Connecting the experts to create new transports – this is the focus of the new 2-year initiative in the field of Danube logistics for “chemical and petrochemical products on inland waterways”. On 25th of June around 25 experts from the shipping and the mineral oil sector took the opportunity to discuss the potential of liquid chemical and petrochemical products for Danube Navigation in the Tech Gate Vienna.

barrels in front of visitors

Photo: © viadonau / Marlene Bettel

Experts discussion

Photo: © viadonau / Marlene Bettel

Mineral oil products, biodiesel or chemical products, for all of these goods the Danube Waterway can offer a safe and cheap transport solution. Several agglomerations are located along the Danube including also fuel depots and refineries as well as chemical companies. In the field of liquid bulk more than 1.3 million tons of mineral oils were transported on the Austrian Danube only in 2018. With 20% of the total transport volume this group has a high importance and took the center stage during the kick-off workshop of this initiative.

What future potential is offered by a transport via Danube and what strategic developments are possible? This question was discussed by the attending experts form the mineral oil and the tanker shipping industry. Attila Heves from MOL Austria and Piotr Zielinski from Lukoil - both companies operate one or more sites with direct access to the Danube River - presented their logistical concept showing an efficient integration of Danube navigation. The challenges of the daily business for a shipping company operating on the Danube were highlighted by Norbert Baumann from Danu Trans. At last Mario Kaufmann from viadonau explained current and future opportunities for electronic reporting and fleet management using River Information Services: a harmonised corridor system for all riparian countries should enable a single reporting for international transports.

During a common discussion, all speakers and participants debated especially about strategic developments like e.g. LNG as fuel and cargo for inland ships. In conclusion of the discussion it became apparent, that such systematic changes of the sector can only be realized in cooperation of industry and logistic service provider.

The initiative “chemical and petrochemical products on inland waterways” has just started. Additional products like chemical fertilizers, various synthetic materials and other chemical products will be discusses in the following expert workshops.