• The Netherlands, Germany and France are the countries with the highest number of companies and the highest employment in inland waterway freight transport. For passenger transport, the leading positions are held by the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Sweden.
• In 2018, 5,662 IWW freight transport companies were active in Europe (EU plus Serbia and Switzerland) and employed 22,902 people. In the same year, 4,028 IWW passenger transport companies, employing 23,000 people, were registered in Europe.
• Financial turnover in inland waterway freight transport is heavily concentrated on Rhine countries. Within passenger transport, turnover is more diversified from a geographical point of view. The Netherlands had the highest net turnover in freight transport, while Switzerland had the highest net turnover in passenger transport.

 

COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN GOODS TRANSPORT

 

  • According to Eurostat, in 2018,23 5,662 IWW freight transport companies were active in Europe (EU plus Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland). Of these, 86.4% were registered in Rhine countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland). The countries with the highest number of companies are the four largest Rhine countries and Poland, which together account for 90% of all companies in Europe.

 

FIGURE 1: NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Federal Statistical Office (CH)
* Data for 2018

 

  • The number of employed persons include the self-employed, helping family members and employees. The total number of this variable stood at 22,902 in 2018.24 Of these employed persons, 73% were working for companies in Rhine countries, 17% for companies in Danube countries and 10% for companies in countries outside the Rhine and Danube regions.

 

FIGURE 2: NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN IWW GOODS TRANSPORT IN EUROPE*


Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Federal Statistical Office (CH)
* Data for 2018

 

COMPANIES AND EMPLOYMENT IN PASSENGER TRANSPORT

 

  • IWW passenger companies in Europe are active in different segments: river cruises, day-trip navigation on rivers, canals and lakes. The ferry transport of passengers is also part of the sector. The position of Italy is due both to the country’s large number of lakes and the canal boats in Venice. The Netherlands has many day-trip vessels, ferries on rivers as well as large and small cruise vessels.

 

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


Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2] and Federal Statistical Office (CH)
* Data for 2018

 

  • Germany is in the leading position regarding employment in passenger transport with more than 6,000 persons employed. The Netherlands follows with more than 3,000 persons, and afterwards, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and France each have between 2,000 and 2,500 persons employed. The position of Sweden can be explained by the high number of lakes, canals and rivers in the country.

 

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


Source: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]
* Data for 2018. Data for UK are missing.

 

  • The total number of persons employed in European IWW passenger transport amounted to 23,187 in 2018 and was therefore higher than the employment in freight transport. Around 82% of all persons employed in EU inland waterway passenger transport are employed in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, France and Switzerland.

 

TURNOVER

 
TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT
 

  • Taking into account the Eurostat structural business statistics (SBS), the company statistics database of the Statistical Office of the Netherlands, and the database of the Swiss Tax Administration, it is possible to indicate the yearly financial net turnover of IWT freight transport in Rhine countries as follows:

TABLE 1: NET TURNOVER IN IWW FREIGHT TRANSPORT IN RHINE COUNTRIES

 Net turnover in billion Euro *
Dutch companies3.359
German companies1.493
French companies0.397
Belgian companies0.181
Swiss companies0.156
Rhine countries5.586

Sources: Eurostat [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (NL) and Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (CH)
* Figures are for 2018 except for CH (2017). Value for NL is estimated, based on information from CBS that 92% of total turnover in IWT is freight transport turnover. Value for CH was converted into EUR with the average exchange rate in 2017 of EUR/CHF of 1.117.25

 

  • IWW freight companies in Rhine countries generated 5.586 billion Euro in 2018. The turnover generated in Danube countries amounted to 290.9 million Euro in 2018, according to the Eurostat SBS database.

 
TURNOVER IN IWW PASSENGER TRANSPORT
 

  • For passenger transport, Switzerland has the highest turnover in Europe with 884.2 million Euro in 2017.26 This is followed by the United Kingdom (572.4 million Euro), Germany (518.4 million Euro), Italy (436.4 million Euro), Sweden (406.3 million Euro) and France (353.3 million Euro), all values being for 2018. With regard to the Netherlands, turnover can be estimated to equal 292 million Euro in 2018.27
  • All data on passenger transport turnover were taken from the Eurostat database on Structural Business Statistics (SBS), except for Switzerland (source: Swiss Tax Administration), and the Netherlands (source: Central Statistical Office CBS).