Europe's freight transport system has much room for improvement. Congestion, capacity problems and delays affect mobility and economic competitiveness and are detrimental to the environment and quality of life. Growing overseas trade and EU enlargement towards Central and Eastern Europe are key economic factors which have a great impact on freight transport volumes in Europe. According to forecasts, freight transport volumes are expected to increase by one third until 2015.
Present patterns of transport growth and the reliance on road transport have lead in many regions to congestion and pollution, the cost of which are expected to double to 1% of Europe's annual GDP by 2010 (source: Communication from the Commission on the promotion of inland waterway transport 'NAIADES').
Shifting transport to less energy-intensive, cleaner and safer transport modes is a main concern of the European Union: the EU has committed itself to pursue the goal of promoting the use of transport modes which are less energy-intensive, cleaner and safer. Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) is an obvious choice to play a more prominent role in reaching these targets.
In this view of this situation, all modes must become more environmentally friendly, safer and more energy efficient as well as easily compatible in the transfer points. Co-modality, that is the efficient use of different modes on their own and in combination, will result in an optimal and sustainable utilisation of resources. Together with other modes, Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) can contribute to the sustainability of the transport system.
RISING has the overall objective of identifying, integrating and further developing information services such as River Information Services (RIS) in order to efficiently support Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) and logistics operations.
IWT has become an integral part of co-modal transport and logistics chains. As such, the IWT sector has to comply with requirements of supply chain management (SCM). Effective transport infrastructure and high-performance Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) must be further developed which will play a key role in this process.
Therefore there is the need to exploit existing and identify new RIS services for almost every step of an IWT-based process: planning, execution, completion. The following potential RIS services for transport-logistics players will be enhanced in the framework of RISING:
- RIS information for voyage planning of IWT operators providing data on water level, water depth, maximum height/bridges, berth availability, lock occupation (actual and predictions/forecasts) used for routing, stowage planning, etc;
- RIS information for the fleet management of inland navigation including unpropelled inland vessels, by identifying their current position and status of operation;
- RIS information facilitating event management, i.e. voyage monitoring for IWT operators, freight integrators, inland port operators, sea port operators providing status information, e.g. vessel positions, passing way-points, missing administrative reports, predictions of problems in continuation of the voyage;
- RIS information for both inland/sea ports and terminals management by providing Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) updates for instance transshipment operations, management of terminal resources and of pre- and post-haulages.
The basic methodology of the RISING project is to analyse current transport and logistics processes, and define internal and external requirements for their future implementation. Further, RIS services will be specified, and developed and adapted to the customers' needs: for example the transport and logistics sector. Finally, new RIS services will be demonstrated in the framework of the RISING scenarios/demonstration cases.
The RISING project has the following results:
- Tailor-made proactive information services, following the approach of Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM) can deliver a new quality.
- A user can book certain 'events' relevant to his actual transport plans, e.g. to monitor if a specific water level exceeds a threshold or if there are any disturbances for the operation of a certain lock. Once this threshold is exceeded, an event message is generated and sent automatically by the RISING Event Services.
- Deviations from the plan can be identified as early as possible to allow efficient re-planning.
- Terminals were integrated in order to align the processes between sea ports, inland waterway transport and inland ports.
- RISING integrated these services into the existing management systems of the industrial partners.
- RISING showed that innovative IT services based on modern RIS systems could improve the planning and monitoring of inland waterways transports as part of total logistics chains.
The RISING project matches the following goals of the 2011 White Paper:
- increasing the efficiency of transportation and of infrastructure through information systems;
- optimising the performance of multimodal logistic chains.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Service quality and reliability