4. A country-by-country analysis (1/2)

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  • The country-by-country analysis in this chapter analyses the labour market in IWT more deeply by taking into account data from various national sources such as statistical offices, social security institutions, ministries, employment agencies and shipping administrations. It was not possible to present all data for the countries in exactly the same way (same indicators, same degree of detail, same methodology, etc.) This lack of consistency could not be avoided, given that the availability of data and the type of data produced in each country vary greatly from one country to another.
  • In addition, in this chapter, numbers may diverge from Eurostat SBS data for multiple reasons. First, unlike the Eurostat SBS numbers, which are based on administrative data, some sources in this chapter rely on survey data. Second, while Eurostat figures are entirely based on the NACE categories, which assign individuals to economic sectors according to their companies’ main activities, some sources in this chapter classify persons according to their individual main occupations.
  • Comparisons between the numbers of different countries in this chapter should be done very carefully due to the possible methodological differences. But such comparisons are of course important and necessary, in order to identify tendencies which could not be evaluated based on Eurostat data only. Another potential source are service record books and certificates of qualification. However, they are often not a reliable source for the extent of employment at any given point in time:
    • as it is not possible to determine whether the holder of a service record book or a qualification certificate is still active or retired and,
    • one person might be in the database with more than one service record book or qualification certificate due to obtaining different ranks or fulfilling the obligation to renew a licence.
  • The availability of fully reliable service record books would be of incredible added value for the statistical monitoring of the labour market in inland navigation. The adoption of the delegated regulation 2020/473 is already a first step towards more reliability of the data registered in service record books.
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    The Netherlands

  • The numbers and full-time equivalents (FTEs) (One FTE corresponds to the workload of one person with a standard full-time contract. As an example, two persons working 20 hours per week each correspond to one FTE if a standard full-time contract comprises 40 hours per week) of employees and all persons employed in Dutch IWT separately are based on sample surveys from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and are presented in figures one to five (Administrative data used for the SBS Eurostat data). Compared to Eurostat, the net hiring of persons from other companies is included in the definition used by CBS for all persons employed, which largely explains the differences observed between CBS and Eurostat data regarding the number of persons employed in the Netherlands. It is estimated by CBS that up to 3,000 persons employed in Dutch IWT in 2017 stemmed from net hiring from foreign companies. This number could also include workers posted to the Netherlands.
  • According to CBS data, employment in IWT in the Netherlands has increased from 2009 to 2018, particularly between 2017 and 2018, both in terms of the number of persons employed and hours worked.
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    FIGURE 1: NUMBER OF FTES AND PERSONS WORKING IN IWT IN THE NETHERLANDS BY EMPLOYMENT STATUS *


    Source: Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    * The data on all persons employed comprise employees and self-employed.

     

  • A number of companies in passenger and freight transport are rather small and employ only one or two persons. Regarding passenger transport companies, it should be considered that the Netherlands not only have larger river cruise companies but also many smaller companies active in day trip shipping.
  • Since the year 2016, the trends in the number of one-person and two-person companies were far more positive than in the previous years.
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    FIGURE 2: NUMBER OF PASSENGER IWT COMPANIES IN THE NETHERLANDS BY EMPLOYMENT SIZE


    Sources: Statistics Netherlands (CBS), CCNR analysis
     

    FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF FREIGHT IWT COMPANIES IN THE NETHERLANDS BY EMPLOYMENT SIZE


    Sources: Statistics Netherlands (CBS), CCNR analysis
     

  • The licences needed in order to be allowed to operate inland vessels in the Netherlands are issued by the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR). The issuing numbers of all licences have shown an upward trend during the last decade.
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    FIGURE 4: NUMBER OF ISSUED LICENCES BY TYPE OF LICENCE AND YEAR *

    (More information on the scope of and the differences between these licences can be found in Dutch on CBR’s webpage: https://www.cbr.nl/nl/beroepsexamens/binnenvaart/vaardocumenten-en-patenten.htm)


    Sources: CBR, CCNR analysis
    * Certificates for the proof of knowledge of river sections and the Restricted Large Boat Licences A and B are not shown due to their very small number with a maximum of 37 per type and year.

