With the Final Event in Rotterdam in the beginning of February 2016, the PLATINA 2 project has come to an end. At this occasion, the final outcome of the project and the latest developments/studies at European level were discussed.
In 2006, the European Commission adopted the NAIADES policy programme to support inland navigation in Europe. The tools to implement this policy programme were represented by the multi-national projects PLATINA 1 and 2. These projects addressed the challenges for inland navigation through 60 actions, covering areas such as infrastructure, markets, River Information Services, human resources and many more.
Good practice manual on inland waterway maintenance
Continuous maintenance is key for competitive waterway infrastructure. In many countries however, small “everyday” maintenance works do not get the attention they need. Platina 2 attested a lot of potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of waterway maintenance in Europe and thus fostered knowledge exchange in this field. It brought experts on waterway maintenance throughout Europe together to discuss the topic and prepare a “Good Practice Manual on Inland Waterway Maintenance” for waterway administrations.
How to attract new markets in the Danube region
The study shows the unused potential of inland navigation in the Danube region and the supportive measures that could increase the use of inland waterway transport for promising cargo groups. High & heavy cargo, renewable resources and recycling products show a high affinity towards IWT, but also other goods proved a high potential. Supportive measures are for example awareness raising about inland navigation and promising markets, promoting industrial locations in the vicinity of ports or most important, ensuring good navigation conditions along the waterways.
How to attract continental cargo in North-West Europe
Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) already has a large share in transport in North-West Europe. But if you check the numbers on continental transport, IWT is virtually non-existing even though there is solid potential and connections are getting better and better. According to the analysis, the main reason for the lack of uptake of IWT in continental transport lies in the limited offer of containers suitable for inland navigation. Most of the container transport goes from the seaports directly to the hinterland. Obviously, there is a missing link between the transport demand and the supply currently offered by IWT.
Towards more reliable emission data for the calculation of external cost of IWT
A review of the quality of datasets used to calculate emissions and external costs of Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) at EU level (€/tkm) resulted in the identification of data that is needed and data that is available. This allowed the PLATINA 2 partners to identify the knowledge gaps regarding the external costs of emissions to air. Based on these findings they drafted recommendations on how to close the main gaps and asked the sector to validate them.
Greening toolkit, what´s next?
The greening toolkit shows robust greening technologies and their return on investment as well as potential emission reductions. This easy-to-use online tool allows ship and vessel owners to explore how they can make their ship compliant with future emission regulations. At the same time, the tool allows producers to showcase their greening technologies and also policy makers to gain insight on the cost of greening options for different vessel types and operations.
Promotion of IWT in logistics education and simulator standards
Education is very important to ensure that people who are capable to run inland waterway transport are available. To guarantee sufficient workers for the future of IWT poses a challenge to Human Resources in the sector. Works within PLATINA 2 focused on three subjects: elaboration of technical standards for full mission ship-handling simulators, a concept for electronic service record books and logbook and learning material for future logistics decision makers.
What is next?
The joined efforts should not stop with PLATINA 2. Follow-up activities have already started - such as the Prominent project, the IWT innovation platform, a market potential study, the work on the Digital Inland Navigation Area (DINA) and a study on the good navigation status. But also the next steps in a 2 to 3 year time perspective need to be planned in order to be prepared for new trends that are expected to shape IWT in the future. So why not start to reflect on a possible PLATINA 3 as of now?
The Conference Report of the PLATINA 2 Final Event provides a summary of all speeches, presentations and workshops. It gives insight on the key results of PLATINA 2 and the discussions on what topics to take up in the future.
For further information about NAIADES and PLATINA please visit: www.naiades.info