 and 2022. In 2022, chemical production in Romania and Hungary decreased, while it remained stable in Austria and even increased in Bulgaria.
    •  

      FIGURES 9, 10, 11 AND 12: INDEX OF CHEMICAL PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT OF CHEMICAL PRODUCTS IN RHINE AND DANUBE COUNTRIES





      Source: Eurostat [STS_INPR_A], [IWW_GO_ATYGO]
       

      OUTLOOK FOR THE CHEMICAL SEGMENT

      • Given that 88% of all chemical products in the EU are produced in eight countries, of which four are Rhine countries (Germany, the largest producer, followed by France, the Netherlands and Belgium), the development of the chemical sector in Rhine countries strongly influences the EU chemical sector. Overall, in 2022, chemical production in the EU declined by -6.2% compared to 2021. The last comparable slump in production was in 2009 in the wake of the global economic crisis (-12.1% compared to 2008). The chemical sector is the manufacturing sector whose production growth reduced the most compared to 2021, in a context where the production growth of manufacturing sectors increased overall by +2.2% in 2022 (compared to 2021).70
      • In light of the uncertain geopolitical environment and the deterioration in economic conditions, prospects remain bleak for the chemical industry in 2023. Unlike the Covid-19 pandemic or the 2009 global economic crisis post-periods, no powerful or rapid recovery is expected. A precise forecast is however difficult to establish due to the volatile underlying conditions which the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis represent. In particular, the trend in industrial weakness is expected to continue during the year 2023. A further decrease in chemical production in Germany is expected, according to the Association of the German Chemical Industry (VCI).71 However, the economic recovery in China and the gradual decrease of energy prices are expected to support the recovery of the European economy in the mid-term. The challenges for the industry are therefore expected to remain significant in 2023 in the form of reduced demand for chemical products resulting from lack of orders, disrupted supply chains and high energy costs.
      • The current regulatory and financial framework also plays against the competitivity of the chemical industry in Europe, particularly when comparing the European competitive framework with regions where energy prices are more favourable than in the EU, which is an additional challenge.
      • In the longer term, other parameters linked with the restructuring of the chemical industry in general might also affect inland waterway transport. In fact, the disruption of 2022 has highlighted supply chain vulnerabilities in this industry. This might lead to a reorientation of the industry’s main production regions and sales channels or to the search for new sources of raw materials. In addition, regulatory issues and environmental concerns might also drive the transformation of this sector, particularly regarding the use and the transport of alternative feedstocks for the production of chemicals and final products.

     

    OUTLOOK FOR RIVER CRUISES

    • The new building activity for river cruises in Europe is expected to remain low in 2023. While the capacity of vessels leaving the fleet has been far below the added capacity in the last decades, leading to a continuous increase of the European river cruise fleet bed capacity, an additional capacity of only 100 beds is estimated compared to 2022. This is explained by the higher number of withdrawals foreseen compared to the number of new buildings entering the river cruise market. This would seem to be linked to the fact that some river cruise vessels are being permanently turned into floating hotels in order to host Ukrainian refugees in the context of the ongoing conflict.
    • The river cruise branch is optimistic that the demand for river cruises should return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. This might encourage future investment in the newbuilding activity. Managers of inland waterway tourism companies remain optimistic but also indicate that they face several concerns that could delay their investments: rising energy and fuel prices, difficulties in recruiting staff, inflation and rising prices of raw materials, difficulties for the supplies and the procurement of the latter. Thus, despite their will to invest in the forthcoming 12 months, it remains uncertain to what extent the new building activity will be impacted by the above-mentioned factors in the near future.72

• In the EU plus Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland, 5,486 IWW freight companies are registered with a total employment of 22,417 persons. In 2020, employment in the freight sector remained stable compared to 2019. Companies in the Rhine region account for 88% of the total number of companies and for 76% of the total number of persons employed. For the Danube region the figures are 4% (number of companies) and 15% (employment).
 
• Regarding the IWT passenger transport sector, 4,265 companies are registered with a total employment of 17,503 persons. Employment in the passenger sector decreased by -24% in 2020 compared to 2019, due to the Covid crisis. Companies in the Rhine region account for 44% of the total number of companies and for 64% of the total number of persons employed. For the Danube region the figures are 9% (number of companies) and 8% (employment).

 

    FIGURES 1 AND 2: DEVELOPMENT OF NUMBER OF COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN FREIGHT AND PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN THE INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT SECTOR IN EUROPE



    Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) (for the number of companies in Switzerland)

 

COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN FREIGHT TRANSPORT

  • According to Eurostat figures,51 5,486 IWW freight transport companies are active in Europe (EU-27 plus Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland). Around 88% (4,809 in absolute numbers) are registered in Rhine countries.52 In the Netherlands alone, 3,279 IWW freight companies are counted, which represents 60% of the total number in Europe and 68% of the number in Rhine countries.
  • The number of companies in Danube countries is relatively low (201 which is equivalent to a share of 4%), compared to the share that the Danube has within total transport performance on EU-27 inland waterways (18%). It should then be mentioned that companies in the Danube region have a far higher number of employed persons on average than companies in the Rhine region. Eastern European countries taken together (including Danube countries) account for 9% of all IWW freight companies in the EU-27, and southern European and Scandinavian countries account for 2% each.
  •  

    FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN EUROPE *


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Swiss Federal Tax Administration FTA
    * Data refer to 2020.

