The speed of travel between two locations is often a key consideration for a trip, which has resulted in a huge increase in air travel over the last decades. However, a growing counter-trend, in which the journey is seen as part of the holiday, has recently been recognised. Cruising is a booming market, and long-distance rail travel (e.g. Orient Express, Trans Siberian railway etc.) are being offered again. However, this type of travel is primarily undertaken by well-situated travellers from the age of 60, and is thus located in the luxury segment.
The project "CargoRider 2", described here, is designed to make it affordable for younger travellers, to make travel planning highly flexible and to make the travel organization entertaining. In addition, the concept builds on a sustainability paradigm, as the routes are carried out independently of the travellers, in contrast to flight and cruising flights, and no additional environmental stress is created. The predecessor feasibility study "CargoRider" examined the extent of the interest in cargo ship travel with a younger audience and whether there are opportunities to offer it at low cost. The results showed that such a service is very interesting for the target group and is technically and legally feasible.
The concept of "CargoRider" differs from existing offers in that it is based on the principle of flexible and agile travel arrangements known over the course of a certain period of time (Interrail) and is an excellent destination for a younger target group. The media feedback on the predecessor project also confirms these findings. For the project described here, "bitsfabrik" as company (SME) with a focus on the development of tourism software and a high level of expertise in the corresponding technologies has been won as project partner. The goal of "CargoRider 2" is to develop the complete service design for this innovative mobility service, to create a prototypical implementation with the necessary data interfaces and then to test them for function and practicability under laboratory conditions. Both for the software product as well as the entire mobility service for freight ship travels, coordinated business models are developed. The focus of the service is on a commercial use of river shipping in Europe. One of the focus lies on usability and the user experience of the software solution, since here very high demands are placed on modern mobility services and these are an indispensable prerequisite for success. In addition, attention is paid to possible social implications of shared economy solutions.