• Serbia is a middle Danube country where agricultural products, foodstuffs, iron ore and metals represent the core market segments in IWT. The production level of the Serbian steel industry has seen a boost in recent years due to foreign direct investment from China. Serbian IWT has benefited from these investments.
• Transport demand, as well as the company sector and employment in Serbian IWT are strongly focused on dry mass cargo transport. The Serbian fleet has a relatively high number of push boats, which reflects this focus on dry mass cargo, often transported by pushed convoys.
• The modal share of IWT is 28.7% in Serbia, strongly above the average of the EU.

 

INLAND WATERWAY TRAFFIC IN SERBIAN PORTS *


    Sources : Danube Commission, Port Governance Agency of the Republic of Serbia
    * IWT in 2020

 

DEVELOPMENT OF INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT IN SERBIAN PORTS

  • Among the five main Serbian ports, the port of Smederovo, in particular, has developed positively since 2014. While goods handling increased also in Pančevo, Prahovo and Novi Sad, the port in the Serbian capital Belgrade has lost large volumes of transport.
  •  

    FIGURE 1: YEARLY INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT OF MAIN SERBIAN PORTS (IN 1,000 TONNES)


    Sources : Danube Commission, Port Governance Agency of the Republic of Serbia
     

  • In the first quarter of 2021, the total waterside cargo turnover of the Serbian ports amounted to 3.7 million tonnes, which was significantly higher than the volume of Q1 2020 (1.8 million tonnes).
  • Inland waterway transport in Serbia, reflected by figures shown above on goods handling in ports, is mainly dominated by two economic sectors: the steel industry and the agricultural sector. In 2018 and 2019, steel production in Serbia was five times higher than in 2013. The reason for the surge between 2013 and 2018 is the takeover of the main Serbian steel plant in Smederovo by a Chinese steel company in 20161.
  •  

    FIGURE 2: YEARLY STEEL PRODUCTION IN SERBIA (IN 1,000 TONNES) AND SHARE WITHIN TOTAL STEEL PRODUCTION IN THE DANUBE REGION (%)


    Sources : World Steel Association, CCNR analysis
     

  • After acquiring the Smederovo steel plant, the Chinese company HBIS invested in its technical renovation, which resulted in a strong increase of steel production and raw material transport.
  • The Danube in this section is now again used intensively for the delivery of raw materials (iron ore, coal), via the port of Smederovo. This explains the strong increase in inland waterway transport in the port and boosted Serbian IWT.
  • It proves also the dependence of IWT upon traditional industries in the Danube region.
  •  

FACT SHEET IWT IN SERBIA – ANNUAL FIGURES


     

    Sources: CCNR analysis based on Eurostat data [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], [iww_go_qnave], OECD short time indicators, Danube Commission (fleet data), Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
     
    Notes on the factsheet:

    • ‘Share in EU total’ contains figures for the EU plus Switzerland and Serbia.
    • In contrast with transport performance, for transport volume, a country-specific share cannot be calculated.
    • The modal split share is defined as the percentage of inland waterway freight transport performance (in TKM) within total land-based transport performance. Land-based freight transport modes include road, rail and inland waterways. The road freight activity is reported according to the territoriality principle, where international road freight transport data are redistributed according to the national territories of where the transport actually takes place. These principles are implemented in the Eurostat series [tran_hv_frmod].

• Freight rates for dry cargo and container transport started on a limited upward movement from the second half of 2020 onwards. In the first half of 2021, this movement continued. For liquid cargo freight rates, however, no recovery can be gathered from the data.
• Both oil and fuel prices continued their upward trend in the first half of 2021. Fuel prices in IWT rose by 12.5%, from 45.29 €/100L in Q1 2021 to 50.96 €/100L in Q2 2021.
• Throughout the second half of 2021 and in 2022, fuel prices in IWT are expected to lie in the range between 54 and 60 €/100L. The basis for this outlook is oil price forecasts.

 

FREIGHT RATES IN THE RHINE REGION 1

  • In the first half year 2021, gasoil spot market freight rates within ARA-Rhine trade followed a negative trend. This was a continuation of the development that started after the low water period of 2018. One main driving force that puts a strain on freight rates is the ongoing pandemic with its negative influence on mobility and fuel demand. With regard to hydraulicity, freight rates were also not supported, as water levels were rather high, except for a period at the end of April. On the spot markets for oil products, rising prices also delivered negative influences on transport and freight rates. Finally, the term structure on future markets was orientated towards backwardation.
  •  

    FIGURE 1: FREIGHT RATE EVOLUTION FOR GASOIL FROM THE ARA REGION TO RHINE DESTINATIONS (INDEX 2015 = 100)


    Source: CCNR calculation based on PJK International
    * PJK collects freight rates (in Euro per tonne) for ARA-Rhine trade of liquid bulk. The CCNR transforms these values into an index with base year 2015. Lower Rhine: Duisburg, Cologne. Upper Rhine: Karlsruhe, Basel. Main: Frankfurt/M.

     

  • Statistics Netherlands (CBS) collects freight rate data from a panel of Dutch IWT companies. These data are observed twice a quarter and include fuel and low water surcharges.
  •  

    FIGURE 2: FREIGHT RATE EVOLUTION PER QUARTER FOR DUTCH IWT COMPANIES ACCORDING TO MARKET SEGMENT (INDEX 2015 = 100, QUARTERLY DATA)


    Source: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (Binnenvaartdiensten; prijsindex)
     

  • The third quarter of 2020 seemed to be the period when transport prices for dry bulk and container transport stabilised. For subsequent quarters, an upward trend is seen. For liquid cargo, freight rates remained at a low level.
  • In the absence of low water levels in the first half year 2021, freight rates were mainly influenced by transport demand. As chapter 1 has shown, transport demand for liquid bulk was decreasing somewhat, while dry bulk and container transport were upward orientated. The development of freight rates per cargo segment reflects these differing trends.

 
 

FUEL COST EVOLUTION

  • Fuel costs are analysed on the basis of gasoil/diesel prices published by the energy price monitoring system of the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs2. A comparison with oil prices reveals a very close correlation which serves as a basis for an outlook on fuel prices.
  • In the course of 2021, oil prices – and therefore also fuel prices – continued to follow an increasing trend. Oil prices reached US dollars 68.8 in the second quarter of 2021 (approximately 57.3 Euro as the exchange rate was USD/EUR 1.20).
  •  

    FIGURE 3: AVERAGE FUEL PRICES ACCORDING TO THE BELGIAN MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND BRENT CRUDE OIL PRICES INCLUDING FORECAST *


    Sources: ITB and SPF Economie (fuel price). US Energy Information Administration (oil price). Federal Reserve Economic Data (historical exchange rate US-dollar/euro). 1 barrel (bbl) = 159 litres.
    * IMF = International Monetary Fund WEO Update July 2021; EIA = US Energy Information Administration. The forecast assumes a nominal exchange rate of 1.17 US dollars per euro throughout 2021 and 2022.

     

  • The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts – in its latest short-term outlook from September 2021 – Brent crude oil spot prices to average around 72 US dollars per barrel in 2021, and around 66 US dollars per barrel in 2022, compared with an average of 41.8 US dollars in 2020. The IMF oil price outlook points to slightly lower values. This lies in different assumptions regarding the pace of economic recovery and the growth of oil production from OPEC countries and the US3.
  • Fuel prices in European IWT are not only influenced by oil prices but also by the exchange rate between US dollars and euros. The depreciation of the US dollar towards the euro, starting in March 2020, continued until May 2021, reaching 1.22 US dollars per euro at the end of that month. This dampened fuel prices in European IWT. In August 2021, the euro lost some value compared to the US dollar due to a weak business cycle in Europe and settled at 1.17-1.18 US dollars per euro until September. It is expected that the European currency will not deviate much from this range throughout 2021 and 202245.
  • Based on this reasoning, fuel prices in IWT are expected to remain in the range between 54 and 60 €/100L throughout the rest of 2021 and in 2022.