     

  • It should be noted, however, that all considered licences must be renewed when reaching different age thresholds (50, 55, 60, 65 and every year after 65) so that changes in the number of licences issued over time might rather reflect the age structure than actual changes in the number of boatmasters. This consideration can help reconcile the slightly decreasing Eurostat SBS figures with the increasing number of issued certificates. Indeed, the number of licences issued during the last decade clearly peaks at these age thresholds.
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    FIGURE 5: NUMBER OF ISSUED LICENCES FROM 2010 TO 2019 BY AGE*


    Sources: CBR, CCNR analysis
    * Age thresholds for the obligation to renew the licences are marked. From age 65 onwards, an annual renewal is obligatory.

     
    Germany

  • Statistical data on employees in Germany were collected from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (German Federal Employment Agency). These data relate only to employees, not to the self-employed. A first comparison between freight and passenger transport shows that the number of employees in passenger transport has increased, while it slightly decreased in freight transport.
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    FIGURES 6 AND 7: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWW FREIGHT (FIRST CHART) AND PASSENGER (SECOND CHART) TRANSPORT



    Source: Bundesagentur für Arbeit
     

  • The share of foreigners was 34.7% in German IWW freight transport in 2019, compared to only 11.0% in IWW passenger transport. In both segments these shares are on an upward trend.
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    FIGURE 8: SHARE OF FOREIGNERS WITHIN ALL EMPLOYEES IN GERMAN IWT (IN %)


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
     

  • Even when compared to other branches of the transport sector, the share of foreigners is relatively high in IWW freight transport. It exceeds the share of foreigners in maritime, road and rail freight transport. It is quite likely that such a high share of foreigners of almost 35% reflects to a certain degree also a rather limited attractiveness of inland waterway freight transport as an area of activity for German workers. The reasons why this could be the case might be linked to the specific working life on a vessel, the related working hours, and social aspects.
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    FIGURE 9: SHARE OF GERMANS AND FOREIGNERS AMONG EMPLOYEES IN THE GERMAN TRANSPORT SECTOR (IN %)


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
     

  • The three most important countries of origin of foreigners working in the German IWW sector are Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. The number of Czech and Romanian workers increased throughout the time period from 2013 to 2019, while the number of Polish workers increased only until 2016 and then decreased slightly.
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    FIGURE 10: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WITH FOREIGN NATIONALITY IN THE GERMAN INLAND NAVIGATION SECTOR BY NATIONALITY


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
    Data concern both freight and passenger transport.

  • A differentiation by gender reveals a rather high share of male workers in the transport sector overall, with the exception of passenger maritime and coastal transport, where the share between male and female workers approaches a ratio which is more typical of the economy as a whole. In IWW passenger transport, the share of female workers is much higher than in IWW freight transport, most likely due to the gastronomic and service activities which play an important role within passenger transport.
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    FIGURE 11: SHARE OF EMPLOYEES BY GENDER (IN %)


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 30 June 2019.

     

  • The distribution of employees according to age groups is currently not very different in IWW freight and passenger transport when compared to other transport modes.
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    FIGURE 12: SHARE OF EMPLOYEES BY AGE GROUP (IN %)


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit and CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 30 June 2019.

