The second expert workshop “Building materials on inland waterways” took place on 30th November 2017 in the Port of Enns. Around 30 experts from the building material and Danube logistics sector attended the discussion on potentials and chances of inland navigation.

The workshop was organised at the logistic centre of the port of Enns, with a perfect view of the Danube River. The event was designed to provide a neutral platform for the exchange of information between the representatives of the building material and the Danube logistics sector. This offered the participants the opportunity to establish new business-to-business contacts and to initiate new transports on the Danube waterway.

The focus of this workshop was once more set onto the experts from the private sector. During the discussion on the current logistics requirements of the building material industry the participants identified new possibilities for a modal shift towards inland navigation. Dr. Auer, managing director of EHG Ennshafen, highlighted the comprehensive services dedicated for construction material, which are offered by the transhipment and storage providers located in the port. Mr. Ockermüller from GeroCret clarified the perfect suitability of concrete parts produced by his company – also including high & heavy products – for inland waterway transport. GeroCret’s production facility in Langenlebarn offers direct access to the Danube River. The company is considering an upgrade of its transhipment site in the long term.  

Mr. Reithofer presented a strategic outlook on possible inland waterway transports of raw construction materials by the company Bernegger. The company Bernegger already gained experience with transports on the Danube in the past. Inland navigation will play a more crucial role in the future, particularly due to environmental regulations and guidelines becoming more stringent (especially in urban areas). To close, Mr. Holzhammer and Mr. Ockenfels outlined transhipment possibilities for building materials in the port of Antwerp offering the gate to international transport connections.

Building a bridge to the previous working initiative dealing with recycling products, a technical visit took place at the TBS GmbH, a subsidiary of the company Bernegger. This enterprise operates a storage facility for Bernegger and a waste treatment plant for shredder residues in the Port of Enns.

The unanimous conclusion of the workshop: Especially in times of increasing cost pressure and upcoming environmental regulations, break bulk offers big potential for a modal shift towards inland navigation. The next expert workshop will take place in spring 2018 and will focus on another cargo group: roll on/roll off transports of construction machines.  

Concrete prospects after the workshop 
At the mid-point of the initiative “Building materials on inland waterways” viadonau can announce a significant success. On 13th December 2017 concrete blocks produced by the company GeroCret Ockermüller Betonwaren GmbH were loaded with a mobile crane on an inland vessel at the transhipment site in Langenlebarn and were shipped successfully to Ybbs, the location of the customer, Schaufler GmbH. This trial run was initiated by a business contact at the building material workshop and opens the way to an increased use of inland waterways. The companies Prangl (transhipment with a mobile crane) and PAN EUROPE LINE (chartering) provided a smooth loading of the inland vessel.