• Transport performance (TKM) on inland waterways in Europe (EU plus Switzerland, Serbia and Ukraine) increased by 4.0% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. For the different cargo segments transported on the Rhine, dry cargo saw an increase, whereas liquid cargo was slightly weaker in Q1 2021.
• Passenger transport, and more precisely river cruises, are struggling to recover with a continuous low level of cruise vessel traffic on the Upper Rhine (lock of Iffezheim). The number of vessels passing this lock dropped by 12.7% in the first half year of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. The gap in (Q1+Q2) 2021 compared to (Q1+Q2) 2019 amounts to 94.9%.

 

TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE

    TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN IWT ON THE NATIONAL TERRITORY OF EACH COUNTRY IN EUROPE – COMPARISON BETWEEN Q1 2020 AND Q1 2021 (IN MILLION TKM) *


    Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave], OECD (Switzerland, Serbia, Ukraine)
    * For the UK, data were not available.

     

    FIGURE 1: INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT (IWT) PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE BY REGION AND QUARTER (IN MILLION TKM)


    Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave], OECD (Ukraine), Destatis (Rhine and affluents)
    * Danube = TKM in all Danube countries including Ukraine

     

  • After a period of decreasing transport performance (low waters in 2018, macroeconomic weakness in 2019, Covid crisis in 2020), cargo transport on the Rhine and on Dutch waterways started to recover between Q3 2020 and Q1 2021. More recent data (for the lock of Iffezheim on the Upper Rhine) point to an increase of 4.7% in transport volume during the first eight months of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. However, the difference compared to the level in the first eight months of 2019 was still 6.9%.
  • While transport performance in Belgium and France was rather constant, with some fluctuations, Danube navigation continued its upward trend.
  •  

    RHINE AND DANUBE NAVIGATION PER CARGO SEGMENT

    FIGURES 2 AND 3: RHINE TRANSPORT VOLUME UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM FOR MAJOR CARGO SEGMENTS (IN MILLION TONNES, FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2020 AND 2021)



    Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis
     

  • Cargo transport on the traditional Rhine amounted to 42.7 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 42.5 million tonnes in the same quarter the previous year. The comparison shows that dry cargo had higher volumes in Q1 2021 than in Q1 2020, while liquid cargo (in particular petroleum products) had lower volumes.
  • These differences can be explained by the recovery of steel production and the increase of steam coal demand (because of high gas prices) in 2021, and the related increase in dry cargo transport of iron ore, coking coal and steam coal. Steel production in Germany was 15% higher in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. The drop in petroleum products is explained by a reduced mobility due to the pandemic. The future will show if this could become a structural phenomenon.
  •  

    FIGURES 4 AND 5: MIDDLE DANUBE TRANSPORT VOLUME UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM FOR THE MAJOR CARGO SEGMENTS (IN MILLION TONNES, FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2020 AND 2021) *



    Source: Danube Commission market observation report
    * On the Middle Danube at Mohács

     

  • Iron ore transport on the Middle Danube increased slightly in Q1 2021, reflecting also the recovery in the steel market which is relevant both for Rhine and Danube navigation. Furthermore, the upward trend in grain transport that occurred in 2020 continued on the Danube also in 2021.
  • A certain balance of freight transport on the Danube was ensured by the transportation of significant volumes of grain from the ports of the Middle Danube in direction of the port of Constanța. At the same time, the cargo turnover of the port of Constanța by river traffic amounted to 4.1 million tonnes in Q1 2021, which was 15.3% higher than in Q1 2020. Accordingly, the transport volume on the Danube-Black Sea canal amounted to 4.37 million tonnes, which was 12.3% more than in Q1 2020.

 
 

PASSENGER TRANSPORT

  • The number of cruise vessels passing the lock of Iffezheim at the Upper Rhine is chosen as an indicator for passenger transport. Data on cruise vessels on the Rhine are an important indicator for the European cruise sector, as the Rhine enjoys the second highest cruising figures in Europe after the Danube.
  • In the second half of 2020, cruising partly recovered, in parallel with a partial termination of lockdown rules. In the first half of 2021, however, figures dropped again to very low levels.
  •  

    FIGURE 6: NUMBER OF RIVER CRUISE VESSELS PASSING THE LOCK OF IFFEZHEIM AT THE UPPER RHINE PER HALF YEAR (FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR 2021, DATA WERE NOT AVAILABLE)


    Source: German Waterway and Shipping Administration
     

  • At the time of writing the report, figures were available until the month of August 2021. In this month, the number of cruise vessels passing the lock of Iffezheim increased sharply. However, it is far too early to consider this as a definite recovery in this market segment. Several indicators show that the pandemic is not yet over, so that a rebound of the crisis cannot be ruled out.
  •  

    FIGURE 7: NUMBER OF RIVER CRUISE VESSELS PASSING THE LOCK OF IFFEZHEIM AT THE UPPER RHINE PER MONTH


    Source: German Waterway and Shipping Administration
     

  • In June 2021, a number of cruise vessel voyages took place on the Danube, operating to begin with at an average number of 115-125 passengers. In total, 13 vessel passages took place on the Upper Danube in June and 1,700 passengers were transported. In July the number of passages increased to 148, and in August to 330. At the same time, passenger transportation was renewed in the direction of the Danube Delta.

 
 

TRANSPORT VOLUME IN MAIN EUROPEAN IWT COUNTRIES

    FIGURE 8: INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT VOLUME IN MAIN EUROPEAN IWT COUNTRIES (IN MILLION TONNES, QUARTERLY DATA OF TRANSPORT VOLUME ON THE NATIONAL TERRITORY OF EACH COUNTRY)


    Source: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave]
    Due to a lack of plausibility of Stat.Bel data as from Q1 2018, the data for Belgium from this quarter onwards were recalculated. This was done by applying the rate of change that is present in the more plausible data from the Flemish waterway administration (De Vlaamse Waterweg). The series for Belgium then follows the trend for Flanders, but is located on a higher level.

 
 

DRY BULK, LIQUID BULK AND CONTAINER TRANSPORT

    FIGURE 9: DRY CARGO TRANSPORT (IN MILLION TONNES)



     

    FIGURE 10: LIQUID CARGO TRANSPORT (IN MILLION TONNES)



     

    FIGURE 11: CONTAINER TRANSPORT (IN MILLION TONNES)