     

  • The number of employed persons in freight transport includes self-employed, helping family members and employees. The total number of this variable was at 23,753 in 2020. Rhine countries account for 76%, Danube countries for 15% and companies in countries outside the Rhine and Danube regions for 9%.
  •  

    FIGURE 4: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN EUROPE *


    Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
    * Data refer to the year 2020.

     

  • It should be noted that figures obtained from national labour market institutions or from other national offices might differ substantially from figures obtained from Eurostat, due to different statistical labour market concepts. For cross-country comparisons, Eurostat is treated as the preferred source because data are harmonised across countries and are thus comparable.

 
 

COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT

  • The number of IWW passenger companies in Europe (EU-27 plus Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland) was 4,265 in 2020.53 The geographical distribution shows that 44% of them are registered in Rhine countries. Southern Europe accounts for 28%, eastern Europe for 16% and Scandinavia for 10%. Danube countries are considered in this sense a part of eastern Europe. If they were counted separately, they would represent 9%. Although the total figure for 2020 was almost the same as in 2019, variations in the number of companies can be observed for major countries. The numbers decreased in Italy (-50), Germany (-59), Sweden (-20) and Switzerland (-8), due to economic problems during the Covid pandemic. In the Netherlands, the number was higher than the previous year (+45), while it remained almost constant in France (+2).54
  •  

    FIGURE 5: NUMBER OF IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT COMPANIES IN EUROPE *


    Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA)
    * Data refer to 2020.

     

  • The total number of persons employed in European IWW passenger transport amounted to 17,503 in 202055 and was therefore -24% lower than in the previous year. The explanation for this decrease is the Covid pandemic, which led to a sharp decrease in passenger transport and had an impact on employment.
  •  

    FIGURE 6: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN EUROPE *


    Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
    * Data refer to 2020 except for Hungary, Poland, Malta (2019), the Czech Republic (2018) and Austria (2014).

     

  • Around 64% of all persons employed in EU inland waterway passenger transport are employed in Rhine countries. The share of Danube countries amounts to 8%. Mediterranean countries account for 15% of employment, and Scandinavian countries for 6%.

TURNOVER

  • As sources for turnover figures, the Eurostat SBS database, the database of the Dutch Statistical Office CBS and the database of the Swiss Tax Administration are used.56 In all three cases, the amount of the value added tax is excluded. However, the definition of turnover according to the CBS differs from the Eurostat concept in some areas. For example, the Eurostat concept includes certain charges and taxes invoiced which the CBS concept does not include. As a result, the CBS figures are probably underestimated. The data for Switzerland are transformed from Swiss Francs to Euro, and the added value tax is excluded.
  •  

    TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT

    • In 2020, for IWW freight companies in the EU-27 (plus Switzerland and Serbia), a turnover of approximately 6.213 billion Euro was registered. IWW freight companies from Rhine countries counted a turnover of 5.500 billion Euro (share of 90%).
    •  

      FIGURE 7: ANNUAL TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN RHINE AND DANUBE COUNTRIES (IN MILLION EURO) *



      Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (NL), Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) and CCNR estimation based on data from Eurostat for France for the year 2019
      * The value for Dutch companies is an estimation based on net turnover data for the entire inland navigation sector in the Netherlands. Therefore, the statistical office CBS estimates that 92% of total turnover is related to freight transport. Value for Swiss companies was converted to Euro according to the yearly average exchange rate.

       

      TABLE 1: TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN RHINE COUNTRIES IN 2020 (IN MILLION EURO) AND GROWTH RATE (IN %)

      20192020Growth rate (%)
      Dutch companies 3.3143.051-7.9
      German companies1.7151.658-3.4
      French companies n.a384n.a
      Belgian companies214222+3.9
      Swiss companies173185+6.4
      Rhine countries5,828 *5.500-5.6

      Sources: Same as Figure 7
      * Total value takes into account an estimated value for France in 2019.

       

    • Turnover generated in inland waterway freight transport companies registered in Danube countries amounted to 378 million Euro in 2020.
    •  

      TABLE 2: NET TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN DANUBE COUNTRIES IN 2020 (IN MILLION EURO) AND GROWTH RATE (IN %)

      20192020Growth rate (%)
      Serbian companies99109+10.1
      Romanian companies115107-6.7
      Slovakian companies7582+10.2
      Hungarian companies5248-7.9
      Bulgarian companies2929+2.8
      Croatian companies23+4.0
      Danube countries *372378+/-0.0

      Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
      * Austria is not included in this table as the latest data available dates back from the 2017 Statistik Austria Structural Business Statistics (23 million euro).

