Shipping companies are commercial inland waterway transport companies that professionally organise and implement the transportation of goods using their own vessels or those from other companies. They always operate several vessels. Shipping companies are distinguished by the fact that they prepare and direct transport from land (in contrast to independent ship-owners who usually do not have such a "land-based organisation").
Companies acting as intermediaries
In addition to these shipping companies, private vessel owner-operators are also active in the market. These private ship owners operating on the Austrian stretch of the Danube come mainly from Western European EU member states (Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands), and mainly operate a single motor cargo vessel, with some owning up to three vessels. As a rule, Independent shippers also act as captains of their own ships and do not normally run any land-based commercial offices. In many cases they are organised into co-operatives.
Shipping companies and private vessel owner-operators frequently use the services of ship-brokers who are specialised in inland waterway transport and procure cargo space (transport capacity) in ships.
Forwarders specialised in inland waterway transport or forwarders’ specialised business units also play an important role in Danube navigation.
(Shipping) Agencies represent the interests of many shipping companies, primarily according to the area of operation and the transported cargo types. They take care of all the business activities of a commercial agent on behalf of the third party but also issue invoices in their own names. Their service includes the acquisition of cargo, compilation of documents, invoicing and collection of charges, processing of claims and much more.
The online directory "The Blue Pages", which is operated by viadonau, offers free of charge information on companies providing transport services on the Danube. In addition to contact data and company profiles the online platform also provides information on the area of operation and fleet of the particular transport companies.