    Sources: Eurostat [IWW_GO_QCNAVE], Destatis. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, De Vlaamse Waterweg, SPW Service Public de Wallonie, Voies Navigables de France, Romanian Institute of Statistics
    Note: For Belgium-Wallonia, infra-annual container statistics in tonnes are not available. The product group “machines/other goods” was assumed to consist mainly of container transport. The data contain total IWT on the territory of the country/region.
  • Transport performance (TKM) on inland waterways in the EU has been adhering to a small and rather narrow recovery path since Q3 2020. In the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021), transport performance was 4.0% higher than in Q1 2020. Rhine countries experienced an overall increase of 1.0%, while Danube countries followed a more dynamic surge (+14.8%), thanks to growing grain transport.
  • For the two largest IWT countries, Germany and the Netherlands, the result remained almost stable in Germany (-0.1%) while a small increase was observed for the Netherlands (+1.9%).
  • A differentiation by cargo segments for the Rhine reveals that dry cargo (iron ore, coal, grain) increased slightly, whereas liquid cargo had weaker results in Q1 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. This was due to a reduction of petroleum products transport, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on the mobility sector.
  • Passenger transport still remained far below pre-pandemic levels in the first half year of 2021. Data for the lock of Iffezheim on the Upper Rhine indicate that only 55 cruise vessels passed this lock in the first half year of 2021, compared to 63 in the first half year of 2020, but 1,078 in the first half year of 2019. The gap between (Q1+Q2) 2021 and (Q1+Q2) 2019 represents 94.9%.
  • Freight rates for dry cargo and container transport have increased since Q3 2020, mirroring the recovery in transport demand. Freight rates for liquid cargo have not shown any recovery since this quarter. The reason is a structurally reduced mobility demand that reduces transport demand for liquid products.
  • During the course of 2021, oil prices and thus fuel prices, continued on an upward trend that began in late 2020. Fuel prices settled at around 50 Euro per 100 Litres in Q2 2021. The forecast for fuel prices points to a range between 54 and 60 Euro per 100 Litres for 2022, based on oil price forecasts.
  • A special chapter of the report is dedicated to Serbia. The IWW transport performance amounted to 4,225 million TKM for the year 2020, which accounts for a share of 3.2% within transport performance in the EU (plus Switzerland, Serbia, Ukraine). The focus of IWT in Serbia lies in the transport of dry mass cargo. Within Serbian IWT, a positive development in recent years was the strong increase in iron ore and steel transport in the port of Smederovo. This development was facilitated by the renovation of the main Serbian steel plant by a foreign steel company.
  • The employment in Serbian IWT is largely dominated by freight transport, where 1,018 out of 1,087 IWT workers are active.
  • The modal split share of IWT within total land-based transport performance is 28.7%, making IWT a core transport mode in this Middle Danube country.
  • The Market Insight Report – November 2020 contains key figures relating to the European Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) for the first half of 2020. The Covid-19 crisis has had some severe effects on goods and passenger transport, but there were also market segments which escaped from the downfall.
  • The pandemic has had the most severe impact on passenger transport, due to the canceling of river cruises and day trip excursions from March 2020 onwards. In France, for example, the financial turnover of IWW (Inland Waterway) passenger transport companies was 91% lower in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 than in the same quarter one year earlier. In Germany, the reduction of financial turnover in passenger transport companies amounted to 72% in Q2 2020. Passenger transport turnover suffered also in Austria, where it has a higher share in total IWT turnover than goods transport.
  • The effects of the pandemic on goods transport were different according to cargo segments and regions. A main observation was the reduction of iron ore transport due to the interruption of automobile production in March. On the Rhine, iron ore transport lost 15% in the first five months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. On the Middle Danube, it was reduced by 32%. Sands, stones and gravel transport lost 34.8% in France in Q2 2020, where it is the largest cargo segment.
  • Two cargo segments escaped the downfall: petroleum products benefited from the sharp oil price decrease, which triggered more import, transport and storage activities for heating oil. The transport for this liquid cargo category was at the same level as one year earlier, both on the Rhine and on the Middle Danube.
  • The second cargo segment which avoided a decrease was grain transport. On the Middle Danube, there was an increase of 76% for grain transport, as harvest results were much improved compared to the previous year. There was also a strong increase of grain transport on the Lower Danube in Romania (+66.4%) and a slight increase in France (+0.8%).
  • Spot market freight rates were on a downward trend, especially for dry cargo. For mineral oil products, the first half year showed relatively stable rates, thanks to the replenishment of storage depots. But these effects have so far been subsiding in the second half of the year and liquid cargo freight rates are now decreasing.
  • The financial turnover of goods transport companies was far less affected than passenger transport. For German goods transport companies, the year-on-year reduction was 9% in Q2 2020. In the Netherlands, this indicator reached -17%, but this figure includes both goods and passenger transport companies.
  • One chapter of the report focuses on Austria, where inland waterway transport has a high modal split share for imports from eastern countries (within the trimodal Danube corridor).
  • River cruise traffic on the Austrian Danube increased by 80% between 2010 and 2019, but the years 2020 and 2021 will see a sharp interruption of this positive trend due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

• The “Focus on” chapter deals with Austria, where 48% of goods transport on inland waterways was made up of agricultural products, iron ore and scrap metal in 2019. Petroleum products had a share of 17%.

• The modal split share of IWT in the multimodal Danube corridor (road, rail, river) is the highest for imports from Austria’s eastern neighbouring countries. Within this corridor, Danube traffic reaches a modal share of 27% for cross-border import traffic from the east.

• Passenger transport on Austrian inland waterways is composed of cruise traffic, day trip excursions on the Danube and on lakes. Cruise traffic on the Austrian Danube is a fast-growing business, with a cruise trips growth rate of 80% between 2010 and 2019. The day trip excursions growth rate on the Austrian Danube was 9% between 2010 and 2019. Both segments suffered during the first half of 2020, as turnover figures confirm.

 

AUSTRIAN INLAND PORTS’ WATERSIDE TRAFFIC

    PortWaterside traffic 2019 in million tonnes
    Linz (voestalpine steel port)*2.696
    Vienna1.227
    Enns0.779
    Linz (public port)0.665
    Krems0.370

     

    * The voestalpine steel port is the port of the Austrian steel company voestalpine AG
     
     

    FIGURE 1: WATERSIDE PORTS TRAFFIC IN THE LARGEST AUSTRIAN INLAND PORTS 2008-2019 (IN MILLION TONNES) *


    Source: viadonau
    * In 2019 these ports represented 82.4% of all waterside ports traffic in Austria.

     

    TABLE 1: WATERSIDE PORT THROUGHPUT IN DANUBE COUNTRIES, Q1 2020 COMPARED TO Q1 2019

    CountryQ1 2019 in million tQ1 2020 in million tRate of change in %
    Romanian ports6.2126.668+7.3
    Serbian ports2.6621.845-30.7
    Austrian ports2.0161.709-15.2
    Hungarian ports1.5261.597+4.7
    Ukrainian ports1.5691.278-18.5
    German ports0.8990.765-14.9
    Slovakian ports0.5230.390-25.5
    Moldavian ports0.2840.296+4.4
    Croatian ports0.1370.190+38.7

    Source: Danube Commission
    German ports are the Danube ports in Germany. For Bulgarian ports, the data are partly missing and are therefore not comparable.

     

    FIGURE 2: IWT ON THE AUSTRIAN DANUBE BY GOODS SEGMENT (IN MILLION TONNES), 2012-2019 *


    Source: viadonau (several annual reports)
    * Not shown are chemicals and coal due to very low numbers.

     

  • Import traffic plays an important role for IWT in Austria. While agricultural products are mainly imported into (43%) or transiting (50%) through Austria, iron ore has an import share of almost 100%. It is mainly delivered by upstream transport from the Lower and Middle Danube region, and its destination is the steel industry in Linz (see also ports figures). Within the Danube corridor, the river Danube reaches a modal split share of 27% for cross-border import traffic from the eastern direction (modal share within road, rail and IWT).
  • Within transit traffic, the modal split share of the Danube is also higher for upstream traffic (12%) than for downstream traffic (3%). For export traffic, the Danube’s share is again higher for the eastern trading route (13%) than for the western route (5%).
  •  

    MODAL SPLIT SHARE OF IWT WITHIN CROSS-BORDER TRAFFIC IN THE AUSTRIAN DANUBE CORRIDOR (IN % OF ROAD, RAIL AND IWT) *

     

    Sources: Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and viadonau
    * Data for 2019
    EX = Export traffic
    IM = Import traffic
    TR = Transit traffic

 
 

FACT SHEET IWT IN AUSTRIA – ANNUAL FIGURES



    Source: CCNR analysis based on Eurostat data [sbs_na_1a_se_r2], [iww_go_atygo], [iww_go_actygo], [tran_hv_frmod], [iww_eq_loadcap], [iww_eq_age], viadonau (fleet data).
    Notes on the factsheet: “Share in EU total” contains figures for the EU plus Switzerland and Serbia. #) In contrast to transport performance, for transport volume, a country-specific share cannot be calculated. *) The number of dry cargo vessels includes work vehicles and RoRo ships (source: viadonau).
    The modal split indicator is defined as the percentage of inland waterway transport in total freight transport performance measured in tonne-kilometres. Inland freight transport modes include road, rail and inland waterways. Road transport takes into account the TKM made by trucks registered in foreign countries on Austrian territory, according to the new Eurostat methodology in the series [tran_hv_frmod].

