The ENERGY BARGE project, coordinated by FNR, recently published a handbook on framework conditions for biomass transports on the Danube waterway.
Connecting ten riparian countries, the Danube functions as a high-performance logistics axis, offering a natural infrastructure for inland waterway transport with specific relevance for the transport of bulk cargo. Already today, agricultural and forestry products account for approx. 25% of the total volume of goods (approx. 40 million tons/year) transported along the Danube.
Ports and transhipment sites along the river function as hubs for handling, storage and processing. With the biobased economy gaining momentum in many parts over Europe, another growth market opens up for both the Danube region’s biomass industry as well as for the Danube logistics sector. Especially for biobased raw materials with the majority being categorised as bulk cargo in transport terms, Danube logistics can offer a broad set of facilities and services.
To better tap both the biomass and the logistics potentials of the Danube region in a sustainable manner, the ENERGY BARGE consortium develops a set of tools that inform private and public actors along the potential supply chains and across country borders, give them practical guidance for business development and bring them together.
Eventually, the entire Danube region shall profit from the more widespread and sustainable utilisation of its transnational, yet domestic biomass resources. The handbook for a modal shift towards inland waterway transport is one of these tools. It is designed for actors along the biomass and bioenergy supply chains which would like to have a “first peak” into the world of Danube navigation and what it has to offer.
Based on expert discussions with relevant shipping companies, port operators and logistics service providers from Austria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, the handbook provides practical information for cargo owners. The focus is on technical and administrative framework conditions for waterway transport, handling and storage of different types of bio-based cargo. The handbook can be accessed via this link.