       

    • Turnover of companies registered in European regions outside the Rhine and Danube region reached 167 million Euro in 2020. The countries with the highest turnover are Poland (44 million Euro), Italy (40 million Euro), the Czech Republic (27 million Euro) and Sweden (25 million Euro).
    •  

      TURNOVER IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT

       

    • Regarding the turnover in EU (plus Switzerland and Serbia) for IWW passenger companies in 2020, approximately 1.578 billion Euro was registered.
    • It is important to note that the following turnover figures include those generated by all passenger market segments (day trips, river cruises or ferries). For some countries, the turnover figures are based almost entirely on river cruise activities or day trip activities.
    • Despite considerable financial losses due to the Covid pandemic, Swiss passenger transport companies are still on rank 1 when it comes to turnover figures. Such high figures are almost entirely generated from the river cruise activity. Of the total European turnover, the share of Rhine countries is 72% and the share of Switzerland is 30%. As these data refer to 2020, a year that suffered substantial losses in this segment, an even higher share for Switzerland can be expected after the recovery from the Covid pandemic.
    •  

      FIGURE 8: ANNUAL TURNOVER IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN MOST RELEVANT COUNTRIES (IN MILLION EURO) *


      Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (NL), Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) and CCNR estimation based on data from Eurostat only for France for the year 2019
      * The value for Dutch companies is an estimation based on net turnover data for the entire inland navigation sector in the Netherlands. In this instance, the statistical office CBS estimates that 8% of total turnover is related to passenger transport. Value for Swiss companies was converted to Euro according to the yearly average exchange rate. Data unavailable for many countries.

       

      TABLE 3: TURNOVER IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT IN RHINE COUNTRIES IN 2020 (IN MILLION EURO)

      20192020Growth rate (%)
      Swiss companies 1.220479-60.8
      German companies497284-42.8
      Dutch companies 288265-8.0
      French companies n.a90n.a
      Belgian companies3111-62.4
      Rhine countries2,378 *1.129-52.8

      Sources: Same as Figure 8
      * Total value takes into account an estimated value for France in 2019.

       

    • For companies in Danube countries, the existing data57 show significantly lower values than in Rhine countries. This can be explained by lower wage levels in Danube countries. Lower wages and therefore lower personnel costs imply lower total costs, especially in passenger transport which is quite labour-intensive. Lower total costs, in return, imply lower price levels and therefore also lower turnover figures.
    • As a second explanation, it should be recalled that large parts of the activities in passenger transport on the Danube, in particular river cruising, is carried out by companies from the Rhine region (see vessel data in the chapter on passenger transport).
    • Two countries in Europe outside the Rhine and Danube region with a considerable level of turnover in IWW passenger transport are Italy (202 million Euro in 2020) and Sweden (124 million Euro in 2020). It can be noted that for Italy, the turnover is almost entirely generated from the day trip activity. Both countries registered considerable losses in financial turnover due to the Covid pandemic. The turnover decreased by -54% and -67% respectively in 2020, compared to 2019.

     

    PERSONNEL COSTS AND WAGES

     

    • Eurostat SBS data show that annual personnel costs58 per employee are higher in IWW freight transport than in IWW passenger transport. For the average of Belgium, Germany and France,59 the average annual personnel costs in IWW freight transport were around 51,000 Euro per employee in 2020, compared to 24,000 Euro per employee in IWW passenger transport.
    • For eastern European countries, the ratio was 15,000 Euro per employee (freight transport) to 12,000 Euro per employee (passenger transport). These values also indicate that personnel costs per employee are at least twice as high in western Europe than in eastern Europe for passenger transport, and at least three times as high in freight transport. The missing data for the Netherlands and Switzerland make it difficult to indicate more precise relationships.
    • At the EU-27 level,60 the average was 44,000 Euro (freight transport) and 28,000 Euro (passenger transport). The higher average for the EU-27 compared to western and eastern Europe stems from the fact that Scandinavian countries such as Sweden play an important role in passenger transport, and the companies in this part of Europe pay the highest wages.
    • The most important part of personnel costs are wages. According to the Eurostat SBS database, the average share of wages within total personnel costs is 79% for IWW passenger transport and 80% for IWW freight transport in the EU-27.

• In 2022, the number of active river cruise vessels in Europe reached 410, representing 60,600 beds (compared to 407 active vessels in 2021 with 59,750 beds). The new building for river cruises remained rather slow, due to some extent by inflationary tendencies.
 
• With the start of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, a new development which has been observed is the increased demand for hotel capacity for war refugees from Ukraine. As a result, some vessels are being used as floating hotels, sometimes permanently or in parallel to their cruising activities, outside the main touristic seasons.
 
• Overall, 2022 can be seen as a year of recovery for the river cruise activity on the Rhine, Danube and Moselle, as shown by the positive figures in relation to the number of cruise vessels passing locks, passenger demand and the utilisation rate of river cruise vessels.