 
 

PASSENGER TRANSPORT ON THE AUSTRIAN DANUBE

  • The number of river cruise trips in Austria is measured on the basis of data collected at the lock of Aschach near Linz and at the lock of Vienna-Freudenau. While the number of trips represent ‘hard data’, the passenger numbers are partly estimated by viadonau based on an assumed average capacity utilisation of the vessels of 75%. According to these figures, the number of river cruise trips on the Austrian Danube increased by 80% between 2010 and 2019. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the figures for 2020 can be expected to be much lower than in previous years.
  •  

    FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF RIVER CRUISE TRIPS AND NUMBER OF CRUISE PASSENGERS ON THE AUSTRIAN DANUBE *


    Sources: viadonau, several annual reports
    * Number of passengers is an estimation by viadonau.

     

  • Not only river cruise vessels, but also day trip vessels (liner services and non-scheduled services) are important on the Austrian Danube. Due to the absence of official figures, viadonau collects passenger numbers from companies. There are several companies active in liner services (including ferry services on the Danube) and in non-scheduled services (charter trips, thematic trips).
  •  

    FIGURE 4: NUMBER OF PASSENGERS IN LINER SERVICES ON THE AUSTRIAN DANUBE (IN 1000) *


    Sources: viadonau, several annual reports
    * Figures include ferry services.

• In the Rhine region, freight rates for dry cargo followed a downward trend in the first half of 2020. Spot market rates for coal, iron ore and metals were around 21-22% lower in the Rhine region, compared to the first half year of 2019. Freight rates for sands, stones, gravel and agribulk also decreased, but in a less pronounced manner.

• Spot market freight rates for mineral oil products mostly decreased in the first half year of 2020, the month of May being the only exception, when the return to a 24 hours a day operation of locks on the Upper Rhine brought a temporary upward movement in freight rates (due to more transport demand).

• Turnover development per country shows a limited decrease for goods transport (e.g. -9% in the second quarter of 2020 in Germany), but a very clear decrease for passenger transport. For French passenger transport companies, financial turnover was 91% lower in the second quarter of 2020 compared to Q2 2019.

 
 

IMPACT OF WATER LEVEL CONDITIONS

  • The available or possible draught of a vessel is an important economic parameter. A high possible draught enables high loading degrees, thereby realising economies of scale and high transport volumes, and lowering unit costs. A detailed model for estimating the effect of low water on the loading capacity of inland ships of different types and size was recently published in the European Journal of Transport Infrastructure Research (Van Dorsser, C. et al. Effect of low water on loading capacity of inland ships. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, v. 20, n. 3, p. 47-70, sep. 2020. ISSN 1567-7141. Available at: https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/ejtir/article/view/3981). For IWT as a whole, high loading degrees could enable IWT to gain modal shares on the transport market.
  • The available or possible draught of an inland vessel can be calculated on the basis of the actual water level, the equivalent water level and the minimum navigation channel depth that is guaranteed by the waterway administration under the condition of the equivalent water level. In addition, a security margin under the keel (under keel clearance) has to be taken into account (Possible or available draught = minimum navigation channel depth + (actual water level – equivalent water level) – under keel clearance). The equivalent water level refers to a low water level under which, on a 30-year average, the water levels do not fall below more than 20 ice free days per year.
  • The figure below illustrates a vessel sailing with a certain actual draught (due to a certain weight of goods loaded) at the gauge station of Kaub/Middle Rhine. At this gauge station, the equivalent water level is 78 cm, and the related minimum navigation channel depth 190 cm. For the under keel clearance, 32 cm were assumed. The chosen date to determine the available or possible draught in this illustration is 3 September 2020, when actual water levels were 239 cm on average.
  •  

    FIGURE 1: ACTUAL WATER LEVEL, ACTUAL DRAUGHT, EQUIVALENT WATER LEVEL, MINIMUM NAVIGATION CHANNEL DEPTH AND POSSIBLE OR AVAILABLE DRAUGHT AT KAUB/MIDDLE RHINE *


    Source: CCNR based on German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) (2015).
    * The distances in this drawing are not at scale.

     

  • In the example above, it can be seen that the vessel could have loaded more weight as it did not fully exploit the available or possible draught on that day at Kaub.
  • From the viewpoint of the German waterway administration, for a river bed with sand or gravel soil, an under keel clearance of at least 20 cm is sufficient. The under keel clearance for a rocky river bed should be between 20 cm and 40 cm.
  • The following figures show the available draught for several important gauge stations on the Rhine and the Danube until August 2020 (In these calculations, the following values were taken for the under-keel clearance: 32 cm for Kaub, 21 cm for Maxau, 27 cm for Duisburg, and 40 cm for the three Danube gauge stations. The values regarding the Rhine stations are published in a report by the Swiss Association of Shipping and Port Economics (see the article written by the Swiss Association of Shipping and Port Economics (Schweizerische Vereinigung für Schifffahrt und Hafenwirtschaft), in: SVS Aktuell, Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019, pages 7 and 8, available at: http://www.svs-ch.ch/sites/default/files/svs-aktuell/winter_2018.pdf). The values regarding the Danube are recommended by viadonau).
  •  

    FIGURES 2 AND 3: IMPACT OF HYDRAULICITY – AVAILABLE OR POSSIBLE DRAUGHT OF VESSELS AT IMPORTANT GAUGING STATIONS ALONG THE RHINE AND DANUBE (IN CM)



    Sources: CCNR calculation based on data from the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, provided by the German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), and data from the Federal State of Lower Austria (https://www.noel.gv.at/wasserstand/#/de/Messstellen/Map/Wasserstand).

 
 
 

FREIGHT RATES IN THE RHINE AND DANUBE REGIONS

    FIGURES 4 AND 5: FREIGHT RATE EVOLUTION FOR DRY CARGO IN THE RHINE REGION (INDEX 2015 = 100)



    Source: Panteia
     

  • Dry cargo freight rates (spot market) in the Rhine region came under pressure in the first half of 2020. According to freight rate data collected by Panteia, freight rates for coal, iron ore and metals had the strongest reduction compared to the first half of 2019, with -22% (coal and iron ore) and -21% (metals). The structural decline in coal transport, and the negative effects of Covid-19 on steel production and automobile production can largely explain this trend.
  • For sands, stones and gravel, as well as agribulk, the decrease in freight rates was somehow smaller (-6% and -17% respectively). Freight rates in container transport (spot market rates) were, in the first half of 2020, 23% lower than in the same period one year earlier. It should be noted that most container ships operate under a time charter agreement. The evolution shown in the graph concerns spot market freight rates and can therefore differ from time charter rates.
  •  

    FIGURE 6: FREIGHT RATE EVOLUTION FOR GASOIL FROM THE ARA REGION TO RHINE DESTINATIONS (INDEX 2015 = 100) *


    Source: CCNR calculation based on PJK International
    * PJK collects freight rates (in Euro per tonne) for ARA-Rhine trade of liquid bulk. The CCNR transforms these values into an index with base year 2015. Lower Rhine: Duisburg, Cologne. Upper Rhine: Karlsruhe, Basel. Main: Frankfurt/M.

