viadonau News de_AT viadonau Österreichische Wasserstrassen-Gesellschaft mbH Wed, 12 Jun 2024 04:28:02 +0200 Wed, 12 Jun 2024 04:28:02 +0200 TYPO3 EXT:news news-1875 Thu, 16 May 2024 14:29:33 +0200 Setting course for a green future together – Around 120 experts at the Danube Business Talks 2024 in Vienna Greener, more modern, better. For viadonau, the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, the European Strategy for the Danube Region and numerous companies on the Danube this must be the clear direction for sustainable inland navigation of tomorrow. On 15 May 2024, close to the viadonau headquarter in the "TechGate Vienna" and supported by the Port of Vienna the sixth edition of the viadonau Danube Business Talks focused on the Danube as a "road of opportunities" and provided an ideal forum for experts to speak plainly about its future. From the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) to national goals and implementation plans, such as the action programme of the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, common or complementary development goals have been defined and coordinated for many years to develop the waterway as a modern and environmentally friendly mode of transport. The main thrust is to promote the shift of transport from road to waterway, which is also to be sustainably modernised. The European Green Deal, which defines Europe's transport and environmental policy framework since 2020, serves as one of the most important "amplifiers" for political decision-making and the joint chances of success. With a clear strategic focus provided by programmes such as the "Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy" launched in 2020, the aim is to increase transport via inland and coastal shipping in Europe by 25 per cent by 2030.

Increasing future opportunities through modernisation and professionalisation

While the share of inland waterway transport in the modal split has hardly changed in recent years, expert Luca Farkas from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility (DG MOVE) can report important progress within the framework of the European action plan for inland waterway transport NAIADES III. For example, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Horizon Europe programme are successfully driving forward the development and deployment of zero-emission vehicles and the promotion of alternative fuels. This concerns the harmonisation of standards for alternative fuels as well as the consistent implementation of corresponding infrastructure in the ports. In addition, special attention is also being paid to training, qualification criteria and the development of new expertise, e.g. in the areas of new propulsion systems and environmentally friendly ship operation. While the professionalisation and modernisation of inland navigation is being driven forward in this way, the continued harmonisation of Europe-wide waterway information services and regulation of intermodal transport geared towards inland shipping are also being addressed.

Green hotspots of Danube logistics

Peter Rojko from the Port of Vienna confirms that the ports, as stationary hubs of Danube logistics, also consistently implement sustainable greening such as the expansion of the port's photovoltaic supply, consistent switch to LED lighting and the use of electric vehicles. While cross-border projects such as the Horizon Europe project ReMuNet are committed to rapid agreement on alternative multimodal transport routes in the European transport network in the event of incidents, the Horizon Europe project MultiRELOAD is focussed on developing the most efficient multimodal logistics solutions possible. In addition, the "H2 meets H20" project is driving forward the consistent expansion of the hydrogen supply infrastructure on the Danube.

Thrust for the future – but with which fuel?

HVO, methanol or hydrogen? Civil engineer for ship technology Richard Anzböck reports on current developments in ship design optimisation, more efficient use of materials in shipbuilding and which fuels will be the most economical and at the same time the most environmentally friendly for shipping in the future: the widely used LNG or methanol, both of which causing up to 25% less CO2 emissions compared to diesel? Hydrogen, which is emission-free but energy-intensive to produce? Or the hydrotreated vegetable oil HVO100, which can be used in diesel engines and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90 %? In addition to summarising the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative, the expert's concrete operating examples suggest a particularly large future potential for the already widely used liquefied natural gas LNG as well as for the much-discussed hydrogen. Once again, the question of an internationally regulated infrastructure supply is proving to be a key factor in the success of environmentally and climate-friendly fuels.

Reliability creates competitiveness

Razvan Banica, Sales Manager at Transport Trade Services (TTS) Romania, knows how important high-quality maintenance of the waterway is. Although the Romanian fleet of cargo ships is growing steadily, low water levels of just over two metres can have serious consequences for planning and transport efficiency. When sailing for example in the Zimnicea Giurgiu section with a convoy of nine cargo ships the smaller draught loaded and the resulting need for more frequent journeys could mean an additional journey of over 900 kilometres, additional fuel consumption of around 13,000 litres and an additional journey time of up to one week. Based on common trade interests and the European goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport network, the cooperation of all Danube countries is essential for the sustainable modernisation of infrastructure and ship technology.

