• In 2018, more than 15,000 cargo vessels were registered in Europe; 65% of the fleet were found in Rhine countries, 23% in Danube countries, and the remaining 12% in other European countries with inland waterways (Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, UK, Lithuania).

• Over the last 10 years the share of small vessels (0 < 1,000 t) has been falling consistently. This is especially the case for dry cargo vessels, the number of which is traditionally very high in this size segment. This loss of small vessels represents a problem and a challenge for the sector, which should be addressed in the near future.

• The fleet of Rhine countries was reinforced by 17 dry cargo vessels, 28 liquid cargo vessels and 3 push and tugboats. The newbuilding rates are still relatively low, compared to the years before the financial crisis.

 

SIZE OF FLEETS PER MACRO-REGION (NUMBER OF INLAND VESSELS) IN EUROPE

Sources: 1) Rhine countries: VNF (France), CBS (Netherlands), Belgian Ministry of Transport, Waterway and Shipping Administration of Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. 2) Danube countries: Danube Commission. 3) Other countries: Eurostat [iww_eq_loadcap], [iww_eq_age], Italian and Czech Ministries of Transport, Statistical office of Poland
* Other countries = Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, United Kingdom, Lithuania. # comprises 9 tanker vessels in Poland, 1 in the Czech Republic and 16 in Lithuania. No data for the UK and Italy.

 

 

 

RHINE FLEET

 

DRY CARGO VESSELS

 

  • The following figure shows the evolution of dry cargo vessels (self-propelled vessels and barges, but without push & tug boats) in Rhine countries. In this instance only the active fleet is counted (ships active in dry cargo transport). While the number of vessels has decreased since 2005, the tonnage increased due to larger vessels joining the fleet and smaller ones leaving it.

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES

Source: CCNR based on Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, Waterway administration of Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland, Belgian Ministry of transport.
* = self-propelled vessels and barges, without push and tug boats

LOADING CAPACITY OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES (IN 1,000 T)*

Source: CCNR based on Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, Waterway administration of Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland, Belgian Ministry of transport.
* = self-propelled vessels and barges, without push and tug boats

 

  • The Dutch dry cargo fleet is the largest in the Rhine area with a share of almost 50%.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES PER COUNTRY OF REGISTRY (IN %, 2018)

Source: CCNR based on national sources (see figure above)

 

  • The number of vessels belonging to the loading capacity class (0 < 1,000 t) is falling, although the results differ somewhat from one country to another. While the number of Belgian, Dutch and French small vessels has fallen since 2014, it has remained rather constant in the German fleet.

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN RHINE COUNTRIES*

Source: CCNR based on national sources.
* Rhine countries = Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland. Data for Germany for 2018 are from 2017, as the German fleet data for 2018 were not yet available.

 

  • When the dry cargo vessel fleets of Rhine countries are compared with one another, it can be observed that the size class of the largest vessels (> 3,000 t) is present in the Belgian and Dutch fleet, but almost absent in the French and German dry cargo fleet.

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE DUTCH FLEET

Source : Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE BELGIAN FLEET

Source: ITB / Belgian ministry of transport

 

  • In France the share of the size class (0 < 1,000 t) is the highest of all Rhine countries. This share was 72% (in terms of number of vessels) in 2014 in France but decreased to 67% in 2018. A further decrease in the future can be expected, due to several economic problems in this category.

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE FRENCH FLEET

Source : VNF

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE GERMAN FLEET

Source: CCNR based on German Waterway Administration

 

  • Looking at the total Rhine fleet of dry cargo vessels, it can be seen that the shares of the different size classes have not changed dramatically since 2014. But they have changed over the last ten years when comparing the 2007 with the 2018 figures.

 

NUMBER OF VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN % OF TOTAL NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN THE RHINE FLEET*

Source: CCNR based on national sources.
*Share is based on the number of vessels that fall in a certain tonnage size class, compared to the total number of dry cargo vessels in the Rhine fleet. Therefore, the shares for each year add up to 100%.

 

LIQUID CARGO VESSELS

 

  • Data show an increase in the total loading capacity of the tanker fleet in Rhine countries between 2005 and 2010, due to the investment in new double hull vessels. 2011 was the year with the highest increase in double hull vessels (+127), followed by the year 2010 (+112). Since then, the newbuilding rate eased, to reach 33 new double hull vessels in 2018 (including conversions from single to double hull) (Source: European Barge Inspection Scheme (EBIS)). In 2019, according to the European Barge Inspection Scheme (EBIS), there were 1,079 double hull tankers in Europe.
  • As the newbuilding rate eased from 2011 onwards, and the single hull vessels were phased out from the fleet in certain numbers year per year (due to the approaching end of the transition period) (Due to the transition scheme, the majority of liquid cargo has to be transported in double hull vessels as from 1.1.2019), the total size of the tanker fleet in Rhine countries diminished after 2011.
  • The loading capacity however remained at a high level, as there were still large new double hull vessels coming on the market in the years after 2011, while the single hull vessels that left the market were quite small.

