Inland waterway transport still does not exploit its full potential as strategic, future oriented transport mode focussing to medium and long distances. In order to promote the given strategic advantages in terms of loading capacity, security, low cost to maintain necessary infrastructure and positive ecological factors, the quality factors of inland waterway transport have to be increased to highest standards in terms of planning, management and monitoring, intermodality, flexibility, reliability and time.
Especially along the Danube transport corridor (Corridor VII), inland waterway transport has to be seen as a strategic key mode for freight transport between highly industrialised European countries. Due to the increasing importance of this corridor for trade between the European Union and the new and future Member States in Central and Eastern Europe, the enormous growth of freight flows in the recent years and the related adverse effects caused especially by road traffic make it necessary to stimulate sustainable transport alternatives on the Danube waterway.
The overall objective of ALSO DANUBE was to increase significantly the use of inland waterway as a key mode within intermodal door-to-door transport chains focusing on the Danube axis. Therefore, ALSO DANUBE aimed to:
• develop and implement an advanced European concept to manage intermodal transport chains with inland navigation as core transport mode
• set up and run highly integrated logistic networks and operational platforms to enlarge the current range of logistic services
• integrate advanced traffic and transport management systems
• introduce new systems and technologies in the area of data exchange and communication
• create independent logistic information and communication services
• stimulate the extension of waterway transport relations to port hinterland and combined cargo
• improve the efficiency of Danube transport which shall contribute to the development of the Danube waterway as a backbone for European transport, promoting the sustainable integration of the accession countries into the European Union
ALSO DANUBE aims to promote the use of inland navigation as a key mode of intermodal door-to-door transport chains. Innovations, solutions and technologies for planning and managing integrated logistic chains, developed under FP4 and national RTD-projects, will be applied and refined by 27 partners representing industry, research, transport, and government from five EU and three accession countries. An open virtual network, based on a broad European approach, links actors and interconnects existing systems via a common source logistics database interactively related to traffic management systems.
Web-based client applications, advanced EDI solutions, and innovative telematic technologies will be integrated, demonstrated, and evaluated in four supply chains representing different transport markets. This technical approach and operational concept especially addresses the needs of SMEs and operators from Eastern Europe, creating added value logistic services with superior transport quality. This will increase the quality and competitiveness of inland waterway transport, leading to clear commercial benefits for all actors. These benefits will be evaluated jointly with macro-economic impacts like reduced traffic emissions, improved road safety, regional effects, labour, etc.
The general concept and the chosen approach are based on the following aspects:
- Development of a strategic concept with a European dimension and generic systems based on established requirements comprehending the relevant results of linked national and international RTD projects and cutting edge technologies;
- Development of operational concepts for intermodal operational platforms and co-operative networks;
- Establishment and demonstration of a 'Common Source Logistics Information and Communication Service Provider' with the objective of increasing availability, handling, and distribution performance of relevant logistic planning and management data, especially in order to implement EDI-based data and information management (Logistic Chain Information Management) between all involved partners, including SMEs and actors from CEEC who are not able to set up and maintain the respective IT & communication infrastructure by themselves;
- Creation of interactive links and relations between task-oriented logistic data (e.g. supply orders), operational transport data, and actual inland waterway traffic management
An open virtual network, based on a broad European approach, linked actors in logistic chains by interconnecting existing information and communication systems via a Common Source Logistic Database (CSL.DB), interactively related to traffic management systems (e.g. the River Information System DoRIS in Austria). Web based client applications, advanced EDI solutions and innovative telematic technologies were integrated, demonstrated and evaluated within different supply chains (4 real life business demonstration scenarios).
Technical and operational concepts were elaborated, especially addressing the needs of SME’s and operators from Eastern Europe creating added value logistic services with superior transport quality. The CSL.DB approach supported this concept with the focus on SME’s by offering inexpensive IT-solutions for the:
of intermodal logistics chains utilising inland navigation as environmentally friendly mode of transport.
Concepts and developed solutions were applied to four Logistic Service Providers, representing different business fields and transport markets as well as one Logistic Information Provider which was set up as a virtually centralised organisation according to the strategic approach of ALSO DANUBE, ensuring the availability of necessary data and acting as an EDI oriented communication platform.
Logistic Channel 1 “Danube – ARA–Ports – Combined Container Services”
This demonstration scenario provided and demonstrated intermodal transport chains with inland waterway as key transport mode between the seaports Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA – Ports) and the inland waterway transport network of the river Danube. This logistic chain used state of the art technologies for planning, controlling and monitoring of the services provided. The logistic channel addressed all kind of goods which fit into a container.
The CSL.DB functions were used within this demonstrator for tactical and operational route planning. Tactical route planning allowed the generation of possible multimodal transport chains for transport requests in a strategic (mid-term) planning horizon, whereas operational route planning supported daily operations.
Logistic Channel 2 “Danube Combined Transport Services ̵
The implementation of ALSO DANUBE solutions on the European waterway network will improve the competitiveness of inland navigation as a whole. Concerning the transport market, transport demand and the utilisation of the infrastructure, ALSO DANUBE measures:
• increase the share of intermodal transport,
• enable a shift of transport from road to inland navigation,
• thus make a better use of existing infrastructure.
The analysis on society and environment showed that ALSO DANUBE solutions
• reduce emissions and noise in congested areas,
• increase the safety on inland waterways and on roads,
• enable inland navigation to cope better with adverse fairway conditions.
ALSO DANUBE measured the contribution to the improved working conditions and education levels for the workforce in inland navigation (crew, operators in follow-up services as well as designers and suppliers of system components). The analysis of the regional economy and employment leads to the conclusion that ALSO DANUBE solutions
• strengthen the position of industry,
• strengthen the position of ports,
• contribute to the integration of Europe by connecting the emerging markets with the European core regions,
• thus enable the Danube Region to cope with the challenges of the future.