 
 

FLEET FOR RIVER CRUISES45

 

  • The active river cruise fleet in Europe46 represents more than 40% of the world active river cruise fleet. The fleet for river cruises in Europe is mainly concentrated on central European waterways47 (close to 75% of the total river cruise fleet in Europe). In 2022, the number of active river cruise vessels in Europe reached 410, representing 60,600 beds (compared to 407 active vessels in 2021 with 59,750 beds).
  • Despite the Covid-19 pandemic coming to an end, the new building for river cruises remained rather slow in 2022. The year was marked by inflationary tendencies, contributing to an increase in shipbuilding costs, acting as a hurdle for the newbuilding activity.
  • With the start of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, a new development that has been observed is the increased demand for hotel capacity for war refugees from Ukraine. In addition to that, the rising number of people asking for asylum in Europe also plays a role. As a result, some vessels are being used as floating hotels, in parallel to their cruising activities outside the main touristic seasons. Some vessels, particularly the oldest ones (more than 50 years old), are permanently turned into floating hotels with no prospect of resuming their river cruise activities. This was the case for six vessels in 2022, which were removed from the river cruise fleet statistics in 2022. In early 2023, outside the touristic seasons, 16 vessels were indicated as being used as floating hotels.
  •  

    FIGURE 1: NUMBER OF RIVER CRUISE VESSELS IN THE EU BY REGION OF OPERATION (2004 – 2023) *


    Source: A. Hader, The River Cruise Fleet Handbook (May 2023)
    * 2023: based on order book as of May 2023, of which 16 are temporarily being used as floating hotels.

     

  • In the 2022 season, five new vessels were built (compared to nine in 2021), two of which were commissioned in 2021 but postponed. The downward trend in new building orders is expected to continue in 2023, as only four new vessels are planned to be delivered.
  •   

    FIGURE 2: NEW RIVER CRUISE VESSELS FOR THE EUROPEAN MARKET 2004-2023 *


    Source: A. Hader, The River Cruise Fleet Handbook (May 2023)
    * 2023: based on order books as of May 2023

     

  • In 2022, the five new vessels brought an additional capacity of 980 beds (compared to 1,615 beds in 2021) to the river cruise market in Europe.
  •  

    FIGURE 3: NEW CRUISE CAPACITIES FROM 2020 TO 2023 PER REGION OF OPERATION (NUMBER OF BEDS) *


    Source: A. Hader, The River Cruise Fleet Handbook (May 2023)
    * R-M-D= Rhine/Main/Main-Danube Canal/Danube
    2023: based on order books as of May 2023.

     

  • After a decrease between 2014 and 2018, the average number of beds in new cruise vessels has been rising continuously. In 2022, the important increase in the average number of beds is explained by the entry into the market of the A-ROSA SENA which has a capacity of 280 beds.
  •  

    FIGURE 4: AVERAGE NUMBER OF BEDS IN NEW RIVER CRUISE VESSELS IN EUROPE BY YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION *


    Source: A. Hader, The River Cruise Fleet Handbook (May 2023)
    * Figure for 2023: forecast

 

DEMAND FOR RIVER CRUISES

 

  • The year 2022 shows that the river cruise sector is on the path to recovery, with values similar to, and sometimes higher than, pre-pandemic levels concerning vessels’ movements. Figures are also on the rise regarding the number of passengers embarking on river cruises and the passenger capacity utilisation rates of vessels.
  • Regarding the German travel market, the number of passengers who booked a river cruise in Germany increased by +75.0% in 2022, to attain 319,977 passengers. Those numbers are however still -40.8% below the passenger numbers recorded for the year 2019 (with 541,133 passengers).48
  • The yearly cruise vessel movement figures for the Danube, Rhine and Moselle show a remarkable rebound in 2022, compared to 2021. In terms of vessel movements, the cruising activity on the Upper Danube (at the Austrian-German border) and the Moselle were respectively +5% and +1% above the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. However, the cruising activity on the Rhine was still -6.5% below the level of 2019.
  • The utilisation rate of the river cruise vessels passing the locks is also a key indicator with regard to assessing the recovery of the river cruise sector. For the year 2022, overall, this sector still reported lower utilisation rates of cruise vessels compared to the pre-pandemic levels. However, this indicator shows positive evolutions, as suggested by the data obtained for the Danubian river cruise sector (see following box – focus on capacity utilisation in the river cruise sector).
  •  

    FIGURES 5, 6 AND 7: YEARLY NUMBER OF CRUISE VESSEL TRANSITS ON DANUBE, RHINE AND MOSELLE




    Sources: German Waterway and Shipping Administration (WSV) and Moselle Commission
    * Danube = Upper Danube, Austrian-German border (lock of Jochenstein)
    Rhine = Upper Rhine (lock of Iffezheim)
    Moselle = lock of Koblenz

     

  • For two stretches of the Danube (Upper and Middle Danube), data regarding vessel movements and the number of passengers is available from 2015 onwards. This geographical distinction makes it possible to observe differences in cruising intensity on the different stretches of the Danube. The analysis shows that the activity is highest on the Upper Danube. Cruising activity on the Middle Danube south of Budapest is lower than on the Danube stretches upstream of Budapest.