Speaking of bottlenecks, one particularly sensitive hotspot in recent years – the German section of the Danube between Straubing and Vilshofen – has been the subject of intensive hydraulic engineering work in recent years. The hydraulic engineering infrastructure company WIGES is dedicated not only to waterway development but also to improving flood protection. According to WIGES planning expert Markus Fischer, in addition to improved flood protection the most important goal is to guarantee a water depth of at least 2.5 metres on at least 200 days a year. The fairway will be deepened over a length of 70 kilometres and ecologically important structures such as side arms and islands will be restored or newly created.

Development all along the line

Carmen Manescu and Romeo Soare from the Romanian National Company for the Management of Inland Waterways (ACN) and the Romanian Waterways Administration (AFDJ) report on renovations and improvements at the locks of Cernavoda, Agigea, Ovidiu and Navodari and at the berths at the ports of Basarabi and Medgidia, as well as maintenance activities on the common Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube. While the expansion and further development of the information infrastructure and surveying equipment will continue in projects such as the Romanian-Bulgarian Interreg project DISMAR – Danube Integrated System for MARking, the international, EU co-financed FAIRway Danube II project, coordinated by viadonau, will also set strong accents on the Danube in the coming years. With a total budget of EUR 70 million – of which EUR 47 million is EU funding through the Connecting Europe Facility – remotely monitored buoys will be procured, 19 water level measuring points modernised, moorings in Aschach, Krems, Vienna and on the Danube-Black Sea Canal upgraded and the international waterway monitoring system WAMOS further enhanced.

Transport transition as an opportunity for renewal

For the Ukrainian Danube shipping company UDSC, the shift towards waterway transport is tantamount to a renaissance. Ukraine's waterway infrastructure has not been modernised since the end of the Soviet era and most of the fleet dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. According to Olha Tsybulska from UDSC this need to catch up is already adressed together with shipbuilding companies such as Österreichische Schiffswerften AG (ÖSWAG). The expert sees particularly high transport potential on the Danube in grain exports, which has always been one of the most attractive groups of goods for inland waterway transport. The company can currently offer 14 barge convoys for grain transport from Serbia and Hungary to Constanța with a loading capacity of up to 130,000 tonnes per month, but the fleet and capacities can still be significantly expanded in line with demand. For the expert it is crucial now to offer incentives as part of a diverse range of services that clearly emphasise the advantages of inland shipping and the switch to it.

Danube – the bond that connects us

From the comprehensive upgrading of mooring places including improvements to the energy supply – for which pioneering work was carried out at the "Industrie Port" Würzburg with the first shore power supplied mooring place for passenger ships in Germany in 2005 as Christoph Kreuzinger from Würzburger Versorgungs- und Verkehrs-GmbH WVV pointed out – to the new large-scale modernisation project FAIRway Danube II, the sixth Danube Business Talks once again clearly pointed out for Gert-Jan Muilerman, viadonau department head and expert for international projects, what the Danube must be about: close cooperation. The joint project work under the umbrella of the European Danube Region Strategy as well as the agreement and implementation of common standards for the digitalisation of the waterway and the professionalisation and further training of shipping personnel create the long-term perspective and framework conditions on the river that inland navigation needs as a competitive transport option in the course of the European transport transition towards sustainable solutions.

Download the speakers' presentations (PDF)

Turi Fiorito – EFIP, European Federation of Inland Ports

"Setting the Course to Green Inland Navigation"
Christoph Kreuzinger, WVV – Shore Power Systems
Peter Rojko, Port of Vienna
Richard Anzböck – Green Vessels - Concepts for Inland Navigation

"Setting the Course to a good Navigation Status"
Luca Farkas, DG MOVE
Razvan Banica, TTS – Fairway Infrastructure - backbone for sustainable shipping solutions
Michaela Pichler, RWA – Danube navigation: backbone of RWA logistics
Carmen Manescu, ACN / Romeo Soare, AFDJ – Waterway infrastructure achievements in Romania
Markus Fischer, WIGES – Development waterway Straubing-Vilshofen


DAVID forms to facilitate ships border control through the Danube countries (YouTube-Video)
(Danube Region Strategy, EUSDR)

EUSDR – Let's work together for prosperity in the Danube Region! (YouTube-Video)
(Danube Region Strategy, EUSDR)

The revamped Funding & Tenders Portal: what's new? (YouTube-Video)
(EU Science & Innovation)

Improving waterway & inland navigation - Good practices in the Danube Region (Video presentation, YouTube-Video)

