Rolling cargo loaded onto an inland vessel – basically a great thing. Via numerous ramps along the Danube, vehicles such as cars, trucks, caravans, semi-trailers, agricultural and construction machinery can be loaded easily and quickly. Even if the cargo does not have own wheels, like heavy cargo, it can be loaded onto trailers or semi-trailers and rolled. Special ships – also equipped with ramps – sail along the Danube and can sometimes combine various such loads. What is currently only a small part of the total volume shipped along the Danube was brought into the spotlight at a workshop in The Port of Enns on May 11.
Upper Austria and Bavaria are home of numerous producers of rolling cargo, which made the Port of Enns with its RoRo (Roll on Roll off) ramp the perfect place for such a workshop. Nearly 40 experts from various fields have discussed how rolling transports on the Danube can be pushed. Especially in the current difficult logistical times, new solutions are highly appreciated. This was also confirmed by the experts who attended personally in Enns.
Otto Hawlicek, Managing Director of CTE, gave the participants a fascinating insight into the daily container ballet at Container Terminal Enns. At close range, they were able to watch the container cranes lifting and the trucks at their mostly digitalized entry and exit. Last but not least, a visit to the Port of Enns showed the diversity of this transhipment hub, including the RoRo ramp, before Werner Auer, Managing Director of the Ennshafen, presented the Port in Detail and its latest projects at the afternoon workshop.
"Taking an active role in the field of mobility for inland navigation, in addition to operating the infrastructure is very important for viadonau," commented Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, Managing Director of viadonau during his introduction. As part of the initiatives in the field of Danube logistics, new potentials for the transport of goods on the Danube should be forced. "After all, transporting rolling cargo by inland vessel offers numerous advantages," said Bettina Matzner, who leads the project intermodal and rolling cargo on inland waterways.
Already today, Donaustar offers a regular connection from Passau to Vidin for rolling cargo and heavy lift. According to Alexander Rubchev, who acts as a barge agent in Regensburg, static and rolling cargo can also be combined onto one ship, while the specially used catamaran has a maximum draught of only 1.65 meters.
It was not only Danube logistics specialists who showed interest in rolling transport solutions; Manfred Hitzinger from the company Hitzinger Transporte also have collected experience with inland waterway vessels as a means of transport and is currently preparing a new project. Traditionally, the freight forwarder has specialized in caravans and motor homes, but now inland shipping is to be added to the portfolio.
The situation is similar at Hödlmayr High & Heavy. Current challenges such as a shortage of truck drivers or high raw material prices have been causing Michael Wöckinger headaches for some time. In his search for environmentally friendly transports, he is also considering inland shipping. But the customer also has to go along with longer transit times for the sake of better environmental performance.
The discussion clearly showed, in order to achieve sustainable climate goals, all participants in the logistics chain must take important steps and work in close cooperation.