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Outlook and specific developments

  • In Sweden, river-sea actors are calling for further alignment of the Swedish inland waterway regulation (implementing the EU Directive 2006/87) with other inland water regulations in the EU, in order to strengthen the competitivity of river-sea transport. Sweden is also one of the very few countries that applies fairway dues for calling ships (with fees dependent on the size of the ship and the weight of the cargo carried). Added to this, pilot fees are expensive.

 

RIVER-SEA TRANSPORT IN ROMANIA

 

Definitions and waterway areas

  • The Lower Danube region in Romania plays an important role for river-sea transport in Europe. Three categories of Danube ports can be identified in Romania: seaports (such as the port of Constanza), river-sea ports (Galati, Braila and Tulcea) and river ports.
  • The river-sea status of the ports of Galati, Braila and Tulcea enables seagoing ships coming from the Black Sea to sail upstream on the Danube to these ports where they can load or unload cargo. The statistical data concerning these three ports are therefore a major source for evaluating the level and the structure of river-sea transport on the Lower Danube.
  • Braila is the boundary port between the “maritime” Danube and the “river” Danube. Downstream of Braila, the Danube is often also called the “maritime Danube”, due to its river-sea character. Upstream of Braila, Danube traffic is classic river traffic (See the article by Radu SAGEATA (2011), River and Sea transports in Romania in the EU strategy for the Danube region perspective). Galati is the biggest river-sea port in Romania and the city of Galati hosts a large industrial area (steel industry).

 


Source: CCNR

Transport by origin and destination

  • Data from the Romanian National Institute of Statistics indicate a volume of almost 1.9 million tonnes of traffic loaded or unloaded by seagoing ships in 2018 in the three river-sea ports mentioned above. The three ports of Galati, Braila and Tulcea represent the river-sea ports of Romania, while Constanza is a seaport.

 

TABLE 2: CARGO VOLUME TRANSHIPPED BY SEAGOING VESSELS IN THE ROMANIAN RIVER-SEA PORTS OF GALATI, TULCEA AND BRAILA (IN 1,000 TONNES)

 201020112012201320142015201620172018
Galati1,7831,5901,3011,2971,2221,3571,2481,1771,320
Braila841703352555565494490410481
Tulcea52125804918999056
Total2,6762,4181,7421,9011,8051,8601,7471,6771,857

Source: Romanian National Institute of Statistics (several annual reports of the series “Harbour transport of goods and passengers”)

 

  • The evolution of river-sea traffic in the three Romanian river-sea ports has shown a constant tendency since 2012, but a certain decrease between 2010 and 2012.

 

FIGURE 6: EVOLUTION OF RIVER-SEA TRANSPORT IN ROMANIAN RIVER-SEA PORTS (IN 1,000 TONNES)

Chart by Visualizer

Source: Romanian National Institute of Statistics (several annual reports of the series “Harbour transport of goods and passengers”)

 

  • There is no detailed statistical information about the countries of loading and unloading of cargo transhipped by river-sea transport for Romania. However, the following table shows that non-EU countries play a quite important role in export traffic (loaded goods). From the Danube Commission’s Market Observation, it can be concluded that the countries of loading and unloading are located mainly in the Mediterranean basin, and in particular in northern Africa, as agricultural products are exported from the Danube region to north Africa and to Spain.

 

TABLE 3: STRUCTURE OF CARGO VOLUME TRANSHIPPED BY SEAGOING SHIPS IN THE RIVER-SEA PORTS OF GALATI, TULCEA, BRAILA (IN 1,000 TONNES, IN 2018)

Loaded goods (exports) Unloaded goods (imports)Total
Intra EU tradeExtra EU tradeIntra EU tradeExtra EU tradeTotal
Galati396560752891,320
Braila2581523536481
Tulcea6050056
Total6607121603251,857

Source: Romanian National Institute of Statistics

 

  • Apart from the loading and unloading activities of seagoing ships in the three river-sea ports themselves, the Sulina Canal, which runs from Tulcea to the Black Sea, is mainly used by seagoing ships.
  • Regarding the volume of cargo traffic on the Sulina Canal, viadonau’s annual report explains that within maritime transport on the Danube, via river-sea ships or sea ships, 4.3 million tonnes of goods were transported via the Romanian Sulina Canal in 2017 (+14.4% compared to 2016) (Source: viadonau (2019), Jahresbericht Donauschifffahrt in Österreich (Annual Report on Danube Navigation in Austria), page 41).
  • In addition, the Danube Commission’s market observation reports mention the Sulina Canal as a waterway with river-sea traffic and indicate the same amount of traffic as viadonau.

 

TABLE 4: RIVER-SEA TRANSPORT ON THE SULINA CANAL, LINKING THE BLACK SEA WITH THE DANUBE (IN MIO. T)

 20142015201620172018
Total3.663.853.764.314.44
Danube → Black Sea3.243.263.253.613.67
Black Sea → Danube0.420.580.510.700.77

Source: Danube Commission market observation

 

  • A third waterway with river-sea traffic, although at a lower degree, is the Danube-Black Sea Canal, that runs between the seaport Constanza and the Danube. In 2017, according to viadonau, 57,000 tonnes of cargo were transported by river-sea ships or seagoing ships on this canal. The total amount of cargo on this canal was much higher in 2017 and represented 13.8 million tonnes.
  • Navigation on the Danube is endangered in winter, when the water freezes once every 2-3 years for a period of some 30-40 days, with floating ice blocks on the channel when the ice thaws.
  • The difference between the volumes documented for the Sulina Canal (4.4 million tonnes) and the volumes documented for the three Romanian river-sea ports (1.86 million tonnes) can be explained by the fact that the Sulina Canal not only relays the three Romanian river-sea ports to the Black Sea, but also the large Ukrainian ports of Izmail, Reni, and the Moldavian port of Giurgiulesti. These Ukrainian and Moldavian ports are located on the “maritime” stretch of the Danube. Their river-sea cargo volumes are of course not taken into account by the Romanian National Institute of Statistics.

