Inland waterway transport is predominantly used for big-volumes transports. However, a large share of the transport flows consist of small and highly diversified volumes that are loaded, transported and delivered mainly by SMEs, with often complex distribution schemes. These pallet flows, loaded directly in a truck or barge or bundled in containers, need to be consolidated for shipment by water. Effective logistic management systems are required to ensure this cargo consolidation, requiring an intensive collaboration between logistical professionals. In this process, efficient and low-cost communication tools using worldwide standards are indispensable.
Currently, no dedicated management tools for consolidating small cargo volumes exist for inland waterway transport. The European INTERREG project ‘Smart Tracking Data Network for Shipment by Inland Waterway (ST4W) develops and implement a management solution that provide small stakeholders a simpler and cheaper access to secure data, and enabling them to share a hierarchical track & trace service of shipment, complementing the River Information Services (RIS). This solution will be tested, validated and rolled out during the project with the support of various partners (shippers, logistic operators, ship owners, ports and terminals, waterway administrations) in five European countries (Belgium, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and the UK).
The overall aim of ST4W is to realise a modal shift from road transport to IWT of 600 million tonne kilometres, resulting in about 40 kton of CO2 emissions saved by the tenth year of the project.
More information on this project can be found here.