     

  • Factors which supported spot market freight rates for liquid cargo transport on the Rhine in the first half year of 2020 were low oil prices and relatively low water levels (see figures above). Low spot market oil prices, in combination with a ‘contango’ (Contango is a situation where spot market prices are below prices for a future delivery of oil products) situation on future oil markets, meant that importers saw it as profitable to import oil products, store them and get their price risk covered by the future market. At the beginning of May 2020, the restoration of the 24 hours a day operation of Upper Rhine locks brought some temporary extra transport activity, reflected by a sudden upward movement in freight rates.
  • This effect subsided in June and in the following months, so that freight rates decreased. In July, August and September 2020, gasoil freight rates were much lower than in the same months one year earlier. For the Lower Rhine, the average difference in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019 was -47%, and for the Upper Rhine even -51%, and -57% for the Main. These strong reductions in autumn 2020 can be explained by the fact that the usual replenishment effects for heating oil were barely present in autumn 2020, as depots had already been filled up in the spring when oil prices dropped sharply (see chapter 1).
  • In Q1 2020, freight rates in Danube navigation – in downstream transport – were 24% higher than in Q1 2019. It was the increase in downstream transport of grain (see chapter 1), which triggered this uptake. Within upstream transport, freight rates went down (-9%) due to less iron ore transport during the first months of 2020 (see chapter 1). There was also a reduction in fuel prices due to lower oil prices, by -7% compared to 2019.
  •  

    FIGURE 7: FREIGHT RATE EVOLUTION IN DANUBE NAVIGATION (INDEX Q4 2018 = 100)


    Source: Danube Commission Market Observation report

 
 
 

QUARTERLY IWT TURNOVER EVOLUTION PER COUNTRY IN EUROPE

    FIGURE 8: TURNOVER EVOLUTION OF FRENCH PASSENGER TRANSPORT COMPANIES (INDEX 2015 = 100)


    Source: INSEE – Indice de chiffres d’affaires
     

  • In Q1 2020, turnover from IWW passenger transport in France was 35% below the Q1 2019 value. In Q2 2020, IWW turnover fell by 91% compared to the same quarter one year earlier.
  • By mid-March, the time when the cruise season normally starts, the whole activity of passenger transport (river cruises and day trip excursions) halted completely. It was only at the end of May that some day trip vessels and small cruise vessels took up their activity, although with a rather limited number of passengers. Larger cruise vessels were authorised to sail only from the first half of July onwards (See the article in the journal NPI « Accompagner les entreprises, une priorite absolue », September 2020). However, not all large river cruises resumed their operation. For instance, Viking river cruises, a company which proposes river cruises in France, decided to extend the suspension of operations applying to all its river cruises until the end of 2020.
  • The harsh reduction in turnover in France can be explained by the almost complete absence of overseas (US-Americans, Canadians, Australians) and British tourists. These source markets play an essential role as clients for passenger shipping in France, in particular within the segment of cruise traffic (both large and small cruise vessels).
  •  

    FIGURE 9: TURNOVER EVOLUTION OF GERMAN PASSENGER TRANSPORT COMPANIES (INDEX 2015 = 100)


    Source: Destatis
     

  • Turnover in German passenger transport dropped by 11% in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019. In Q2 2020, due to the cancellations of river cruises and day trip excursions on a large scale, turnover from IWW passenger transport was 72% below the level of Q2 2019. It is noted that this decrease was lower than in France, due to the explained structure of the demand side according to nationalities. In maritime and coastal shipping, the rate of reduction was even higher, at 85%.
  •  

    FIGURE 10: TURNOVER EVOLUTION OF GERMAN GOODS TRANSPORT COMPANIES (INDEX 2015 = 100)


    Source: Destatis
     

  • Comparing the evolution in maritime/coastal shipping with inland waterway transport, it can be observed that the reduction of turnover from cargo transport amounted to -9% in Q2 2020 in IWT, compared to -19% in maritime/coastal shipping. In the German cargo sector, the Covid-19 pandemic therefore had a more severe effect on turnover in the maritime segment than in IWT. These figures confirm also that turnover in cargo transport was less effected than turnover in passenger transport.
  •  

    FIGURE 11: TURNOVER EVOLUTION OF DUTCH TRANSPORT COMPANIES (INDEX 2015 = 100)


    Source: CBS
     

  • In the Dutch transport sector, turnover in IWT (freight and passenger transport taken together) is dominated by freight transport (92% of total turnover). Total turnover dropped by 7% in Q1 2020 (compared to the same quarter one year earlier), while there was an increase by 5% in maritime and coastal shipping. In the second quarter of 2020, the quartely year-on-year reduction in turnover amounted to -17% in IWT, and to -5% in maritime and coastal transport.
  • Although separate figures for passenger transport in the Netherlands are not available, some experiences from shipping companies can already shed some light on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. An article about a day-trip shipping company, active on the river Ijssel, indicates a reduction of turnover by 70% in March and April (See the article ”Rederij Celjo signaleert licht herstel rond-en partyvaart”, in: Weekblad Schuttevaer, 2 September 2020). Meanwhile, the activity is recovering, but with a low capacity utilisation. For instance, one of the said company’s vessels has a capacity of 250 passengers, but it can only receive 70 passengers at present to comply with the current sanitary requirements.
  • Some cases of passenger companies whose turnover was not negatively affected by Covid-19 also exist. For instance, a company with three small historical watertaxis (with a capacity inferior to 10 passengers) in Dordrecht reported that by intensifying its marketing activity in the region, targeting the local population, the reduction in the number of foreign tourists could be compensated (See the article in Weekblad Schuttevaer: “Rondvaartschip Si Barone beleeft beste seizoen ooit”, 7 September 2020).
  •  

    FIGURE 12: TURNOVER EVOLUTION OF AUSTRIAN IWW TRANSPORT COMPANIES (INDEX 2015 = 100)


    Source: Eurostat [sts_setu_q]
     

  • In Austria, total turnover from inland waterway transport is dominated by passenger transport, due to the higher number of companies active in this field (There are no up-to-date figures for the split of turnover between freight and passenger transport for Austria. The latest figures available are for the year 2014, and they show a share of 56% of passenger transport in total IWW turnover. It can be strongly assumed that this share has risen further in the years 2015-2019, due to the absence of growth in freight transport, and a growing activity in passenger transport). In Q2 2020, a 68% decrease in total Austrian IWT turnover could be observed compared to Q2 2019, which is very similar to the effect in German passenger transport where the observed drop was 72%.

 
 
 

COST EVOLUTION

  • Fuel costs are analysed on the basis of gasoil/diesel prices published by the energy price monitoring system of the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs. The prices are maximum prices and valid for a purchase volume of at least 2,000 litres of gasoil. As the following figure shows, there is a strong correlation with the evolution of crude oil prices (Brent).
  •  

    FIGURE 13: AVERAGE FUEL PRICES ACCORDING TO THE BELGIAN MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND BRENT CRUDE OIL PRICES INCLUDING FORECAST *


    Sources: ITB and SPF Economie (fuel price), US Energy Information Administration (oil price), Federal Reserve Economic Data (exchange rate US-Dollar/Euro)
    * Oil price forecast from IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2020. This forecast contains the assumption of an appreciation of the Euro (= depreciation of the US-Dollar) from 1.18 US-$ per Euro in September 2020 up to 1.22 US-$ per Euro in Q4 2022. 1 barrel (bbl) = 159 Litre.

     

  • With decreasing oil prices in the first half of 2020, fuel prices declined as well and both indicators picked up only slightly in Q3 2020. With declining fuel costs, inland navigation companies, faced with reductions in transport demand, experienced a reduction in their operational costs.
  • Fuel prices are expected to remain low in 2021. Next to low oil prices, the depreciation of the US-Dollar towards the Euro plays another role. This trend started in May 2020 and is expected to continue in 2021, due to stronger economic damages in the US in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis compared to Europe (See the article in the ”Handelsblatt”, 13 August 2020, with an interview with professor of economics, Dr. Bernd Rürup).
  •  

    FIGURE 14: U.S. DOLLAR / EURO FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE, U.S. DOLLARS TO ONE EURO (DAILY DATA)


    Source: Federal Reserve Economic Data (https://fred.stlouisfed.org)
     

  • A decrease in fuel costs is also expected by Panteia in its cost monitoring, released in February 2020. The reduction in fuel costs is especially relevant for capital intensive new vessels, which have to sail a great number of hours in order to reach the reimbursement of their loans. Next to fuel costs, capital costs are also expected to decrease, as the Covid-19 crisis leads to lower interest rates due to more liquidity flooding the markets and interest rate cuts, in order to stimulate the economy in Europe.