 

FIGURES 8, 9 AND 10: EVOLUTION OF VESSEL MOVEMENTS AND PASSENGER NUMBERS PER STRETCHES OF THE DANUBE AND AVERAGE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS PER VESSEL *




Source: Danube Commission
* Upper Danube DE-AT = Austrian-German border (lock of Jochenstein)
Upper Danube SK-HU = Slovakian-Hungarian border (lock of Gabčíkovo)
Middle Danube HU-HR-RS = Hungarian-Croatian-Serbian border (border point of Mohács in southern Hungary)

 

  • Most of the passenger traffic in the Sava and Kupa river ports is recorded at the Port of Belgrade in Serbia. Since 2015, the number of river cruise passengers recorded by the Port of Belgrade (passenger terminal) has increased constantly, from 60,000 passengers in 2015 to 104,000 in 2019. This reflects the positive evolution of cruising activity observed on the Danube. Indeed, most of the cruise vessels that stop in Belgrade are generally for cruises that take place along the Danube and stop in the main eastern European capitals.
  • As is the case in other regions, passenger traffic suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic. In Belgrade, only 561 passengers were recorded by the port in 2020, compared to 19,000 in 2021. In 2022, the number of passengers increased to 55,069, a figure which remains below the pre-pandemic levels (103,523), but which is also a positive sign towards a return to normality. In addition, at the beginning of May 2023, Serbia opened the Sava River new passenger terminal in Sremska Mitrovica while the opening of another passenger terminal in Šabac is expected this year. This should certainly support the development of passenger transport in the region. Navigability conditions on the waterways also remain an obstacle for the further development of passenger transport in this region.49
  •  
    FOCUS ON CAPACITY UTILISATION IN THE RIVER CRUISE SECTOR

    • The analysis of the capacity utilisation of a fleet enables a thorough overview to be undertaken of how the supply/demand relationship evolves throughout the years.
    • The degree of capacity utilisation of river cruise vessels on the Upper Danube can be calculated on the basis of data provided by the German Waterway Administration on river cruise vessels passing the lock of Jochenstein (German-Austrian border) on the Danube.
    •  

      FIGURE 11: DEGREE OF CAPACITY UTILISATION OF RIVER CRUISE VESSELS ON THE DANUBE (%) *


      * At the lock of Jochenstein (German-Austrian border)
      Capacity utilisation = ratio of number of passengers divided by passenger capacity.

       

    • This figure brings to the fore the recovery of the river cruise sector on the Danube. In fact, during the year 2022, a catch-up phenomenon for capacity utilisation could be observed, when comparing the 2022 data with 2019. Even though such data were not available for the Rhine and the Moselle, passenger demand is expected to increase, as suggested by different sources.50 This will certainly have a positive effect on the degree of capacity utilisation.
    •  
       

    AGE STRUCTURE OF THE RHINE PASSENGER FLEET

    • As far as the passenger fleet is concerned, a distinction is made between passenger ferries, river cruise and passenger day-trip vessels. The following figure provides the best available representation of the current fleet and its evolution over time. However, it might be the case that vessels which are inactive today are included in these figures and that some of the newest vessels are not included. Most passenger ferries and passenger day trip vessels were built in the 20th century. The newbuilding activity for river cruises has been particularly intense in the 21st century.
    •  

      FIGURE 12: COMMISSIONING YEARS FOR THE RHINE PASSENGER FLEET OVER TIME (NUMBER OF INLAND VESSELS)


      Sources: IVR, CCNR analysis
      Note that two river cruise vessels and 20 day-trip vessels have an unknown year of construction. The database of IVR accounts for active vessels but also includes some inactive vessels, in particular those commissioned in earlier years.

    • In 2022, the war in Ukraine, the sanctions against Russia, the changes in global energy flows and the low water episode of the summer impacted inland waterway transport in the European ports significantly.
     
    • With regard to the main European seaports, on the one hand, the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp-Bruges and Constanta all registered a decrease in the volumes of inland waterway cargo handling (-4.0%, -7.5% and -2.9% respectively). On the other hand, the North Sea Port and the Port of Hamburg both registered a significant growth (+7%), mainly driven by an increase in the transport of petroleum products.
     
    • The overall 2022 results for the inland ports under study reflect a decrease with the exception of the two Ukrainian ports of Reni (+ 398.2%) and Ismail (+118.4%), on the Danube, which recorded an exceptional growth of inland waterway transport volumes. They benefitted from the Danube Solidarity Lanes EU-Ukraine initiative ensuring continuity of trade, and the export of agricultural products from Ukraine.

     

    MAIN EUROPEAN SEAPORTS


      Sources: Ports’ statistics, Destatis, CBS, Eurostat [iww_go_aport] and Danube Commission
      * For Szczecin, data are for 2021.


      Source: Romanian national Institute of Statistics
       

      ROTTERDAM

      • In 2022, 82,763 inland vessels called at the Port of Rotterdam. The volumes of inland waterway cargo handling at the Port of Rotterdam decreased by -4.1% to 151.3 million tonnes in 2022 (compared to 157.7 million tonnes in 2021). While the handling of liquid cargo (-5.4%), and containerised cargo (-11.2%) decreased, the handling of dry cargo (+1.9%) increased. The war in Ukraine, the sanctions against Russia, the changes in global energy flows and the low water episode of the summer 2022 were the main drivers underlying these trends in 2022.
      •  

        FIGURE 1: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF ROTTERDAM (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: CBS
        * Note that data from the Port of Rotterdam based on CBS data were used in previous years, which can explain a difference in the numbers reported in the last years. However, the overall trends remain identical.