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES

Source: CCNR based on national sources

 

LOADING CAPACITY OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES (IN 1,000 T)

Source: CCNR based on national sources

 

  • Regarding the countries of registration, for the liquid cargo fleet, the Netherlands has a share of around 54% in the total number of tanker vessels in all Rhine countries.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN RHINE COUNTRIES PER COUNTRY (IN %, 2018)

Source: CCNR based on national sources

 

  • The overall evolution of the number of vessels per size classes shows that the rather small tanker vessels (0 < 1,000 t; 1,000 < 2,000 t) have decreased in number since 2014.
  • In 2018, the number of vessels in the two smallest tonnage size classes (0 < 1,000 t; 1,000 < 2,000 t) was 761 in Rhine countries, compared to 873 in the year 2014. This means a decrease of 112 vessels over a period of only four years.

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN RHINE COUNTRIES

Source: CCNR based on national sources

 

  • There is one remarkable common point with the dry cargo fleet. Also for liquid goods vessels, the number of vessels in the size category (> 3,000 t) is quite significant in the Dutch and Belgian fleet, and again at a quite low level in the French and German fleets.

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE DUTCH FLEET

Source: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE BELGIAN FLEET

Source: CCNR based on ITB / Belgian ministry of transport

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE FRENCH FLEET

Source: CCNR based on VNF

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN THE GERMAN FLEET

Source: CCNR based on German Waterway Administration

 

  • The distribution of all active liquid cargo vessels in Rhine countries shows that the two largest size classes have increased their share, while the share of the two smaller size classes has been reduced.

 

NUMBER OF VESSELS PER TONNAGE CLASS IN % OF TOTAL NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN THE RHINE FLEET*

Source: CCNR based on national sources.
* Share is based on the number of tanker vessels that fall in a certain tonnage size class, compared to the total number of tanker vessels in the Rhine fleet. Therefore, the shares for each year add up to 100.

 

  • In the Rhine countries, there are currently also around 1,240 push & tug vessels of which 718 are Dutch and 411 are German push & tugs. Their number has been quite constant since 2008.

 

DANUBE FLEET

 

DRY CARGO VESSELS

 

  • The following figure contains the series regarding dry cargo vessels (self-propelled vessels and barges, but without push & tug boats) in Danube countries. Both the number of vessels and the loading capacity has decreased since 2005.

 

Evolution of the dry cargo fleet in Danube countries

 

NUMBER OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN DANUBE COUNTRIES

Source: Danube Commission

 

LOADING CAPACITY OF THE DRY CARGO DANUBE FLEET (IN 1,000 T)

Source: Danube Commission

 

  • The Romanian dry cargo fleet is the largest in the Danube area with a share of around 48% of all dry cargo vessels.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF DRY CARGO VESSELS IN THE DANUBE FLEET PER COUNTRY OF REGISTER (IN %, 2017)*

Source: Danube Commission.
*For Austria, fleet data are not available.

 

 

LIQUID CARGO VESSELS

 

Evolution of the liquid cargo fleet in Danube countries

 

NUMBER OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN DANUBE COUNTRIES

Source: Danube Commission

 

LOADING CAPACITY OF THE LIQUID CARGO DANUBE FLEET (IN 1,000 T)

Source: Danube Commission

 

  • For the liquid cargo fleet, Romania also has the largest share in the Danube area with around 47% of all tanker vessels.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF LIQUID CARGO VESSELS IN THE DANUBE FLEET PER COUNTRY OF REGISTER (IN %, 2017)*

Source: Danube Commission
* For Austria, fleet data are not available.

 

  • In 2017, there were 657 push & tug vessels in Danube countries, of which 300 were Romanian vessels. As in the Rhine region, the number of push & tugs has been rather stable over the last 10 years.

 

CARGO FLEET IN OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

 

  • For Poland, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Lithuania, the fleet figures from 2005 until 2017 are consistent and were taken from the Eurostat data [iww_eq_ loadcap] . It must be mentioned that within this database, a distinction between dry cargo and tanker vessels is not possible.
    • Information provided by the Statistical Office of Poland indicates that out of 598 freight vessels, there were 9 tanker vessels, of which 7 are self-propelled and 2 are pushed tanker barges.
    • According to the Czech Ministry of Transport, among the 139 freight vessels in the Czech fleet, there is only one tanker vessel (which was built in 1951 and it has a loading capacity of 297 tonnes).
    • The Statistical Office of Lithuania indicates that 16 out of the 63 freight vessels in Lithuania are tanker vessels.
  • For Italy, Eurostat data [iww_eq_loadcap], as well as statistics from the Italian Ministry of Transport, indicate a strong structural break in the number of vessels between the years 2009 and 2010, which points to a statistical re-classification or any other fundamental change. Therefore, it was decided not to put the Italian figures into the graph together with the other countries.
  • For the years 2011-2017, Italian figures seem quite consistent: both the Eurostat and the Italian Ministry of Transport data point to a number of 63 self-propelled cargo vessels in Italy, and to 73 dumb and pushed barges for 2017. Altogether, there are 136 Italian cargo carrying vessels in 2017.

 

NUMBER OF SELF-PROPELLED CARGO VESSELS AND DUMB AND PUSHED BARGES*

Source : Eurostat [iww_eq_loadcap]
* Dry cargo and tanker vessels taken together.