• In the first five months of 2020, cargo transport on the Rhine was 11% lower than in the same period in 2019. The Covid-19 crisis had different effects, depending on cargo segments.

• Iron ore transport was affected by the interruption of automobile production and lost 15%. Transport of sands, stones and gravel registered a reduction of 12%, and chemicals of 8%. There were also segments with a positive result: grain transport benefited from good harvest result and increased by 11%. Transport of petroleum products was on the same level as in 2019, as the drop in oil prices triggered more import traffic in March and April.

• On the Middle Danube, goods transport was 1% higher in the first five months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The reason was the good harvest result, which triggered an uptake of grain transport by 76%. Downstream grain transport between the Middle Danube and the Black Sea more than tripled. On the other hand, iron ore transport on the Middle Danube lost 32%.

 
 

TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE

    TRANSPORT PERFORMANCE IN IWT ON THE NATIONAL TERRITORY OF EACH COUNTRY IN EUROPE – COMPARISON BETWEEN Q1 2019 AND Q1 2020 (IN MILLION TKM)


    Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave], OECD (Switzerland), Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
     

    FIGURE 1: INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT (IWT) PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE BY REGION (IN MILLION TKM)


    Sources: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave], Destatis, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia
     

  • In Q1 2020, transport performance on Dutch and Belgian inland waterways was 7% lower (Dutch waterways) and 8% (Belgian waterways) than in Q1 2019. For the traditional Rhine and the Rhine affluents (Moselle, Main, Neckar), the difference was somehow stronger with -12% (Rhine) and -16% (Rhine affluents). On the Danube, the decrease in transport performance was the smallest, with -5%.
  • In Q1 2020, the effects of the Covid-19 crisis started to be felt in March 2020. A look at detailed transport statistics for the first five months of 2020 shows that the strongest reduction in Rhine transport took place for coal, a segment which, for structural reasons, was already losing volumes before the Covid-19 crisis. Iron ore transport was reduced by 15% as it was affected by the temporary closure of automobile production plants.
  • Transport of chemicals lost 8%, and sands, stones and gravel 12%. Downstream transport of grain and petroleum products registered a plus of 13% each. Grain transport benefited from a good harvest year. The increase for petroleum products is explained by the sharp drop in oil prices in spring 2020, which prompted an early replenishment of heating oil depots, thereby enhancing Rhine transport for these products. However, these effects were diminishing in autumn 2020, according to information provided by the German Federal Transport Office.
  •  

    FIGURES 2 AND 3: RHINE TRANSPORT VOLUME UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM FOR MAJOR CARGO SEGMENTS (IN MILLION TONNES, FOR THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF 2019 AND 2020)



    Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis
     

    FIGURES 4 TO 7: MONTHLY GOODS TRANSPORT ON THE TRADITIONAL RHINE IN THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF 2018, 2019 AND 2020 (UPSTREAM PLUS DOWNSTREAM)





    Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis
     

  • With regard to Danube navigation, for which the statistics are from the measurement point of Mohács on the Middle Danube in southern Hungary, there is a certain parallel to Rhine navigation. Indeed, on the Danube, iron ore also lost volumes, while grain transport increased. In April 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the amount of grain exported from the Middle Danube ports downstream was more than four times higher than in April 2019. This shows that inland navigation was able to play an important role in maintaining logistical chains in a fundamental economic sector.
  • In the first five months of 2020, the most important goods segment in upstream transport on the Danube, iron ore, was heavily impacted by the falling steel and automobile production in Europe. It lost around 33% compared to the first five months of 2019.
  •  

    FIGURES 8 AND 9: DANUBE TRANSPORT VOLUME UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM FOR THE MAJOR CARGO SEGMENTS (IN MILLION TONNES, FOR THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF 2020 AND 2019) *



    Source: Danube Commission Market Observation report
    * On the Middle Danube at Mohács / southern Hungary

 
 
 
 

TRANSPORT VOLUME IN MAIN EUROPEAN IWT COUNTRIES

    FIGURE 10: INLAND SHIPPING TRANSPORT VOLUME IN MAIN EUROPEAN IWT COUNTRIES (QUARTERLY DATA – IN MILLION TONNES)


    Source: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave]
    For Belgium, Statbel figures for the 2019 and 2020 quarters were corrected in light of the data available from the waterway administrations in Belgium (De Vlaamse Waterweg and SPW Service Public de Wallonie).

 
 
 

DRY BULK, LIQUID BULK AND CONTAINER TRANSPORT

    FIGURE 11: DRY CARGO TRANSPORT (IN MILLION TONNES)


     

    FIGURE 12: LIQUID CARGO TRANSPORT (IN MILLION TONNES)


     

    FIGURE 13: CONTAINER TRANSPORT (IN MILLION TONNES)


    Sources: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, Destatis, De Vlaamse Waterweg, SPW Service Public de Wallonie, Voies Navigables de France, Romanian Institute of Statistics
    Note: for France and Wallonia, infra-annual container statistics in tonnes are not available. Hence, the product group “machines/other goods/” was assumed to consist mainly of container transport.

     

  • The trend of energy transition, resulting in less coal transport, continued also in the first quarter of 2020. Regarding the Covid-19 crisis, its impact was only partly present in the first quarter (in March). Data for Q2 2020 would be needed to study the effects of Covid-19. Such data were available for the Netherlands, Romania and France, at the time this report was written.
  • For the Netherlands, they show only limited reductions in cargo transport in this second quarter of 2020. IWT figures in the Netherlands decreased by 6% in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019. According to these (preliminary) data, there was a decrease of dry cargo transport in Q2 2020 by 9% in the Netherlands (compared to Q2 2019). Liquid cargo lost only 1% and container transport 3%. This rather favourable result for liquid cargo reflects the filling up of storage tanks for oil products, due to the reduction in oil prices in March.
  • The Romanian data show trends that were also observed when looking at data for the Middle Danube at Mohács: a strong drop in iron ore transport, and a strong increase in grain transport. These trends can be explained by the falling European steel production in spring 2020. The strong rise in grain transport reflects the increased export of grain from the Middle Danube ports to the Lower Danube region (Black Sea region).
  •  

    TABLE 1: VOLUME OF GOODS TRANSPORT IN Q2 2020 COMPARED TO Q2 2019 IN ROMANIA (IN MILLION TONNES)

     Q2 2019Q2 2020Change in %
    Total transport8.197.55-7.9
    Iron ore2.851.50-47.4
    Grain1.442.40+66.4
    Sands, stones, gravel1.952.07+6.2
    Other dry bulk0.490.47-4.7
    Coal0.510.38-24.5
    Metals0.400.30-25.4
    Petroleum products0.420.23-43.5

    Source: Romanian Institute of Statistics (https://insse.ro/cms/en/content/harbour-transport-goods-and-passengers-semi2020)
     

  • In France, transport in the largest cargo segment (sands, stones, gravel) decreased by almost 35% in Q2 2020, due to the temporary closure of important building and construction sites, but transport in the second largest segment (agricultural segment, grain) slightly increased (+0,8%). Indeed, this segment benefited from a good harvest season 2019/2020. All other cargo segments went down. Overall, IWT transport in France fell by 23,6 % in Q2 2020.
  •  

    TABLE 2: VOLUME OF GOODS TRANSPORT IN Q2 2020 COMPARED TO Q2 2019 IN FRANCE (IN MILLION TONNES)

     Q2 2019Q2 2020Change in %
    Total transport14.811.3-23.6
    Sands, stones, gravel6.644.33-34.8
    Grain3.033.06+0.8
    Petroleum products0.960.87-9.8
    Machines, equipment0.890.79-10.9
    Food products0.920.65-29.1
    Chemicals0.520.46-11
    Fertilizer0.390.35-8.6

    Source: VNF
     

    FIGURES 14 TO 19 : EVOLUTION OF CONTAINER TRANSPORT FOR SELECTED EUROPEAN WATERWAYS (IN 1000 TEU)

  • On the Rhine, the TEU result in Q1 2020 was 6.2% higher than in Q4 2019, but also 5.1% lower than in Q1 2019. The Albert Canal increased its result by 7.4% compared to Q4 2019 and by even 13.4% compared to Q1 2019.