Photo gallery of the Danube Business Talks 2024

viadonau economy
news-1864 Fri, 05 Apr 2024 10:12:00 +0200 Setting Course for Tomorrow – Strengthening Danube Infrastructure for European Connectivity Danube Ministers of Transport reaffirm conclusions on effective waterway rehabilitation and maintenance The Danube river is a vital link within Europe’s transport network. It not only proved to be most resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Danube waterway has also become an essential part of the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes since 2022. In order to fulfil these crucial functions in Europe’s transport system, navigation of the Danube River relies heavily on having good infrastructure. On 4th April 2024, the Danube Ministers of Transport have – in the framework of the Connecting Europe Days in Brussels and upon invitation of EU Transport Commissioner Ms Adina Vălean – reaffirmed their commitment to improve framework conditions for Danube navigation, especially related to effective waterway infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance on the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

Today’s Danube ministerial conclusions emphasize the significance of the Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor and Danube navigation for European Union transportation, particularly the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes. They highlight the obligation to maintain the "Good Navigation Status" of the Danube and its tributaries within the TEN-T network, while also adhering to relevant environmental laws. This includes achieving ecological and conservation standards set by directives like the Water Framework Directive and Birds and Habitats Directives. Additionally, the Danube Ministers of Transport reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the "Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan of the Danube and its navigable tributaries," established under the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and initiated by Priority Area 1a on Inland Waterways (coordinated by Austria and Romania).

Since the endorsement of the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan in 2014, significant progress has been made in putting the plan into action. Up until the year 2022 already more than 75 million euros had been invested through a range of EU-funded projects, national programs, and pre-accession instruments. During the last year, implementation of the Master Plan has become another boost through the CEF-funded FAIRway Danube II project. With a total budget of around 70 million euros and eight partners from six different Danube countries, this flagship project is setting sail to improve the quality of the Danube waterway. The project aims to maintain a good navigation status for the Danube, considering its environmental characteristics and sensitivity.

As there are also still challenges ahead, the Danube Ministers of Transport emphasized in their joint conclusions the need for ongoing rehabilitation and maintenance efforts beyond 2024 to enhance fairway conditions according to established maintenance objectives. They also recognized the importance of sufficient national financial resources, especially ensuring a sustainable yearly operational budget allocation, as crucial for the successful implementation of the Master Plan. By means of the ministerial conclusions, all countries along the Danube River are urged to create interdisciplinary teams within their waterway administrations. These teams shall work together to develop Nature Based Solutions for rehabilitating and maintaining the Danube and its tributaries.



International press release viadonau
news-1849 Tue, 27 Feb 2024 13:17:30 +0100 Danube Business Talks 2024 – Setting course for a green future together After a two-year wait, viadonau is once again welcoming top-class experts to the Danube Business Talks on 15 May 2024. Hottest topics: the sustainable modernisation of inland navigation, how this will strengthen the role of the danube as an efficient and climate-friendly transport option and at the same time create new opportunities for shipping and business operators. The popular specialist conference, which will take place in Vienna this year, will once again entice participants with recent successes, current developments and a shared expert view into the future of the Danube region. Motto 2024: "Setting the Course for a Green Future"

Greener, more modern and better. For viadonau, the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, the European Strategy for the Danube Region and numerous companies on the Danube this must be the clear course for sustainable inland navigation of tomorrow. For the sixth time, the viadonau Danube Business Talks are focussing on the Danube as a road of opportunities and offer an ideal forum for experts to speak plainly about its future – for example on alternative fuels, new technologies and logistics solutions, infrastructural progress as well as further improvements already planned or the development of inland navigation as a working environment and how its attractiveness can be further increased.

Face-to-face networking 

The Danube Business Talks organised by viadonau traditionally stand for the connection of interests in direct, personal contact and are once again making their popular B2B platform "Danube Business Dating" available for this purpose. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet a unique concentration of high-ranking experts and make promising contacts with companies, authorities and politicians.

Registration & event info

To register for the Danube Business Talks in Vienna and for the most important information about the event (including the confirmed speakers), please visit the event website   

We look forward to your visit!

