I am interested in the project. Can I participate?
I am/my organisation is located in a different region than North West Europe. Can the Watertruck concept also be applied in my region?
The Watertruck concept can be applied to all inland navigation waterways.
What are small waterways?
Watertruck aims at waterways of the size of class I (up to 300T), II (up to 600T), III (up to 1000T) and IV (up to 1350T). Currently ships of the size of “spits” and “kempenaar” navigate on these waterways.
What is a pusher-barge combination?
The pusher pushes the barge. Pushers exist is all sizes and push the (loaded) barges. A pusher can push several barges when these are coupled. The Watertruck concept stresses the importance to deploy smaller pushers. The smaller the pusher, the bigger the barge (and its capacity) to pass through the lock at the same time. The smallest lock to be passed is determining the applied combination pusher/barge. Small pushers are not numerous at the moment but the need for their deployment will definitely increase with the Watertruck concept.
What is the budget of the project?
1.78 million euros; 50% funded by EFRO, Interreg IVB NWE.
Who will own the pushers and barges?
The traditional inland navigation market is dominated by small-scale family businesses. The Watertruck project foresees a research part on models for financial exploitation that can be applied on industrial scale. The project will look into the opportunities of exploitation models from the deep sea world (shipping companies) or from the property business (e.g. shipping companies leasing/renting out pushers, other organizations deploying the barges etc.).
How much freight traffic by road is avoided by Watertruck?
A pusher combined with a barge with a capacity of 1000 T replaces 50 to 60 trucks (classical truck/ trailer). On smaller waterways on average two barges can be pushed, this results in 120 trucks less on the road.
Why do the smaller ships disappear?
On the one hand smaller ships are bought by East Europeans on the other hand skippers prefer to work on bigger ships (under the current system bigger ships generate more profit). These also have a larger accommodation on board. Due to the economic model of exploitation, banks are more inclined to finance larger ships instead of smaller.
What are the challenges for multimodal freight transport?
The majority of freight is transported by road while policy makers try to stimulate an increased use of inland waterways. Multimodal freight transport is not well known to the shippers and transporters and is often perceived wrongly (too slow, too difficult, etc). The biggest challenges lie in making the concept well known and creating innovation.