  •  

  • While container transport on the Seine and the Rhône suffered under the Covid-19 crisis, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region it even increased, and settled at an all-time-high level in Q2 2020.


  •  

  • Container transport on the Elbe and the Mittelland Canal showed falling TEU volumes in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. On the Weser and the West German canals, TEU volumes picked up slightly in Q1 2020.


  • Sources: Destatis, De Vlaamse Waterweg, VNF

• Inland waterway transport on German waterways accounted for 36 % of all IWW transport performance in the EU in Q1 2019, compared to 35 % in the year 2018. For container traffic taken separately, this share is 39 %.
• The number of German IWT companies represents 11 % of all IWT companies in the EU, while their share in turnover is much higher: 34 % of all turnover generated in IWW goods transport companies in the EU is produced in German companies.
• This also shows that German companies are on average larger than in many other IWW countries with a high degree of market fragmentation.

 

THE 40 LARGEST GERMAN INLAND PORTS – WATERSIDE TRAFFIC IN Q1 2019

(These 40 inland ports accounted for 74.6 % of all waterside goods traffic in German inland ports in Q1 2019. Detailed information on the 40 largest German inland ports is available on the next page).

Source: Destatis

 
 
Waterside traffic in million tonnes in Q1 2019

Inland portImport from abroadImport from national originsExport to national destinationsExport abroadTotal waterside traffic
Duisburg9.170.380.881.9912.4
Hamburg0.001.081.410.012.5
Mannheim1.330.270.260.472.3
Cologne0.640.450.420.802.3
Neuss1.130.290.210.482.1
Karlsruhe0.690.130.500.431.8
Ludwigshafen am Rhein0.680.440.150.401.7
Frankfurt am Main0.610.270.240.231.3
Gelsenkirchen0.270.150.320.501.2
Kehl0.330.290.230.151.0
Mainz0.370.230.070.260.9
Kiesbaggereien Kreis Wesel0.000.410.030.480.9
Marl0.520.150.050.190.9
Bottrop0.460.030.130.250.9
Hamm0.550.230.020.070.9
Krefeld0.350.230.090.190.9
Brunsbüttel0.000.030.800.000.8
Lünen0.590.080.020.130.8
Bremen0.020.570.140.050.8
Saarlouis0.450.000.030.200.7
Andernach0.100.100.030.450.7
Salzgitter0.020.410.230.010.7
Heilbronn0.240.110.280.040.7
Leverkusen0.330.120.090.070.6
Rheinberg0.470.000.040.090.6
Lingen (Ems)0.100.110.280.090.6
Magdeburg0.020.280.160.110.6
Wesseling0.010.050.260.220.5
Wesel0.160.080.070.220.5
Dormagen0.140.020.180.160.5
Bendorf0.150.100.070.180.5
Berlin0.020.330.120.000.5
Dörpen0.140.240.050.040.5
Kleve0.250.000.050.140.4
Hanau0.150.090.050.140.4
Düsseldorf0.220.020.030.150.4
Emden0.140.020.200.040.4
Brake (Unterweser)0.000.010.350.010.4
Germersheim0.130.020.030.190.4
Essen0.210.070.080.000.4  

 

FACT SHEET IWT IN GERMANY

Source: CCNR analysis based on Eurostat data [sbs_na_1a_se_r2]. [iww_go_atygo]. [iww_go_actygo]. [tran_hv_frmod]. [iww_eq_loadcap]. [road_go_ta_tcrg]. [rail_go_contwgt]. [iww_eq_age]. CCNR fleet database

Notes on the factsheet:

1) “Share in EU total” contains figures for the EU plus Switzerland and Serbia.

2) For container transport, the numbers include the weight of container boxes, according to the Eurostat Reference Manual on Inland Waterways Transport Statistics (See: https://circabc.europa.eu/sd/a/b1c81773-ce2b-47cd-ad43-a0fbfe395402/Reference_Manual_April_2018_.pdf).

# In contrast to transport performance, for transport volume a country-specific share cannot be calculated. Example: when iron ores are transported from Rotterdam to Duisburg, the tonnes transported are counted in the statistics of both countries, while the tonne-kilometres (tkm) are split up between both countries according to the distance (km) travelled in each country. This allows the country-specific share for transport performance (tkm) to be calculated. For transport volumes (tonnes) the share cannot be calculated, as the sum of the shares of all countries would exceed 100 %.

 

 

The data on all transport indicators are for 2018, while the data on modal split, employment, turnover, companies and number of vessels are for 2017. The modal split share of IWT is calculated as the IWT share within the total transport performance of IWT, rail and road traffic.

 

 
 

IWT SECTOR IN GERMANY WITHIN EUROPE

  • Inland vessels carried 197.9 million tonnes of goods in 2018 and 222.7 million tonnes in 2017 on German inland waterways. In 2018, the transport performance (product of tonnes and distance) represented 35 % of total IWT transport performance in the EU.
  • Within container transport, IWT transport performance in Germany has a share of 39 % of total container transport performance in the EU.
  • In addition to container transport, the liquid cargo transport in Germany also has an over-proportional transport performance in the EU. Mineral oil products and chemical transports in Germany each have a share of 38 % of total European transport performance in these two segments.
  • Around 10.3 thousand persons are employed in German IWT companies and the companies generate a turnover of more than 2.2 billion euros per year.
  • With 10.3 thousand persons employed Germany’s share in EU employment in the IWT sector is 24 % which means that almost one out of four persons active in European IWT companies works in German IWT companies.
  • German IWT companies are larger than the EU average according to two size indicators:
    1) Their share in the total number of EU IWT companies is 11 % but the share of persons active in these German companies is 24 % of all EU employment in IWT.
    2) The share of German companies in the number of IWT companies in the EU is 11 % but they generate 30 % of turnover of European IWT.
  • The fleet of German inland vessels represents 16 % of all European inland vessels. For liquid cargo vessels taken separately this share is 25 % – one out of four tanker vessels registered in Europe is registered in Germany.

 

PORT OF DUISBURG AND PORT OF HAMBURG

  • Duisburg is the largest inland port in Germany as well as in Europe with 48.1 million tonnes of river traffic in 2018. Its river traffic takes place in the public port of Duisburg (duisport GmbH) and in private ports of the local steel industry. The following figure takes into account all waterside traffic in the city of Duisburg. Raw materials (iron ore, coal) for steel production and iron and steel represent a share of 70 %. In 2018 waterside traffic was 48.1 million tonnes and 12.4 million tonnes in Q1 2019, just as in Q1 2018.

 

FIGURE 1: INLAND WATERWAY TRAFFIC IN THE PORT OF DUISBURG (JANUARY UNTIL MAY) IN MILLION TONNES

Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis

  • The port of Hamburg is not only the largest German seaport but also the second largest German inland port. Its waterside traffic in 2018 amounted to 10 million tonnes (source: Destatis) and 2.5 million tonnes in Q1 2019 (2.3 million tonnes in Q1 2018). Liquid cargo is currently the most important type of goods in Hamburg, while container traffic so far plays a relatively small role in the Elbe hinterland compared to the Rhine.