(Participation in the event is free of charge!)

viadonau economy
news-1845 Fri, 02 Feb 2024 09:24:58 +0100 Workshop and construction site visit on MERLIN Day On 30 January 2024, the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) (IHG) at BOKU Vienna and viadonau organised the MERLIN Day 2024 in Hainburg. The morning was dedicated to stakeholder participation and mutual exchange. The members of the advisory board of viadonau's Catalogue of Measures for the Danube east of Vienna and representatives of the national partner project LIFE IP IRIS were able to compare the two very different project approaches of MERLIN and LIFE IP IRIS at the Kulturfabrik Hainburg. The possibilities and limitations of transferring the findings from the innovative river engineering projects on the Danube east of Vienna to other river sections were then discussed. It was possible to draw on many experiences, as the participants were and are involved in very different river restoration projects in different roles. 

The input gathered from the workshop will be incorporated in particular into the development of a Regional Scalability Plan, which will be created for each MERLIN case study. The scientists at BOKU's IHG are responsible for scientific support of the Austrian case study, analysing the findings and combining them with research results from other case studies.

In the afternoon, the programme included a visit to the ongoing construction site for the MERLIN riverbank restoration. As the Austrian implementation partner, viadonau is responsible for this construction project. Over a length of approx. 800 metres, the banks of the Danube are being completely cleared of riprap, some of which are lying in two rows and preventing the formation of natural bank structures. After the Christmas floods subsided, work was able to continue in mid-January 2024. 

The bank restoration is directly connected to the mouth of the Spittelauer side arm, which was reconnected to the Danube in 2021 (in the framework of Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube), and significantly expands the earlier river restoration project.

MERLIN is a Europe-wide research project in the EU's HORIZON 2020 funding programme. Research is being conducted on effective methods for the restoration of European freshwater habitats. BOKU's IHG and viadonau are contributing a riverbank restoration project on the Danube as case study 7a. The researchers are particularly interested in viadonau's many years of experience in the renaturalisation of large rivers that are used as waterways.

Further information

viadonau MERLIN website 
Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG)
MERLIN Website

FGP environment
news-1840 Wed, 06 Dec 2023 12:58:24 +0100 Flying change on the digital Danube – DIWA at the finish line, COMEX2 launched The Danube never takes a break. The same must therefore also apply to its development as a waterway. While the RIS-COMEX follow-up project COMEX2 got off the starting blocks this autumn, DIWA (Masterplan Digitalisation of Inland Waterways), which was launched in 2019, crossed the finish line at almost the same time. The focus of the EU co-financed DIWA project was the eponymous master plan including a roadmap for the development and implementation of harmonised digitalised inland waterway transport. Due to the many commonalities between the two projects, the completion of one and the start of the other were celebrated at a joint event in Amsterdam on 21 and 22 November. Following the successful handover of the baton, numerous successes and results of DIWA will be evaluated and continued in COMEX2. The centrepiece of DIWA – the master plan for the digitalisation of inland navigation – was developed in partnership by the countries of Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Germany and France. After four years of project duration and intensive joint development work, the project can present an impressive amount of achievements: 14 studies prepared as part of DIWA are dedicated to the most diverse aspects and requirements for the consistent harmonised digitalisation of inland navigation in Europe – regarding administrative coordination and standardisation as well as synchromodality and resilience, permanently networked information services and real-time information and communication. 92 detailed measures form the basis of the master plan to lead the development of River Information Services (RIS) into the future and concern the decision-making and responsibility areas of waterway administrations and authorities as well as river commissions and the European Union. In this way, shipping operators will ultimately be provided with accurate information on traffic management, transport modalities, available infrastructure and – via EuRIS, which emerged from RIS COMEX – the most up-to-date and optimally reusable waterway data for all processes involved in their transport operations. As COMEX2 has also set itself the goal of further improving the quality of use of the waterway, the first step of the new project will be to further process and utilise results from DIWA. In this way, the modernisation course on the waterway will be confidently continued across projects and countries – in line with the DIWA motto: "Navigating the Future".

Further information:

More about the DIWA project
DIWA Masterplan (PDF)
COMEX2 in the viadonau project database

