• Cross-border traffic makes up for 53% of all IWT transport in the EU. This type of transport also represents 57% of all IWT traffic in the Rhine basin and 35% in the Danube basin.

• Cross border traffic is particularly important between the Netherlands and Germany, especially due to large volumes of commodities being transported from the Dutch seaports to Germany.

• The EU transport performance on European inland waterways is mainly driven by the performance in Rhine countries, which accounts for 84% of the total IWT performance in the EU plus Switzerland.

• The volume of goods transported on the traditional Rhine decreased by 11% compared to 2017, resulting mainly from the low water period and the cooling down of the business cycle in the second half of 2018.

• Goods transport on the Lower Danube, which accounts for 75% of total transport performance on the Danube, showed resilience to low waters and increased volumes in 2018, while the Upper and Middle Danube were negatively impacted.

• Container transport continued its upward movement in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, while it fell by 10% on the Rhine, as a result of low water levels in autumn 2018.

 

 

Inland navigation goods transport in Europe

SHARE OF THE COUNTRIES’ TONNES-KM (TKM) IN TOTAL TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE (SHARE IN %)

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo], OCDE (Switzerland, Serbia)

 

 

IWT TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN 2015, 2016, 2017 AND 2018 IN MAIN EU IWT COUNTRIES (TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN MILLION TKM)

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]

 

QUARTERLY TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE EVOLUTION IN MAIN IWT EU COUNTRIES (TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN MILLION TKM)

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave]

 

 

  • Rhine countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland) account for 84% of total inland waterway transport performance in the EU plus Switzerland. Danube countries have a share of 16%, and all other countries taken together have a share of almost zero percent.

 

YEARLY INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN EU COUNTRIES (IN BILLION TKM IN 2018)*

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]
* Data for UK and Italy not yet available for 2018

 

  • According to Eurostat figures[iww_go_atygo], ores, sands, stones and building materials account for 26% of total IWW transport performance in the EU plus Switzerland. The energy sector (petroleum products and coal) represents 25%. Agricultural products and food products account for 15%. Goods in containers represent 11%, as is the case for chemicals. The share of metals is 6%, and wastes and secondary raw materials (including scrap steel) account for 3%.

 

Evolution of total IWT and of cross-border traffic in the EU

 

YEARLY INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN THE EU (IN BILLION TKM)

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]

 

  • Cross-border transport performance had a share of 52% of all IWW transport performance in the EU in 2018, and this figure has been quite stable since 2007. National traffic represented 27%, and transit traffic 21%.
  • In Rhine countries, the different types of transport vary between the countries. In Germany 40% of all transport performance is made up of imports (cross-border transport – import), due to the large volumes of commodities, notably for the steel industry (iron ore, coal), that are imported from seaports in the Netherlands. The Netherlands have a high share of exports (cross-border transport – exports), which mirrors the high imports of Germany.

 

INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN RHINE COUNTRIES ACCORDING TO TYPE OF TRANSPORT IN 2018 (IN MILLION TKM)

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]

 

  • In many Danube countries (Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia), transit transport has a very high share in total transport performance, reflecting the long-distance transport between the ports at the Black See and the Danube hinterland. Austria is not so much a transit country, but rather a country of destination of large volumes of Danube transport. In Austria, 49% of transport performance is import traffic, the main reason being the steel industry of the country with its large needs of raw materials such as iron ore and coal, which are transshipped at the Black Sea ports and transported upstream on the Danube.

 

INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT VOLUME IN DANUBE COUNTRIES ACCORDING TO TYPE OF TRANSPORT IN 2018 (IN MILLION TKM)

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_atygo]

 

Inland navigation goods transport in main European river basins

 

 

 

  • In the following sub-chapter, goods transport on inland waterways with a yearly transport volume of at least 1 million tonnes are presented. The majority of the data was provided by national waterway administrations (for Germany, Belgium and France) For Belgium: De Vlaamse Waterweg for Flanders, and Direction générale opérationnelle de la Mobilité et des Voies hydrauliques for Wallonia; for France: Voies Navigables de France ; for Germany: Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt, for the Netherlands: Rijkswaterstaat / Panteia. In these cases, transport data are recorded by the waterway administrations at locks. The locks which served as a basis for the statistical findings were selected in order to provide the most representative picture for IWW goods transport in each basin.
  • Data on Danube and Rhine navigation are presented separately. For the Danube, the data come from the market observation of the Danube Commission, which collects them from waterway administrations of Danube countries. The source for the Rhine data is the German Statistical Office (Destatis). For the Netherlands, raw data from Rijkswaterstaat were received via Panteia.
  • Apart from the total goods transport volumes per waterway, volumes for major goods segments are also presented. Only the major goods segments per waterway are hereby taken into account in order to focus on the main characteristics of goods transport on each waterway.

 

IWW transport per type of goods in the Rhine basin and in Western Europe

 

TRADITIONAL RHINE (IN MILLION TONNES)

Source: Destatis, CCNR

 

  • Traditional Rhine transport (from Basel to the German-Dutch border) amounted to 165 million tonnes in 2018, 11% less than in 2017. The main reason was the low water levels, while the cooling down of the business cycle in the second half of 2018 played another, although much smaller role. Even for goods segments with an increasing long run trend, such as containers and chemicals, the hydrological conditions in the second half of 2018 were far too difficult, with the result that all goods segments witnessed a decrease compared to 2017.

