A modal shift to inland waterways: Actor perspectives on alternative business concepts
Conference contribution, 2019
Road haulage causes undisputed negative environmental impact in terms of CO2-emissions, noise, infrastructure damage, congestion, road accidents and is energy intensive. At longer transport distance (e.g. trans-ocean) maritime transport is preferable as it is more cost efficient. At shorter distances, there are financial, operational, market-related and regulatory issues that make waterway transport less attractive. Meanwhile, as waterway transport is favorable from an environmental perspective, the support for modal shift from road to sea has become an integral part of transport policy both at EU-level and in several countries across Europe. Among the different types of shipping (trans-ocean, short-sea, coastal), inland shipping is of particular importance when it comes to reduce congestion on roads. Ports are most often located in or near large cities, which in particular causes congestion on access roads to ports and the cities, and also in the countries in general. Hence, whereas cost is a barrier that must be overcome, using inland waterway transportation (IWT) is preferable from an environmental perspective, and a modal shift is a highly prioritized issue by governments.
In some central European countries, IWT is well developed, while in countries such as Sweden, the share of inland shipping is very low, < 1%, and with no or little container traffic. With well-functioning fairways in inland waterways in Sweden, there is a large potential for increasing its utilization.
: actor perspectives