viadonau economy
news-1838 Thu, 30 Nov 2023 16:55:22 +0100 FAIRway Danube II – Launch of the new major international modernisation project in Vienna With a total budget of around 70 million euros, the new EU co-financed project flagship FAIRway Danube II is setting sail. The most important mission objectives for the coming years on the Danube: modern marking of the waterway, upgrading of gauging stations, upgrading of the survey fleets and the expansion of the transnational waterway monitoring system WAMOS. The official project launch took place on 29 November in Vienna's TechGate – organised by viadonau – with high-ranking representatives from the EU Commission, the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, international organisations, industry and the WWF. With continuing successes in modernising the waterway, ambitious projects within the framework of European cooperation have ensured for many years that the path to the future on the Danube is brightly lit. One project with a particularly lasting impact was the EU co-financed FAIRway Danube project, which started in 2015 and was completed in 2021. Coordinated by viadonau and under the umbrella of the EU Danube Strategy FAIRway Danube took the further development of the Danube to a new level and started the first implementation phase of the "Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries". This included expanding the service fleet on the middle and lower Danube by nine vessels and creating a highly regarded blueprint for lock modernisation with a feasibility study on the renovation of the Slovakian Gabčíkovo lock. From 2020 the follow-up projects "FAIRway Works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor" and "Preparing FAIRway 2 works in the Rhine Danube Corridor" built the bridge to the next major development mission "FAIRway Danube II" with the refurbishment of the Serbian lock Iron Gate II and upgrades of mooring places in Austria.

With a total budget of EUR 70 million – including EUR 47 million in EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – 183 remotely monitored buoys are being procured on the Danube as part of FAIRway Danube II, 19 gauging stations are being modernised, moorings in Aschach, Krems, Vienna and on the Danube-Black Sea Canal are being upgraded and the transnational waterway monitoring system WAMOS is being expanded. In addition, the so-called "flexible infrastructure" as an innovative new take on an old idea for the targeted, localised influencing of fairway conditions will be tested. These tests with a barge prepared for this purpose on the danube east of Vienna will provide important preliminary findings for implementation in the countries of the middle and lower Danube in autumn 2024.

Just like the objectives of FAIRway Danube II, its stakeholders and interest groups are also broadly based. The project kick-off in Vienna therefore also served to discuss challenges, key milestones and expectations as part of project presentations, a panel discussion and a visit to the section of the Danube where the use of flexible infrastructure is to be trialled. Joined by the EU Coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor, Inés Ayala Sender, Alain Baron (EU Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, DG MOVE), Euripides Sakellariou (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, CINEA), Vera Hofbauer (Transport Section, BMK), Birgit Vogel (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, ICPDR), Manfred Seitz (Danube Commission), Andreas Beckmann (WWF Central and Eastern Europe) together with representatives from industry and shipping set the sails of the new ship FAIRway Danube II for the next stage of modernisation on the Danube waterway.

"One of our most important missions in the Ministry for Climate Action is to offer a real sustainable transport alternative with the Danube waterway. The main requirement for this is its best possible usability. I am therefore all the more pleased that FAIRway Danube II is now continuing the success story of its predecessor – a Europe-wide flagship project in terms of improving the quality of the waterway – with great international commitment", explains Vera Hofbauer, head of the transport section in the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action.

viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler associates the start of the project with great anticipation and a thirst for action as well: "With FAIRway Danube, we were able to significantly increase the speed of the modernisation engine on the Danube. With this new major project, we are now shifting into the next gear. What is particularly pleasing is that we can build on the successes of the predecessor and that we are once again tackling these goals with a powerful international project partnership. We know from the experience of recent years: What we achieve together lasts."

press release viadonau
news-1833 Fri, 03 Nov 2023 15:52:22 +0100 EuRIS portal for inland navigation introduces new release A year after its launch, the EuRIS portal for inland navigation provides a major release with new features and improved user-friendliness. Amongst others, the vessel claim procedure was improved and data visibility and availability were optimised, based on user feedback. Since the launch of EuRIS, thousands of inland waterway users already found their way to the portal. They appreciate the services EuRIS offers and the fact that data from almost the entire European fairway network is now available in one spot. Moreover, developers from both professional and recreational shipping profit by the option that EuRIS offers to retrieve data via API’s and use it in their own apps.

New release 

In the new EuRIS release, much attention was paid to improving the user friendliness of the portal. Amongst others, vessel owners now have more flexibility and options to ease the vessel claim process. The portal offers better data visibility and improved search and filter options on most services. Multi language support is improved, for example the names of many objects (bridges, locks, berths, terminals) are now available in the national language of the object. Searching for these objects is also improved. 

Based on the received feedback from end users & operators, other improvements that have been made are:

  • Notices to Skippers handling and visualisation improved
  • Geographical maps show relevant information on a much larger scale (traffic image, hydrometeo information)
  • Static and actual bridge clearance information is better handled and visualized
  • The published operating hours of infrastructure are refined
  • Calculated voyage has a better voyage description (directions)
  • Many improvements on the data, its visualization and message handling.
  • General performance/security improvements and bug fixes.