     

  • Taking into consideration the evolution of age group distributions over time per mode of transport, some important features can be observed.
  • First of all, within the youngest age group (< 25 years), the number of workers in IWW freight transport and in maritime freight transport has decreased since 2015, while it has increased in IWW passenger and in road freight transport. Secondly, employment in maritime freight transport is on a downward trend, which is stronger than the relatively mild overall reduction of employees in IWW freight transport. Thirdly, it can be observed that employment in road transport is increasing in all age groups.
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    FIGURE 13: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN FREIGHT TRANSPORT OVER THE PERIOD 2014-2019 BY AGE GROUPS




    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
     

  • With regard to employment in IWW passenger transport, an overall positive employment evolution can be observed, largely attributed to the 55-64 age group.
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    FIGURE 14: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT OVER THE PERIOD 2014-2019


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
     

  • This positive employment trend in IWW passenger transport is also visible when considering the number of apprentices. In particular, the number of male apprentices in passenger transport wincreased in recent years, while the number of male apprentices in freight transport decreased.
  • The average share of female apprentices in the time period 2014-2019 was 12% for IWW freight transport and 21% for IWW passenger transport. The share of female workers in inland navigation is therefore expected to remain relatively low in the next years.
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    FIGURE 15: NUMBER OF APPRENTICES IN GERMAN INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT PER SECTOR AND GENDER


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
     

  • The monthly gross median income (A median is a statistical indicator, which should not be confounded with the arithmetic average of a series. The median of a data series, in this case of a wage series, is the value which divides the data series (sorted by size) into two equal halves. 50% of the wages are therefore higher than the median wage, and 50% are lower than the median wage. Compared to the arithmetic average, the median is less influenced by extremely high or extremely low wages. It therefore gives a more realistic picture of the ‘typical’ wage level) for full-time IWW workers under the social security regime in Germany has increased since 2013.
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    FIGURE 16: GROSS MEDIAN INCOME IN PASSENGER AND FREIGHT IWT (IN €)


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
     

  • The Bundesagentur für Arbeit also reprocesses data in order to have an overview of the durations of employment relations, subject to social security contributions. In 2018, 1,940 employment relations in passenger IWT and 965 in freight IWT were terminated. A high share (52%) of terminated employment relations with a duration of between 6 to and 12 months in passenger IWT can be observed, providing evidence for a high degree of seasonality in this sector, in particular for river cruises. No such seasonality pattern occurs in freight IWT. Yet, about 38% of all terminated employment relations in this sector lasted less than 6 months in 2018.
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    FIGURE 17: SHARE OF DURATIONS OF EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS TERMINATED IN 2018 (IN %)


    Sources: Bundesagentur für Arbeit, CCNR analysis
    Only employment relations subject to social security contributions.

     

  • So far, the data presented on German IWT concern only employees. In addition, the Federal Statistical Office of Germany (Destatis) provides data for the entirety of persons employed in German IWT, thus including the self-employed. It differentiates between persons employed on board vessels and persons employed ashore. The number of persons employed aboard vessels remained fairly constant between 2014 and 2018 and the number of persons employed ashore only increased substantially between 2017 and 2018.
  • More detailed information is available for the year 2017 when 697 of the 5,113 persons working aboard a vessel in that year were self-employed (vessel owners or their helping family members). When looking at employment by the size of enterprises and the place of work (aboard or ashore), it can be observed that persons working ashore rather work for larger enterprises.
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    FIGURE 18: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWT IN GERMANY*IN 2017 BY EMPLOYMENT SIZE OF THE ENTERPRISE AND PLACE OF WORK


    Source: Federal Statistical Office of Germany (Destatis)
    All data are from 30 June 2017.
    *Excluding 112 persons employed in internal company or factory traffic as differentiation by employment size is incomplete.

     
    Belgium

  • Data for the number of self-employed and employees in the IWT sector in Belgium are taken from databases of the national insurance organisations in Belgium (INASTI for the self-employed and ONSS for the employees). According to INASTI, in 2019, 1,211 self-employed persons in Belgium belonged to the professional group of barge owner-operators. According to ONSS, in 2019, there 711 employees in Belgium were working in inland waterway transport. According to these organisations, the figures cover both freight and passenger transport.
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    FIGURE 19: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED IN IWT IN BELGIUM