 

FIGURE 2:INLAND WATERWAY TRAFFIC IN THE PORTS OF HAMBURG (JANUARY UNTIL MAY) IN MILLION TONNES

Source: CCNR analysis based on Destatis

• With water levels normalising in Q1 2019 and in Q2 2019, inland vessels once again reached higher loading degrees, which in turn had a strong effect on transport prices: transport prices fell, especially on the spot market for deliveries from the ARA region to destinations in the Rhine hinterland (Germany, France, Switzerland).
• Due to falling transport prices in Q1 2019, official statistics on the turnover in IWW goods transport in the Netherlands and in Germany show that turnover decreased in both countries. In Q2 2019, turnover continued to decrease in Germany, while it increased again in the Netherlands.

 

WATER LEVELS AND VESSELS’LOADING DEGREES IN THE RHINE BASIN

 

 
 
 

FIGURE 1: MAXIMUM LOADING DEGREE OF VESSELS WITH A DRAUGHT OF 3 M AT GAUGING STATIONS ALONG THE RHINE (%)

Source: CCNR calculation based on data provided by the Federal German Office of Hydraulicity

 

  • At the beginning of the year 2019, water levels on the Rhine normalised, allowing inland vessels to reach rather high loading degree values again. The two gauging stations of Kaub and Oestrich at the Middle Rhine showed slightly more difficult navigation conditions than Maxau on the Upper Rhine and Duisburg on the Lower Rhine.
  • The correlation between water levels and goods transport on the Rhine remained intact, as shown by the fact that the rising water levels in Q1 2019 were followed by an increase in goods transport.

 

FIGURE 2: QUARTERLY GOODS TRANSPORT ON THE RHINE AND VESSELS’ LOADING DEGREES AT KAUB/RHINE

Source: Destatis and CCNR Calculation based on data provided by the Federal German Office of Hydraulicity


 

WATER LEVELS AND VESSELS’ LOADING DEGREES IN THE DANUBE BASIN

 
 
 

FIGURE 3 : MAXIMUM LOADING DEGREE OF VESSELS WITH A DRAUGHT OF 3 M AT GAUGING STATIONS ALONG THE DANUBE (IN %)

Source: CCNR calculation based on hydrological data provided by the Federal German Office of Hydraulicity, and the Federal State of Lower Austria

  • Within the Danube basin, the differences in hydraulicity conditions between the Austrian and the German Danube remained intact in 2019. While navigating conditions were recovering quickly in Kienstock and Wildungsmauer, both located in Lower Austria, they continued to be quite volatile and less favourable on the German Danube in Lower Bavaria.

 

FIGURE 4 : QUARTERLY GOODS TRANSPORT IN AUSTRIA AND VESSELS’ LOADING DEGREES IN WILDUNGSMAUER, LOWER AUSTRIA

Source: Eurostat [iww_go_qnave] and CCNR calculation based on hydrological data from the Federal State of Lower Austria


 

FREIGHT RATES IN THE RHINE BASIN

FIGURE 5 : CBS FREIGHT RATE INDEX FOR INLAND NAVIGATION IN THE NETHERLANDS

Source: CBS (Netherlands)

 

  • The CBS conducts regular surveys among 80 Dutch IWW companies, eight times per year. The revenue of a company determines the influence it has on the price index. According to this index, dry bulk sport market freight rates fell in the first half of 2019, more or less in parallel with normalising water levels on the Rhine.
  • The liquid bulk prices of the CBS index cover freight traffic on the Rhine, but also shorter trips within the ARA area (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) and other locations within the Netherlands. It contains spot market rates as well as (long-term) contract rates, and the delivery of all types of liquid bulk (chemicals, diesel, fuel oil, methanol, naphta, sunflower oil, etc).
  • Another freight rate index is the liquid bulk PJK index (PJK International / Insight Global is a market research company in Breda, the Netherlands, specialised in the liquid cargo sector), which is a spot market index based on the transport of oil products from the ARA region via the Rhine to destinations in Germany, France and Switzerland. Its spot market and its ARA-Rhine trade character make it quite volatile.
  • Within the PJK index, freight rates fell strongly in December 2018 and at the beginning of the year 2019 and settled at a lower level in Q1 and Q2 2019. However, as is the case for the CBS liquid bulk index part, the price level did not fall back completely.

 

FIGURE 6: PJK FREIGHT RATE INDEX FOR LIQUID CARGO (GASOIL) FROM THE ARA REGION TO DESTINATIONS ALONG THE RHINE – COMPARED WITH VESSELS’ LOADING DEGREES AT MAXAU/UPPER RHINE

Source: CCNR calculation based on PJK International
*The freight rate index was calculated on the basis of the price per tonne of liquid cargo transport. Index values show the price in a given month in relation to the average price in the year 2015.



 

  • A detailed look at the PJK index (per destination along the Rhine) reveals that the Swiss destination (Basel) showed by far the strongest price increase during the low water period in late 2018. In 2019, however, the freight rate level for deliveries to Basel fell very strongly. When water levels normalised, the reduction of the freight rate level for deliveries to lower Rhine destinations (Duisburg, Cologne) and to Ruhr destinations (Dortmund) was relatively inferior than for Basel.

 

FIGURE 7: PJK FREIGHT RATE INDEX FOR LIQUID CARGO (GASOIL) FROM THE ARA REGION TO DESTINATIONS ALONG THE RHINE – INDEX VALUES PER DESTINATION

Source: CCNR calculation based on PJK International

 

QUARTERLY IWT TURNOVER EVOLUTION PER COUNTRY IN EUROPE

Quarterly data on turnover in IWT are at present only available for very few countries, due to statistical limitations. EUROSTAT presents data for the NACE sector H50 (water transport) which covers maritime and IWT transport together. Based on this dataset, it is possible to identify turnover in IWT only for countries with almost no activity in maritime shipping. For France, Germany and the Netherlands, quarterly turnover data are provided by the national statistical offices (INSEE, Destatis, CBS).

FIGURE 8: TURNOVER DEVELOPMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS AND IN GERMANY – MAINLY GOODS TRANSPORT* (2015=100)

Source: CBS, Destatis
*For the Netherlands, the series contains turnover from total IWT, but goods transport has a very high share of 92 %; for Germany, the series contains only turnover from goods transport.

 

  • Both in the Netherlands and in Germany, turnover from freight transport reached a certain peak in the fourth quarter of 2018. This was a consequence of very high freight rates due to the low water period, notably on the Rhine. With prices decreasing in the first half year 2019, turnover normalised in Germany, while it remained rather high in the Netherlands, reflecting a more positive transport demand evolution in the Netherlands than in Germany.
  • Turnover of Austrian, French and German passenger shipping companies showed the usual seasonal variations. In Q2 2019, turnover of French passenger transport companies was 8 % higher than in Q2 2018, and 16 % higher than in Q2 2017.
  • For German passenger transport companies, the result in Q2 2019 was 1 % lower than the previous year, but 4 % higher than in Q2 2017. The turnover of Austrian IWW companies, the majority of which are linked to passenger transport, was 13 % higher in Q2 2019 than the previous year and 6 % higher than in Q2 2017.

 

FIGURE 9: TURNOVER DEVELOPMENT IN AUSTRIA, FRANCE AND GERMANY – MAINLY PASSENGER TRANSPORT*(2015=100)

Source: Eurostat [sts_setu_q] for Austria, Destatis for Germany and INSEE for France
* For Austria, the series contain turnover from total IWT, but the sector activity is dominated by passenger transport; for Germany and France, the data contain only turnover in passenger transport.