Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively

D4.1 – Detailed requirements for innovative vessel and cargo handling concepts

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Executive Summary

NOVIMOVE researches how to eliminate the inefficiencies in inland waterborne transport (IWT), by improving load factors, reducing sailing times and waiting times at ports, and the use of smart river navigation. In the project the focus is laid on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor (RAC) of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), while most results can be used and adapted for other waterways. The objective of WP4 is the development of new climate resilient vessel concepts for shallow water, allowing an economic operation during low water periods. Furthermore, a mobile terminal is developed to reduce the waiting time of inland vessels in seaports.

The development is based on combining research on environmental boundary conditions and logistics performance requirements. To derive the proper specifications for the NOVIMOVE innovations, task 4.1 addresses the aspects: General particulars and vessel size limitations of the RAC waterways; analysis of water depths and their variability to describe the locations, characteristics and relevance of shallow water stretches; examination of the status quo of the existing fleet with a focus on cargo capacities at small draughts; performance of a patent research to collect existing approaches for added buoyancy and draught reduction; analysis of cargo flows on the RAC corridors in coordination with task 2.1 of WP2 with a focus on the effect of low water periods and the additional consideration of liquid bulk cargo; definition of representative voyages to serve as benchmark for the assessment of the innovative vessel concepts; and, collection and analysis of information on processes in seaports, including both technical and economic constraints.

For the Rhine detailed hydrologic data including spatial resolution and time series was made available by the German Federal Institute of Hydrology. This includes the (in terms of low water scenarios) most relevant mountain stretch in the middle Rhine region. The year 2018 with its low water levels was selected for an in-depth analysis including the effects on cargo flows. For the status quo of the processes in seaports focus was laid on the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. This deliverable D4.1 with the compiled information can be used as a reference book in the elaboration of further tasks within WP4. In the next WP steps several concepts for added buoyancy and the mobile terminals will be developed, followed by technical verification and further elaboration of the most promising solutions.

D4.1 – Detailed requirements for innovative vessel and cargo handling concepts
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