    Sources: INASTI, ONSS
     

  • The increase in the number of employees from 2006 to 2007 mirrors a structural break in the data. Before 2007, helping family members were not counted as employees in the ONSS data.
  • Overall employment has been decreasing for a long time in Belgium. Since the year 2015, a kind of stabilization has been taking place to some extent, thanks to a small increase in the number of employees, and a less pronounced decrease of self-employed. The reasons for this decline will be explained as far as possible in the following paragraphs.
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    FIGURE 20: NUMBER OF SELF-EMPLOYED BARGE OWNER-OPERATORS IN BELGIUM BY GENDER


    Source: INASTI

  • In 2018, among the 784 male self-employed persons, 705 were self-employed barge owners, 24 were spouses of female self-employed and 55 belonged to the category of other helping family members.
  • In 2018, with 453 female self-employed persons, 114 were self-employed barge owners, 279 were spouses of male self-employed, and 60 belonged to the category of other helping family members.
  • The number of self-employed barge owner-operators decreased between 2003 and 2015. After 2015, the decrease was still present but became less pronounced. When differentiating by age groups, it is seen that the reduction was especially strong within younger entrepreneurs, both in absolute and in relative terms. For example, the number of self-employed belonging to the age group 40-44 approximately halved between 2003 and 2018 (a reduction from 254 to 125 self-employed). For the age group 35-39, the figures decreased by even more than 50%, from 208 self-employed in 2003 to 93 in 2018. For the age group 30-34, the reduction was again around 50%.
  • For older age groups, the decrease was either less pronounced, or there was no decrease at all. This is the case for persons in the age group 60-64 and the age group of persons older than 65. The number of self-employed in these age groups even increased.
  • In the years following the financial crisis of 2009, an acceleration in the decrease in the number of self-employed is seen, mainly for younger age groups.
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    FIGURE 21: NUMBER OF SELF-EMPLOYED IN BELGIUM BY AGE GROUP (AGED 18-44)


    Sources: INASTI, CCNR analysis
    Numbers include the self-employed and the assisting family members.

     

    FIGURE 22: NUMBER OF SELF-EMPLOYED IN BELGIUM BY AGE GROUP (AGED 45 AND OLDER)


    Sources: INASTI, CCNR analysis
    Numbers include the self-employed and the assisting family members.

     

  • Overall, the data point to the fact that the financial crisis in 2009 did have a very negative effect on the economic conditions in the segment of self-employed barge owners in Belgium. The impacts on the numbers of self-employed is different according to age groups. The reduction was most severe for younger age groups, and less severe for older age groups. Apart from the financial crisis, there is also evidence for a decrease in the number of younger entrepreneurs that had already started well before the financial crisis. This pre-financial crisis decrease is apparent for persons aged between 30 and 44. It would therefore be wrong to attribute the whole decrease in Belgian self-employed barge owner-operators only to the financial crisis. Other factors, linked with company succession and the attractiveness of the sector to younger persons, will very likely play another role.
  • In any case, the data show without doubt that, in the last 17 years, there has been a significant degree of ageing within the group of self-employed barge owner-operators in Belgium. This ageing is best visible when looking at the increase of self-employed persons aged 60 and above and the sharp decrease of persons aged 49 or younger.
  • The fact that age groups 55-59 and 60-64 did not experience a major drop in numbers after 2009 and that the age group ’65 and older’ even increased in numbers, can be explained by several factors.
    • Firstly, an important aspect is that for older entrepreneurs, the option of leaving the inland navigation sector and working either ashore or in another sector when a major economic crisis appears, is less likely than for younger entrepreneurs.
    • Secondly, for self-employed barge owners, the vessel also represents an asset which can be sold on retirement. However, vessel prices dropped sharply in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009, when the reduction in demand created significant overcapacity, so that there were less incentives or even possibilities to sell the vessel at a reasonable price and to retire.
    • Thirdly, the increase in numbers within the age group 60-64 and 65 and older is partly also the result of age cohorts ‘moving’ into these age groups over time (over a period of 15 years). The fact that younger age groups did not increase in size, but got smaller, shows that there were simply not enough individuals among younger age groups entering the IWT market.
    • Fourthly, in explaining this phenomenon, the topic of company succession as discussed in chapter 1c) might play a substantial role. As it is becoming more difficult for younger persons to engage in IWT as self-employed, older owner-operators might find it increasingly difficult to find a purchaser for their vessels, or to hand over their vessels to their children.
  • Regarding the regional distribution of Belgian self-employed, it can be seen that the province of Antwerp is ranked first, followed by the province of Hainaut and then East and West Flanders.
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    FIGURE 23: INDEPENDENT BARGE OWNERS IN BELGIUM ACCORDING TO PROVINCE*


