Inland Navigation

Inland Waterway vs. Highway Truck Transport 

Ten reasons to choose Inland Navigation:


Inland navigation has an exemplary safety record. There is a very low probability of accidents, and should an accident happen, the costs of that accident are low in economic and human terms. Barges lead the way in safe transport, especially for dangerous cargoes, with extremely high standards of inspection, training and licensing.

Environmental costs 

All studies carried out to quantify environmental costs ultimately show the same result: Inland waterway transport is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. Shipping more goods on water will help to reduce greenhouse gases and traffic congestion.

Time reliability 

Every year congestion on the roads increases. This in turn increases costs and journey times, making Europe’s economy less and less competitive. Inland waterways are the alternative that bypasses clogged transport routes and reliably gets freight to its end point on time.

Infrastructure costs

Shifting the transport of goods to waterways reduces the amount of money needed for investments in transport infrastructure. With comparably low investments transport volumes on waterways can be significantly increased. Inland waterways also have comparably low maintenance costs.

Carrying capacity 

Inland vessels offer an enormous carrying capacity per transport unit. One motorized cargo vessel with a load of 2,000 tons carries as much cargo as 50 railway cars at 40 tons each or 80 trucks at 25 tons each. Combined with comparably low transport costs, inland vessels show an excellent cost-benefit-ratio.

Intermodal networking

A network of inland waterways link ports, towns and cities with centers of commerce and industry providing clear opportunities for cost-effective solutions in corporate supply chains. Inland waterways form the backbone of a truly intermodal network.

Free capacity

Inland waterways still offer a large amount of available capacity. For instance, currently in many locations only a small % of the total capacity is being utilized for inland navigation. As other modes of transport increasingly suffer from congestion, capacity problems and delays which affect mobility and economic competitiveness, inland waterway transport is an obvious choice to play a more prominent role in logistics chains.

Abnormal loads

Due to their size and loading capacity, inland vessels are especially suitable for transporting goods with unusual sizes and weights. Transformers, turbines, silos, boilers, aircraft sections, locomotives, helicopters etc. can often only reach their destination by ship due to limitations in road and rail transport (e.g. low bridges, narrow roads and roundabouts)

  1. Development of a state of the art Ultra-Light Freshwater Vessel for transport based on Aluminum Foam Steel Technology. Key benefits include: savings in fuel consumption, labor, loading and disharging, CO2, LCA, and LCC.

  1. Loading/unloading technology and distributed terminals: Implementation of Pneumatic loading has enabled the establishment of terminals with minimal to no harbor facilities. This innovation helps realize a distributed terminal system which provides benefits to the overall logistic stem while reducing costs. Terminals can be established at lower unit cost and set up every 60-80 kilometers. The transportation distance from forest to the terminal is reduced to reasonable limits. The terminals are established in areas where no housing is located therefore minimizing any harm to the local population.

Application of this solution technology for bulk transportation exist in the other areas where similar challenges exist: cost, logistics efficiency, material handling risk, proximity to source materials. Examples of these additional applications include:

- Dutch flower and flour example from the past 

- Biomass transport example in Finland

- Chemicals

- Waste

- People

The ultimate system developed by CEC with the following:

Use new technology for a state of the art ultra-light vessels, custom designed for bulk loading and unloading; 

Carry from 30 – to 40% more cargo;

Loading operations can be done by the own engine power of the vessel;

Efficient transport over river- and lake districts as well as on coastal areas. Specially on waters were we have limited draft the own weight of the vessel is very important issue;

Light-weight vessels are going to be important for fuel efficiency and with hightened scrunity with the counting of CO2 amount to every transported ton. We work with government officials and energy companies who are familiar with these kind of matters;

The technolgy employed for light vessel shipbuilding will create opportunities for dock yards seeking new possibilities. While the technique is patent pending we have a few years head start compared and other shipbuilding organizations.

The time is right - a chance to be market-leaders in bulk transportation technology; A chance to develop a new and improved logistics systems; Improvement and contribution to CO2 efficiency. 

Contact CEC for more details. 


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Inland Waterways 

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