 

Transport by type of good

  • The goods transhipped by seagoing ships are mainly dry cargo and conventional cargo. The most important goods categories in the port of Galati are metals and metal products (27% of total river-sea traffic in 2018), agricultural products (22% of total river-sea traffic in 2018), iron ores (14% of total river-sea traffic in 2018).
  • In Braila, 84% of the total river-sea traffic (481,000 tonnes in 2018) was represented by agricultural products in 2018. In Tulcea, 50,000 of the 56,000 tonnes transhipped were made up of iron ores.
  • The detailed structure of the river-sea cargo traffic in these ports (taken together) is seen in the following figure.

 

FIGURE 7: STRUCTURE OF RIVER-SEA TRAFFIC IN THE ROMANIAN PORTS OF GALATI, BRAILA AND TULCEA

Chart by Visualizer

Source: CCNR analysis based on data from the Romanian National Institute of Statistics (http://www.insse.ro/cms/sites/default/files/field/publicatii/transportul_portuar_de_marfuri_si_pasageri_anul_2018_0.pdf)

 

  • With regard to the goods segments for individual ports, the river-sea port of Galati is dominated by metals and metal products, due to the local steel industry, but also offers transhipment of Agribulk. The goods category of waste and municipal waste has increased in recent years.

 

FIGURE 8: RIVER-SEA TRAFFIC IN THE PORT OF GALATI BY TYPE OF GOODS (IN 1,000 TONNES)

Chart by Visualizer

Source: Romanian National Institute of Statistics (several annual reports of the series “Harbour transport of goods and passengers”)

 

  • Braila, the second largest Romanian river-sea port exhibits a majority of grain transport, having had relatively constant volumes between 2015 and 2018. Chemicals do play another, albeit smaller role. And the smallest of the three Romanian river-sea ports, the port of Tulcea, showed a pick-up of iron ore transport in 2017 and 2018, which was not the case in the two previous years.

 

FIGURE 9: RIVER-SEA TRAFFIC IN THE PORT OF BRAILA AND THE PORT OF TULCEA BY TYPE OF GOODS (IN 1,000 TONNES)

Braila

Chart by Visualizer

Tulcea
Chart by Visualizer

Source: Romanian National Institute of Statistics (several annual reports of the series “Harbour transport of goods and passengers”)

 

RIVER-SEA TRANSPORT IN THE NETHERLANDS

 

Definitions and waterway areas

  • The Netherlands have a number of rivers and canals such as the Rhine, Ghent-Terneuzen canal, Maas and IJssel and the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, all of which are accessible to river-sea ships.
  • The Dutch waterway administration Rikswaterstaat delivered a dataset in which only seagoing ship traffic is recorded. This dataset was analysed in order to extract information about river-sea transport in the Netherlands. The regions of origin (loading) and destination (unloading) were sorted out according to their location, whether along an inland or a maritime waterway. Based on this classification, river-sea traffic was defined as composed by the following two cases, trips made by seagoing ships partly by inland waterways and partly by sea between:
    1. a region/city of loading located along an inland waterway and a region of unloading located either along an inland or a maritime waterway or a maritime port. If the region of unloading is along an inland waterway, the vessel must cross over maritime waterways between its origin and its destination.
    2. a region/city of loading located along a maritime waterway or a maritime port and a region/city of unloading located along an inland waterway.
  • Trips made by seagoing ships between cities or ports that are both located along a maritime waterway, or if both origin and destination are maritime ports, were not counted as river-sea traffic, because these trips do not fulfil the definition of river-sea transport but are rather short-sea traffic.

 

Transport by origin and destination

  • This analysis delivered a total volume of 4.48 million tonnes of river-sea transport in the Netherlands in 2018. The most important region of destination (where the cargo is unloaded) is the port of Ghent (Ghent was classified as a seaport. Trips where a seagoing ship goes from a river port (e.g. Duisburg) to Ghent were therefore classified as river-sea-traffic. The same applies if a seagoing ship makes a trip from Ghent to a river port. However, trips between Ghent and another seaport, such as Amsterdam or Antwerp, were not classified as river-sea traffic but as short-sea traffic). Indeed, seagoing ships going to Ghent must cross over Dutch territory as Ghent can only be reached via the Lower Scheldt River and the Ghent-Terneuzen-Canal which are wholly or partly on Dutch territory. Around 1.75 million tonnes of cargo (39% of total river-sea transport in the Netherlands) is transported from different regions of origin to the port of Ghent. For example, from the Lower Danube in Romania or Bulgaria (Ruse), from the Lower Rhine (port of Duisburg) as well as from London (the Thames) in the UK.

 

FIGURE 10: COUNTRIES OF UNLOADING WITHIN RIVER-SEA-TRAFFIC IN THE NETHERLANDS (MIO. T) IN 2018

Chart by Visualizer

Source: CCNR analysis based on data from Rijkswaterstaat