    Sources: INASTI, CCNR analysis
    *The province indicated is the province where the self-employed person is living.

     

    Employees

  • One important similarity can be observed when comparing the figures for employees and self-employed in Belgium. After 2009, the number of employees fell, especially for persons aged between 25 and 49 years. For employees aged 50 and older, there was an increase in the number of employees aged between 50 and 64 until 2014, and for persons aged between 55 and 64, this increase continued also after 2014. A difference compared to the self-employed is that the age group above 64 has not increased in numbers. This is understandable in light of aspects related to company succession. The tendency of the self-employed to continue their activity at a higher age is a general pattern observed, and not limited to inland navigation.
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    FIGURE 24: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN BELGIUM PER AGE GROUP (AGED 15-44)


    Source: ONSS
     

    FIGURE 25: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN BELGIUM PER AGE GROUP (AGED 45 AND OLDER)


    Source: ONSS
     

  • While the prevalence of younger persons has clearly decreased over the last years, the number of persons in their late 50s has been remarkably stable during this time and even increased in 2018 and 2019.
  • Only about half of the employees in IWT are still active between 60 and 64, although Belgium’s legal requirement age for retirement is 65. However, in 2018, Belgians on average effectively retired at the age of 61.8, the fourth-lowest value of all OECD countries (OECD, Pensions at a Glance 2019, November 2019). In combination with persons in their late 50s, this also means that an above-average share of employees in Belgian IWT will presumably retire in the next few years.
  • Only a small share of employees is still active after the legal retirement age. This stands in stark contrast to the extensive work activity in that age group for the self-employed, which has even substantially and lastingly increased in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis. In 2018, on average two-thirds of all employed persons in Belgian IWT were self-employed, which increased with age and culminated at around 93% for those aged 65 and older. As previously explained, this is probably due to the, often, difficult financial situation of the older self-employed in Belgian IWT.
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    FIGURE 26: SHARE OF SELF-EMPLOYED AMONG ALL PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWT IN BELGIUM (2018) (IN %)