         

        FIGURE 2: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF ROTTERDAM PER CARGO SEGMENT (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: CBS
        * General cargo is not taken into account in these calculations. In 2022, the volume transported for general cargo amounted to 3.4 million tonnes.

         

      ANTWERP-BRUGES

      • The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge have been operating under the name ‘Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ since April 2022. Most of IWW cargo handling at the port takes place on the Antwerp site. In 2022, the number of vessels calling at the port decreased to 57,961 (compared 60,819 in 2021).
      • Liquid bulk is the most important cargo type (56.1%), followed by containers (22.6%) and dry bulk (13.8%). The IWW cargo handling decreased in 2022 (-7.5%) reaching a volume of 101.2 million tonnes (compared to 109.4 in 2021).29 This result was driven by a sharp decrease in the transport of liquid bulk (-8.7%), in particular petroleum products (-12.7%). Containers (-10.9%) also sustained a sharp decrease because of the disruptions in global containerised liner shipping, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. Dry bulk increased slightly (+1.5%) driven by higher transport volumes of crude minerals, building materials and solid mineral fuels.
      • The IWW modal split within total maritime throughput (excluding industrial traffic30 ) in 2022 was 51.4%, the same as in 2021. The IWW modal split share within container transport to and from the hinterland was 35.1%.
      •  

        FIGURE 3: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF ANTWERP-BRUGES (IN MILLION TONNES) *



        Source: Port of Antwerp-Bruges
        * From 2021 onwards, figures for inland waterway cargo handling at the Port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge appear under the name “Port of Antwerp-Bruges”.

         

        FIGURE 4: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF ANTWERP-BRUGES PER CARGO SEGMENT (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: Port of Antwerp-Bruges
        * Ro/ro general and not assigned goods are not taken into account in these calculations (in 2022, the volume transported for these three cargo types amounted to 7.4 million tonnes, mostly attributed to general goods).
        From 2021 onwards, figures for inland waterway cargo handling at the Port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge appear under the name “Port of Antwerp-Bruges”.

      NORTH SEA PORT

      • In 2022, 40,645 inland vessels called in at North Sea Port (Ghent, Terneuzen, Borsele, Flushing), compared to 40,912 in 2021. Despite a lower number of vessels calling at the port, inland navigation cargo handling at North Sea Port experienced a record year for the second time in a row.31
        Its volume reached 64.6 million tonnes in 2022 (+8.0% compared to 2021). Liquid bulk grew significantly (+19.6% compared to 2021), reaching its highest level since 2017. This is driven by a strong increase in the transport of petroleum products which can be explained on the one hand by a restauration of the volumes to pre-pandemic levels and, on the other hand, by a more accurate registration of inland navigation volume within the port’s database for this specific segment. However, dry bulk decreased
        (-6.9% compared to 2021). Container transport decreased (-8.6% compared to 2021) for the second year in a row. This is mainly linked to disruptions within global containerised liner shipping, particularly between Asia and Europe.
      • As for the modal split within hinterland transport, inland navigation ranks first with a share of 58% followed by road (30%), rail (10%) and transhipment or feeder traffic (2%).
      •  

        FIGURE 5: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE NORTH SEA PORT (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: North Sea Port
        * Ro/ro and conventional cargo are not taken into account in these calculations (in 2022, the volume transported for these two cargo types amounted to respectively 0.5 million tonnes and 3.4 million tonnes).

         

      CONSTANŢA

      • In Constanţa, 10,890 inland vessels called at the port in 2022 (10,619 in 2021). IWT traffic remained on a similar level as in 2021 with 15.4 million tonnes. Since the beginning of the war, the cargo handled at the port of Constanţa in relation with Ukraine has registered 11.85 million tonnes, of which 5.4 million tonnes were river traffic and 6.4 million tonnes were maritime traffic. It is mainly attributed to the transport of grain.
      • Regarding IWT specifically, mainly dry cargo is handled at the Port of Constanţa, with a share of 85% of the total cargo volume handled in 2022. Dry cargo volumes however registered a -10% decrease compared to 2021. Liquid cargo saw a substantial increase of +59.3% compared to 2021. Container transport reached a record year, increasing by 16 times. It however remains at low levels (202,000 tonnes). General cargo more than doubled. As was the case in 2021, cabotage and transit traffic combined had a share of 98% in 2022 while export and import traffic had a share of only 2%.
      •  

        FIGURE 6: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF CONSTANŢA (IN MILLION TONNES)