 

 

  • The dry cargo segment with the lowest rate of decrease was sand, stones and building materials (-5%). Liquid cargo registered falling volumes as well (chemicals: -13%, mineral oil products: -14%). Container transport decreased by 13% (net weight in containers), compared to -10% for the TEU.
  • Container transport on the middle and upper Rhine (those two Rhine stretches account for 49% of all transport performance of container transport on the traditional Rhine), was severely limited in late autumn 2018. Seen from this perspective, the drop of 10% for the year 2018 can even be regarded as a relatively limited impact.

 

GOODS TRANSPORTED ON THE TRADITIONAL RHINE BY TYPE OF GOODS (IN MILLION TONNES)*

Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis
* for containers: net-weight

 

Inland waterways in the Netherlands

 

 

  • For the country with the highest inland waterway goods transport in Europe, a distinction was made between waterways with locks and those without locks. The Amsterdam Rijnkanaal appears within both waterway categories, as one part of it has locks and another part has no locks. This canal is an essential linkage of the seaport of Amsterdam with the Rhine and its hinterland.
  • The following figure includes waterways without locks. The Waal is an estuary branch of the Rhine in the Netherlands (part of the southern branch) while the Lek is part of the northern branch. The Hollands Diep is a broad estuary branch of the Rhine-Maas delta near the North Sea with a closure dam at the seaside.
  • It is the continuation of the Nieuwe Merwede, itself a continuation of the Waal. The Oude Maas is another distributary of the Rhine. The Ijssel is the only free flowing branch of the Rhine flowing into the Ijsselmeer.

 

THE NETHERLANDS – TRANSPORT VOLUME ON WATERWAYS WITHOUT LOCKS (MILLION TONNES)

Source: Rijkswaterstaat and analysis Panteia

 

  • Within the waterways that are equipped with locks, the Schelde-Rijn-Verbinding is an important linkage between Antwerp and the Rhine and Rotterdam. The Gent-Terneuzen-Verbinding is linking the port of Ghent with the Schelde river (with its estuary part near the North Sea).

 

THE NETHERLANDS – TRANSPORT VOLUME ON WATERWAYS WITH LOCKS (MILLION T)

Source: Rijkswaterstaat and analysis Panteia

 

  • The following figures contain detailed goods transport statistics for four selected Dutch waterways. In this case, only the four major goods segments are depicted in order to concentrate on the main features of a waterway.
  • The river Waal has a high share of commodities related to the steel industry. This is due to the fact that it represents one part of the southern Rhine estuary branch, on which iron ores and coal are delivered from Rotterdam to the Ruhr area in Germany.
  • On the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal, sands and mineral oil products play an important role. It may be noted here that Amsterdam is the world’s largest gasoline port, and that the traffic of gasoline and components is very high in the region. (See also the analysis of freight rates and transport volumes for the tanker barge corporation CITBO in chapter 3).

 

INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT ON SELECTED DUTCH WATERWAYS PER GOODS SEGMENT (MILLION T)*

Source: Rijkswaterstaat and analysis Panteia
* Mop = Mineral oil products

 

Waal

Amsterdam Rijnkanaal

Hollands Diep

Maas

 

Inland waterways in Germany

 

 

  • The German inland waterways were subdivided into four main geographical regions: West, North, South and East. Even without the Rhine, the West has the highest number of inland waterways with a significant transport volume of more than 1 million tonnes per year.
  • A network of four major canals (west German canals) serve as transport routes for distributing final products from refineries, chemicals, and for delivering raw materials to coal fired power plants. One of these canals is the Rhine-Herne-Canal, on which 5 million tonnes of mineral oil products are transported each year. More than 2 million are found on the Dortmund-Ems-Canal. On both canals, this segment registered an increase in recent years. On the Wesel-Datteln-Canal, around 3 million tonnes of mineral oil products are transported each year, and more than 1 million tonnes on the Datteln-Hamm Canal. The Moselle and the Saar are two Rhine affluents in the West where iron ore and coal have the highest share in goods transport, due to the steel industry in the Saar region.
  • The northern waterways (Elbe, Elbe-Seiten-Canal, Mittelland Canal, Weser) come in second place in Germany in terms of transported volumes. They are located in the hinterland of the largest German seaport (Hamburg), with mineral oil products being the main cargo segment on the Elbe and the Elbe-Seiten-Canal, and agricultural products on the Mittelland Canal.
  • Four waterways are found in the southern part of Germany: the two Rhine affluents Main and Neckar, the Main-Danube Canal and the Danube. The largest goods segment on the Main and Neckar are sand, stones and building materials, which are transported mainly towards the Rhine. On the Main-Danube Canal and the Danube, goods transport is dominated by Agribulk, animal fodder and food products.
  • On inland waterways in eastern Germany, sand, stones and building materials play an important role (Lower Havel near Berlin, Spree-Oder-Wasserstraße), and even follow an increasing trend.

 

GERMANY – WATERWAYS IN THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN PARTS OF THE COUNTRY (MILLION T)

Source: Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt


 

GERMANY – WATERWAYS IN THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN PARTS OF THE COUNTRY (MILLION T)

Source: Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt
* VK = Verbindungskanal (linkage canal), WS = Wasserstraße (waterway)


 

IWT in Germany per waterway and goods segment

 

  • In order to give an overview of the main product categories per waterway, only the four largest segments are shown in the following figures.

 

GERMANY – WEST (IN MIO. T)

Source: Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt
* MoP: mineral oil products

 

Wesel-Datteln-Kanal

Rhein-Herne-Kanal

Datteln-Hamm-Kanal

Dortmund-Ems-Kanal


Mosel

Saar