    Sources: INASTI, ONSS, CCNR analysis
     
    France

  • Dares (Direction de l’Animation de la recherche, des Études et des Statistiques), the statistical office of the French Ministry of Labour, collects and maintains rich data on employees in France that work under the regulations of sectoral collective bargaining agreements. The self-employed are thus not covered by the Dares data.
  • For the field of inland navigation, there is a total of three collective labour agreements marked by different identifiers (IDCCs), one for passenger transport (“Navigation intérieure passagers”), one for persons employed on board vessels in freight transport (“Navigation intérieure de marchandises ouvriers“) and the last for shore-based personnel mainly in freight transport such as in ports or for transport logistics (“Navigation intérieure de marchandises sédentaire”). However, there are plans to merge these three collective agreements in the future which will possibly make it more difficult, from a statistical point of view, to differentiate between passenger and freight IWT employees.
  • The Dares data enable the comparison of employees under these inland navigation collective agreements with:
    • the whole population of employees under collective agreements (referred to in the following as “all agreements”), therefore covering all economic sectors of activity in France, and,
    • all employees under collective agreements in the whole transport sector (CRIS), including road, rail, air, maritime and inland navigation transport.
  • This makes it possible to uncover particularities of employment in the inland navigation sector and thus facilitates the understanding of its structure. However, it must be noted that the Dares data are not directly comparable to Eurostat SBS (Structural Business Statistics) data as the pool of employees covered is not the same. Indeed, the assignment to a certain collective agreement does not necessarily correspond to the assignment to a related NACE category, on which Eurostat data and data from national statistical institutes such as INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques) in the case of France are based. Instead, a substantial share of employees covered by the relevant collective agreements are classified into NACE categories, other than inland navigation, such as that for road freight transport. Yet, this does not mean that they less accurately embrace employment on board of vessels in inland navigation. On the contrary, a strength of the Dares data is that not only do they include employees working exclusively in the inland navigation transport sector, but also those who work in companies with a main activity other than inland navigation, such as multi-modal logistics companies, but who are working in the IWT sector. Such employees are generally not covered by Eurostat data.
  • On the cut-off date of 31 December 2016, about 2,900 persons (1,600 on board and 1,300 ashore) were employed under the collective agreement for workers in IWW freight transport. These 2,900 persons accounted for about 2,700 full-time equivalents (FTEs). This difference probably stems from some persons working part-time. Additionally, about 2,800 persons were subject to the collective agreement for employees in IWW passenger transport, accounting for about 3,500 FTEs. As one FTE corresponds to a standard French full-time contract of 35 working hours per week, this implies a working time of nearly 44 hours per week in case of a full-time contract or a corresponding proportionate working time in the event of having a part-time contract. This observation corroborates the assumption that a great deal of overtime is accumulated by employees working on board vessels in passenger transport where a high number of working hours is common, particularly on river cruises during the peak of the river cruise season. In addition, it can be the case that crew members want to earn as much as they can by working longer hours to support their family for instance, or might prefer to accumulate their days off in favour of longer holidays with their family at home once the season is over.
  • All in all, these numbers indicate that the employment share of inland navigation in overall transport in France is only between 0.4% and 0.5% when leaving aside the self-employed. Nevertheless, the absolute numbers are higher than the respective Eurostat SBS figures. Large parts of the difference can be explained by the fact that more employees work in a company with a main activity other than IWT (and are thus not classified as working in IWT by Eurostat or INSEE) but are still covered by an IWT collective agreement, rather than vice versa.
  • When analysing the socio-demographic structure of the workforce, an important characteristic is the age of the employees. The Dares data give the shares of employees belonging to pre-defined age groups. The IWW sector, particularly the passenger transport segment, has a comparatively high share of young employees. About 31% of the employees in IWW passenger transport and about 19% to 23% of the employees in IWW freight transport are under 30 years old while this only applies to about 15% in the overall transport sector, and to about 22% of all employees subject to collective bargaining agreements. On the contrary, IWW passenger transport has comparatively few employees aged between 50 and 59.
  • IWW freight transport has a slightly above average share of employees of 60 years of age or older, particularly regarding persons working on board vessels. This implies that a relatively high share of employees will retire in the forthcoming years compared to other sectors, unless they continue to work after reaching retirement age, a phenomenon that is relatively common for persons working on board inland navigation vessels.
  • FIGURE 27: RELATIVE DISTRIBUTION OF EMPLOYEES ACROSS AGE GROUPS (IN %)


    Sources: Dares, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 31 December 2016

     

  • Furthermore, inland navigation is a very male-dominated sector, albeit a little less so than all transport sectors together. Slightly more than 70% of the employees in IWW freight transport in France are men (compared to 77% if all transport sectors are taken into account). With a female share of employment of more than a third, IWW passenger transport is a peculiarity within the transport sector. This is probably caused by a higher number of women among the hospitality staff on board river cruise vessels. In practice, the share of female workers on board is probably underestimated as spouses who help are often not “officially” counted as working personnel on board inland navigation vessels.
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    FIGURE 28: SHARE OF EMPLOYEES BY GENDER (IN %)


