Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively

D4.2 – Concepts and selection of innovative NOVIMOVE concepts

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Executive Summary

The NOVIMOVE project 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, without expensive modifications of the infrastructure. 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 WP4 mission is to investigate to what extent innovative IW-vessels (IWV) can maintain profitable transport operations under low water levels conditions and to investigate if an introduction of a mobile terminal into the seaport’s logistics, can reduce the waiting time for the IWVs.

The objectives of WP4 are:
• Development of new adaptive vessel concepts to improve the resilience of transport during low water periods;
• Concept design of a mobile terminal for seaport logistics.

The development is based on combining research on environmental boundary conditions and logistics performance requirements.

This deliverable presents the work performed in Task 4.2 First concepts. This is a continuation of the work performed in task 4.1 where the proper specifications for the NOVIMOVE innovations where derived.

Task 4.2 is divided into two independent sub tasks:
• Innovative vessel concepts, where various solutions for added-buoyancy vessels have been identified;
• Modular mobile terminal, where a concept for improved interface between inland waterway vessels and seaport terminals has been developed.

The task 4.2 will be followed by task 4.3 where the technical viability of the innovative vessel concepts with will be assessed and the modular mobile terminal design will be progressed.

The innovative vessel concepts developed in WP4 target solutions for retrofits and newbuilds. The purpose of the modular mobile terminal concepts is to increase the efficiency of harbour operation of IWT.

For temporary added buoyancy, concepts there are no simple solutions. The added buoyancy always comes with a considerable cost and the economic viability will depend on multiple factors including the future number of dry days. Due to the long lifecycles of ships, the fleet will adapt slowly to changing boundary conditions. The concepts studied here help to increase the resilience of the sector in short to medium term and may even allow further optimisation of the ships for less extreme conditions.

The modular mobile terminal (MMT) adds more dimensions to the port logistic. It can reduce waiting time and contribute to higher utilization of both floating assets and cargo handling equipment. The MMT concept can also increase the total throughput capacity of the existing terminals.

D4.2 – Concepts and selection of innovative NOVIMOVE concepts
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