Report on Digital Inland Navigation

The European Commission published a report on Digital Inland Navigation that follows up on the ‘Digital Inland Waterway Area’ study from October 2017. The report helps framing the discussion on the digitalisation of the inland waterways transport sector in order to seek synergies and improving interoperability in logistics and freight transport across Europe. It describes existing initiatives and tools in the area in an integrated way, including the findings of the previous study and ongoing Commission initiatives.

The identified problems range from the lack of data sharing capabilities to the limited size of the inland waterway transport market in comparison to other modes of transport.

This research has specified three areas where digitalization is critically important for inland waterway transport:
– The improvement of navigation and management of traffic
– The integration with other modes of transport, especially in multimodal
– A reduction of the administrative burden.

ESC welcomes the study as it can potentially contribute to making inland shipping more attractive to shippers. Inland shipping can contribute to overcome congestion at roads as well as the lack of drivers. At the same time inland shipping can help to decrease emissions.

For more about the EC activities and progress in inland navigation, please see the EU mid-term progress report on the EU inland waterway action programme.