        Sources: Port of Constanţa
         

      HAMBURG

      • IWT cargo handling was +7.2% higher in 2022 (7.47 million tonnes) compared to 2021 (6.97 million tonnes). Exports experienced a higher increase (+10.5%) than imports (+4.5%). This development was mainly driven by more liquid bulk transport, which had a strong rise of +31.6%, returning almost to its pre-pandemic level. This is attributed to petroleum products (+37.7%). The year 2022 therefore brings a stop to the yearly and steady decline observed in this market segment since 2015.
      • Containers and dry cargo volumes decreased slightly, by -1.9% and -2.8% respectively. For dry cargo, this was mainly driven by ores and mining products (-14.9%) for the second year in a row (already -18% in 2021 compared to 2020). Ores are the second most important cargo type at the Port of Hamburg. In line with 2021, when transport of coal, crude oil and natural gas had already experienced a strong upwards movement by +70%, this cargo type (the third largest at the port of Hamburg), also increased by +12.2% in 2022. This is mainly driven by a rise in coal transport, attributed to the high gas prices observed in 2021, further enhanced in 2022 by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, resulting in a shift towards coal in the energy sector.
      • In 2022, the entire hinterland transport amounted to 88 million tonnes (compared to 92 million tonnes in 2021). With a share of 53.9% (+1.0 percentage point), railway transport is ahead of truck transport with 37.6% (-2.1 percentage point) and inland waterway transport with 8.5% (+0.9 percentage point).
      •  

        FIGURE 7: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF HAMBURG (IN MILLION TONNES)


        Source: Statistical Office of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein
         

        FIGURE 8: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN THE SEAPORT OF HAMBURG PER CARGO SEGMENT (IN MILLION TONNES) *


        Source: Statistical Office of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein
        * General cargo is not taken into account in these calculations (in 2022, the volume transported for this cargo type amounted to almost 0.2 million tonnes).

     
     

    MAIN EUROPEAN INLAND PORTS32

      RHINE PORTS

        TABLE 1: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN MAJOR RHINE PORTS (IN MILLION TONNES) AND RATE OF CHANGE 2022/2021 *

        20192020202120222022/2021
        Duisburg47.842.444.941.9-6.8%
        Cologne9.19.19.88.2-16.7%
        Mannheim7.96.97.37.6+3.4%
        Karlsruhe6.96.26.46.8+6.2%
        Strasbourg7.56.86.96.4-8.9%
        Neuss6.96.56.65.6-14.7%
        Ludwigshafen6.66.86.95.6-18.7%
        Basel6.15.15.44.6-14.9%
        Mulhouse4.94.24.13.6-11.6%
        Mainz3.73.83.13.5+11.6%
        Kehl4.24.44.43.2-28.1%
        Krefeld3.63.03.43.1-8.3%
        Andernach2.72.72.72.3-13.1%
        Wesseling2.72.52.12.1-0.5%
        Wesel2.02.02.11.9-7.3%
        Total122.6112.4116.3106.5-8.7%

        Sources: Destatis, Port de Strasbourg, Swiss Rhine ports, Port de Mulhouse
        The “total” relates only to the ports mentioned in the table, not all Rhine ports.
        * Data on German ports are based on the geographical approach, which means that all cargo turnover within a city is taken into account and not only the cargo handled in a specific port.

         

        TOTAL YEARLY WATERSIDE TRAFFIC (IN MILLION TONNES)

       

      PORTS IN GERMANY OUTSIDE THE RHINE *

        TABLE 2: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN MAJOR NON-RHINE PORTS IN GERMANY (IN MILLION TONNES) AND RATE OF CHANGE 2022/2021

        20192020202120222022/2021
        Hamburg8.77.97.68.3+8.5%
        Gelsenkirchen4.74.64.94.9-0.2%
        Frankfurt am Main5.45.75.44.8-11.6%
        Bremen2.82.73.33.2-1.7%
        Marl3.33.23.12.9-7.3%
        Brunsbüttel3.12.72.82.8-0.9%
        Saarlouis2.61.92.62.8+7.7%
        Bottrop3.83.12.82.8-1.3%
        Salzgitter2.92.22.72.7-1.0%
        Lünen2.61.82.32.6+10.1%
        Magdeburg2.32.62.72.4-9.9%
        Hamm2.82.72.12.1-2.6%
        Lingen (Ems)2.31.92.12.0-4.5%
        Heilbronn2.31.82.21.9-12.3%
        Berlin1.91.81.81.7-4.7%
        Total51.546.648.447.7-1.4%

        Source: Destatis
        * Data on German ports are based on the geographical approach, which means that all cargo turnover within a city is taken into account and not only the cargo handled in a specific port. For Hamburg, the figures according to this approach are therefore higher than the figures of the Port of Hamburg, due to other transshipment places in the city.

         

        TOTAL YEARLY WATERSIDE TRAFFIC (IN MILLION TONNES)


         

      DUTCH PORTS

        TABLE 3: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN MAJOR DUTCH PORTS (IN MILLION TONNES) AND RATE OF CHANGE 2022/2021

        20192020202120222022/2021
        Rotterdam151.7148.8157.7 151.3-4.0%
        Amsterdam57.350.756.356.3-2.2%
        Vlissingen18.9 15.921.1 24.6+16.9%
        Terneuzen13.813.412.7 11.6-8.3%
        Moerdijk8.99.19.79.4-3.1%
        Sittard-Geleen6.8 6.47.16.7-5.6%
        Velsen6.5 6.87.26.7-6.3%
        Dordrecht5.5 5.96.55.9-7.4%
        Delfzijl5.2 4.14.55.0+13.7%
        Stein3.1 3.03.33.2-0.6%
        Nijmegen2.5 2.82.92.9+2.3%
        Gennep3.1 3.13.32.9-9.7%
        Hengelo (O)4.0 3.83.62.9-19.2%
        Sluis2.7 3.02.92.8-5.0%
        Urk5.4 2.40.50.2-58.1%
        Total295.3279.1300.5292.9-2.5%

