Design of inland water transport

Looking at modes of transportation innovatively

Growing transport volumes, in particular the seaport-hinterland traffic, increasing road bottlenecks and the public demand for sustainability in transport require optimised transport concepts and shifting the traffic to alternatives such as the railways and waterways. The excess transport capacities on waterways are another advantage of the inland water transport, aside from environmental compatibility and low transport costs. But the inland water transport often is not identified as an alternative to road transport. This is where Fraunhofer IML comes in, and together with you, we consider in detail your company’s situation.            

Our range of services in the area of inland water transport

We analyse your transport volume and the possibilities to switch to inland water transport. Based on the results, we develop different transport concepts which have to be evaluated with regard to environmental capability, qualitative factors and profitability. The concepts are developed to be able to be integrated into your existing business processes. Amongst others, we have used our know-how to develop transport and logistics concepts for RWE Power AG.    

Apart from the improvement of logistics concepts, information flow is of increasing importance for the design of efficient business processes and transport procedures. Inland water transport includes developments like the introduction of inland-AIS, an automatic identification system which supports the radar on board, to improve the safety of shipping or the River Information Services (RIS) which provides improved information provision. As a result there are a number of innovations which help to improve the information flow onshore and on board. One example is the research project INTRAG (Intelligent Transport Logistics with Agent Technology), where we analysed this information flow and transcribed it into a simulator which is, for instance, able to calculate the currently available capacity of inland navigation vessels automatically by gauging the water levels and implementing the information in a dispatching system. We can support you when using these services and we can help improve the information flow of your company.    

Even terminal operators can profit from improving the flow of information. Early forwarding of the most important information on loading and traffic conditions allows a reduction in shifts. This is achieved by a synchronisation with the planning of yard, berth and transshipment and the stowage plan of inland navigation vessels. This results in more efficient resource utilisation. We are ready to assist you achieving this goal.