    Sources: Dares, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 31 December 2016

     

  • Moreover, in IWW freight transport in France, between 29% and 36% of employees are employed in small companies with less than 10 employees, while this share amounts to only about 9% when considering the whole transport sector. On the contrary, only about 16% of the employees in IWW passenger transport are employed in companies with less than 10 employees. Employment in larger companies is thus more common in passenger than in freight transport. It should be noted that about one-third of all employees in IWW passenger transport are employed by one single company.
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    FIGURE 29: SHARE OF EMPLOYEES BY EMPLOYMENT SIZE OF ENTERPRISE (IN%)


    Sources: Dares, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 31 December 2016

     

  • Another data source for company size in French inland navigation is the French national statistical office INSEE. Based on the NACE concept, about 98% of the companies (representing about 42% of the FTEs) in freight IWT and about 90% of the companies (representing about 11% of the FTEs) in passenger IWT employed less than 10 persons in 2017. About 58% of the FTEs in freight transport and about 63% of the FTEs in passenger transport worked on board vessels.
  • The lower share of employees working in large companies based on INSEE data seems to confirm the hypothesis according to which a substantial number of employees are working for larger multi-purpose companies, with a focus other than IWW freight or passenger transport, and which are considered in the Dares figures but not in the INSEE figures.
  • Given the Dares data, the part-time share of employees in IWT in France is all in all quite low compared to the transport sector and the economy as a whole. This notably applies to women in passenger IWT. However, as is generally in the case regarding the whole economy, the share is distinctly higher for women than for men.
  • The share of women or men employed under a fixed-term contract usually lies in the same order of magnitude in the IWT sector as in the transport sector and throughout the whole economy. However, it can be noted that men in passenger IWT are far more likely to be employed under a fixed-term contract than men in other sectors.
  • In order to examine the structure of the French IWT labour market as best as possible, it is also useful to look more closely at the wages that to a large extent naturally determine the attractiveness of a sector. The Dares data give the average monthly net wage of an FTE for three age groups. It is striking that the initial wage level is quite similar across the different sectors, although it is slightly lower in the IWT sector compared to the rest of the transport sector and the whole economy. Wage increases of individuals over time, however, differ strongly between sectors.
  • Compared to all other considered sectors, the increase of wages when growing older is lower in freight IWT on board and higher in freight IWT on land. Concerning the wage level in passenger IWT, it is worth taking into consideration that due to the high amount of monthly hours worked in this sector, the monthly net income is about 25% higher than the monthly net wage of an FTE. This is not the case for employees covered by the two freight IWT collective agreements for which monthly income is even slightly below the monthly wage of an FTE as they work fewer hours than foreseen in a standard contract.
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    FIGURE 30: AVERAGE MONTHLY NET WAGE OF A FTE BY AGE GROUP (IN €)


    Sources: Dares, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 31 December 2016

     

  • It is important to know that the wages studied so far are average wages of all people in a specific sector. Thus, one could falsely conclude that employees in freight IWT on board are considerably underpaid in comparison to other sectors. However, this interpretation is challenged when analysing wages separately for different occupational categories. Indeed, about 90% of all employees covered by the collective agreement for freight IWT on board are blue-collar workers (“ouvriers”) and the approximate remaining 10% are in an intermediary positions (“profession intermédiaire”) between white-collar workers (“employés”) and managers (“cadres”), while the latter two categories are by definition not included in this collective agreement. This means that there is a large predominance of occupational categories with typically lower wages. The share of blue-collar workers is substantially lower among employees of the two other IWT collective agreements.
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    FIGURE 31: SHARE OF OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY (IN %)


    Sources: Dares, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 31 December 2016

     