        Source: CBS
         

        TOTAL YEARLY WATERSIDE TRAFFIC (IN MILLION TONNES)


         

      FRENCH AND BELGIAN PORTS

        TABLE 4: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN MAJOR FRENCH AND BELGIAN PORTS (IN MILLION TONNES) AND RATE OF CHANGE 2022/2021

        20192020202120222022/2021
        Antwerp101.3101109.433101.2-7.5%
        Paris25.322.822.520.6-8.5%
        Liège16.013.914.914.5-2.5%
        La Louvière6.96.26.46.8+6.1%
        Strasbourg7.56.86.96.4-8.9%
        Brussels5.24.95.45.1-7.0%
        Rouen5.55.95.44.9-9.6%
        Namur4.63.84.34.3-1.2%
        Mulhouse4.94.24.13.6-11.6%
        Le Havre3.42.73.03.2+6.3%
        Marseille2.81.92.02.1+4.5%
        Lille1.92.02.32.4+3.3%
        Dunkirk2.52.92.62.1-20.6%
        Metz2.22.01.71.8+1.1%
        Lyon1.11.01.21.2-0.3%
        Villefranche-sur-Saône 0.80.70.70.7+3.0%
        Total191.9183.4193.1180.8-6.4%

        Sources: Voies Navigables de France, Ports de Paris, Port de Liège, Port Autonome du Centre et de l’Ouest, Port de Strasbourg, Port de Mulhouse, Port de Bruxelles, Port de Namur, Nouveau Port de Metz, Port de Lille, Port de Dunkerque, Port of Antwerp-Bruges
        The “total” relates only to the ports mentioned in the table, and not to all French and Belgian ports.

         

        TOTAL YEARLY WATERSIDE TRAFFIC (IN MILLION TONNES)


         

       

      DANUBE PORTS

        TABLE 5: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN MAJOR DANUBE PORTS (IN MILLION TONNES) AND RATE OF CHANGE 2022/2021

        20192020202120222022/2021
        Constanţa14.514.515.815.4-2.9%
        Ismail4.33.24.18.9+118.4%
        Reni1.30.81.46.8+398.2%
        Smederovo4.02.63.23.0-3.9%
        Galaţi3.12.83.33.0-8.8%
        Linz3.33.43.52.9-15.9%
        Giurgulesti1.31.21.82.1+17.9%
        Bratislava1.71.51.81.9+4.8%
        Pancevo1.52.00.91.6+69.9%
        Regensburg1.31.51.31.1-16.9%
        Drobeta Turnu Severin1.21.01.21.0-12.7%
        Budapest-Csepel1.11.21.21.0-17.8%
        Prahovo1.11.21.00.9-11.1%
        Măcin-Turcoaia0.91.21.20.9-26.4%
        Novi Sad1.41.61.40.9-31.8%
        Giurgiu0.80.81.00.7-32.5%
        Vienna1.20.80.90.6-37.1%
        Călăraşi-Chiciu1.10.90.90.6-38.9%
        Enns0.80.60.70.5-17.6%
        Tulcea1.61.21.30.5-63.9%
        Baja0.50.80.60.3-47.4%
        Total50.846.948.754.9+12.7%

        Sources: Danube Commission market observation, Romanian National Institute of Statistics
        The “total” relates only to the ports mentioned in the table and not all Danube ports. The data used in Figure 6 come from the Port of Constanţa while the data used in this table come from the Romanian National Institute of Statistics. This can explain the slight difference in the figures reported.

         

        TOTAL YEARLY WATERSIDE TRAFFIC (IN MILLION TONNES)


         

       

      SAVA PORTS

        TABLE 6: INLAND WATERWAY CARGO HANDLING IN MAJOR SAVA PORTS (IN 1,000 TONNES) AND RATE OF CHANGE 2022/2021 *

        20162017201820192020202120222022/2021
        Serbia
        Other ports --6829492.12.2833.2+40.2%
        Sremska Mitrovica 2611892345604866931.194+72.3%
        Šabac 135170149149170224142-36.6%
        Croatia
        Slavonski Brod 198117131199138192161-16.4%
        Sisak 90606670552938+31.0%
        Bosnia and Herzegovina
        Brčko 15813698125733141+31.0%
        Brod oil refinery 2010298000
        Total8626821.3892.063.0223.4524.775+38.3%

        Source: International Sava River Basin Commission
        * In 2015, the Port of Šamac in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported bankruptcy, therefore no transshipment of cargo has been recorded since then. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and reconstruction of the Brod oil refinery in 2021, no transshipment at the river terminal was recorded in 2020 and 2021. Since 2018, data for smaller transshipment places in Serbia began to be collected which explains the increasing amount of transshipped goods recorded in Serbia for those years.

         

        TOTAL YEARLY WATERSIDE TRAFFIC (IN THOUSAND TONNES)