  • These differences can explain a large part of the wage differentials. As shown in the figure below, the average wage of employees in freight IWT on board is not lower than that of other sectors when examined by occupational category. Furthermore, it is evident that the average wages of an FTE in the other occupational categories in passenger IWT are comparatively low, bearing in mind that this is probably largely due to more hours worked. Taking this fact into account, it can, all in all, still be concluded that the IWT sector in France, when adjusting for occupational classifications, pays its employees competitive wages when compared to the transport sector and the economy as a whole.
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    FIGURE 32: AVERAGE MONTHLY NET WAGE OF AN FTE BY OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY (IN €)


    Sources: Dares, CCNR analysis
    Situation as at 31 December 2016

     

  • In addition to Dares on the one hand, and the closely related INSEE and Eurostat on the other hand, there is a third major data source for France, the Central Agency for Social Security Bodies (ACOSS – “Agence Centrale des Organismes de Sécurité Sociale”), which is also based on the NACE categories. Based on this data source, it can be seen that the administrative region ‘Grand Est’ (Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne) is the most important region for passenger IWT employment with more than 50% of all the employees in passenger IWT in France, followed by the region Île-de-France, which accounts for another quarter. The high amount of employment in the Grand Est region in passenger transport could also be explained by the fact that the French river cruise company CroisiEurope is based in Strasbourg in Alsace.
  • Normandie is in the lead when considering the number of employees in freight IWT, followed by Hauts-de-France. Both regions together account for more than half of all employees in the freight sector.
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    FIGURE 33: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN PASSENGER IWT PER REGION IN 2018


    Sources: ACOSS, CCNR analysis
     

    FIGURE 34: NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN FREIGHT IWT PER REGION IN 2018


    Sources: ACOSS, CCNR analysis
     
    Switzerland

  • As was indicated earlier, Switzerland has the largest average number of persons employed per company in European IWT. This is due to the sizeable role of two market segments, tanker barging and river cruises, in Swiss inland navigation. Both market segments are characterised by company structures with a rather high number of employees. In addition, both segments play an important role in the Swiss inland navigation sector.
  • It can also be observed that the Swiss freight fleet is the youngest of all Rhine countries, in terms of years of construction (Source: CCNR/European Commission (2020), Inland Navigation in Europe. Annual market observation report). The main reason is that Switzerland has a very modern tanker barge fleet. The average loading capacity of Swiss tanker barges was 3,023 tonnes in 2019, compared to an average of 2,134 tonnes for the whole tanker barge fleet of Rhine countries. Next to the year of construction statistics mentioned above, the high loading capacity of Swiss tanker barges also confirms that Swiss tanker barges are rather new, as the loading capacity of new tanker barges in western Europe has in general increased over the years. It points also to a relatively high investment rate and modern company structures in Swiss tanker barging.
  • In 2017, there were 48 freight IWT companies and 67 passenger IWT companies in Switzerland. In 2017, 597 persons were employed in freight IWT and 2,091 persons in passenger IWT. The employment in IWW freight transport in Switzerland was rather constant in the time period 2011 to 2017, while employment in passenger transport increased (see figure below).
  • Passenger transport enjoys a higher employment than freight transport in Switzerland. The country has many lakes, with many day trip vessels, and Switzerland also has by far the largest fleet of river cruise vessels within the whole cruise fleet in Europe. In 2019, 172 river cruise vessels sailing on European rivers were registered in Switzerland, compared to a total of 378 cruise vessels in the whole of Europe (without Russia). This gives a share of 45.5%.
  • Looking at the development in both sectors by gender from 2011 to 2017, it can be seen that the only clear and substantial development was for men in passenger IWT, whose number showed a steady upwards trend.
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    FIGURE 35: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWT IN SWITZERLAND BY SECTOR AND GENDER


    Source: Federal Statistical Office – Structural Enterprise Statistics
     

  • Compared to other Rhine countries such as Belgium, France or the Netherlands, relatively few persons employed in Swiss IWT work in small enterprises with less than 10 employed persons. In 2017, only about 6% (5% of FTEs) in the passenger and 22% (20% of FTEs) in the freight sector worked in such small companies.
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