Improvements on API’s 

To promote the usage of the offered EuRIS services not only on the EuRIS web interface but also on many other applications with the use of API services, a new interface documentation section with code examples have been provided. This is available on and will be kept up to date. Furthermore, several improvements on the content and extent of the API’s have been performed. For example: the actual vessels positions can be easily retrieved by fleet owners.

Major milestone is the provision of the current 27.000 km of digital waterway network and its connected RIS Index for download. Developers can use this data to build their own applications and provide additional services or solutions. All provided API’s of EuRIS are treated free of charge as Open Data (except for GDPR protected data). Users can subscribe to notifications to be informed when data is updated, or new data is made available.

The next steps

For the next releases, a complete re-design of the Route and Voyage planners and their usability is envisioned. Data quality will continuously be improved. A download feature for IENC charts will be added.
The EuRIS partners will continue to further develop the platform, depending on the needs and user demands. Users can provide feedback and express wishes for the future of EuRIS via the contact form on the website EuRIS - Contact ( All feedback is appreciated and will be considered by the partners. 

EuRIS - your gateway to European Inland Navigation Information

The platform at was first released in September 2022 by 13 European fairway authorities. It covers the major interconnected inland waterway network in Europe. EuRIS gives access to static and dynamic information and thus gives actual, 24/7 insight about the waterways. Skippers and other users can at any time collect real-time information and gain insight in the actual traffic situation on their sailing route, waiting times, incidents or disruptions that affect the travel time. This helps inland waterway users to plan their voyage and arrival times throughout Europe. They can also share information with others, for example their ETA. This is offered in a protected environment, so that the privacy of all users is guaranteed. 

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1831 Tue, 31 Oct 2023 13:49:49 +0100 MERLIN: Launch of the riverbank restoration at the floodplains in Hainburg Within the framework of the Horizon 2020 project MERLIN, viadonau brings more life to the floodplain. As part of the international, EU co-financed project to restore freshwater ecosystems the bank restoration in the Hainburger Au in the Donau-Auen National Park was officially launched on 19 October 2023. The resulting natural river bank improves the connectivity of the floodplain with the Danube and thus also the life and biodiversity along the river. The kick off for the construction measures was immediately followed by specific activities and changes on site. Under ideal conditions, with dry weather and low water levels, the construction company GLS, in the presence of the project clients from viadonau, the local construction supervision by Schneider Consult Ziviltechniker GmbH and the Donau-Auen National Park, was able to quickly tackle the work. 
“Currently, the bank protection is being uncovered and rootstocks on the embankment are being removed”, explains Alice Kaufmann, who is in charge of construction implementation for viadonau. The Japanese knotweed - a particularly persistent neophyte on the Danube - is being professionally thermally disposed of. Once the subsequent work to prepare the bank has been completed with the help of heavy dredging equipment and the knowledge of viadonau's experts in ecological hydraulic engineering, nature can once again take over the actual shaping of a natural riverbank. “The construction measures are implemented with the greatest possible protection of the environment. The Donau-Auen National Park provides ecological construction supervision”, Kaufmann says.

Robert Tögel, coordinator of the river engineering projects in the Danube floodplains, emphasises the scientific component of the project: "The experience gained from our case study on the Austrian Danube will be evaluated via the MERLIN project and combined with findings from other projects. In this way, we can learn more for future renaturation projects throughout Europe.” For this purpose, the riverbank restoration is evaluated by the national scientific partner, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) through pre- and postmonitoring activities and scientifically accompanied together with the MERLIN consortium, which consists of 44 European partners and is led by the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Further information:

MERLIN in the viadonau project database
MERLIN project website

FGP viadonau
news-1827 Fri, 01 Sep 2023 15:05:14 +0200 viadonau publishes Annual Report on Danube Navigation 2022, new: online preview tour with most significant facts and highlights The most important viadonau publication of the year is here and can now be explored with a new online feature on the viadonau website. In addition to the comprehensive set of figures on locks, route availability, transport volumes and much more, the current edition presents the viadonau vessel MS Negrelli, which will soon enter a new phase of its life for the LIFE-Boat 4 Sturgeon project, as a delightfully staged photo subject. Especially for inland navigation and ecology, 2022 was a year of major project successes. The milestones: mandatory new regulation for high & heavy transports, complete international introduction of the uniform DAVID border control forms, international implementation of new information and reporting services through RIS COMEX and successful nature conservation projects such as the restoration of valuable floodplain landscape through "LIFE+ Auenwildnis Wachau".

The figures for Danube navigation reveal a continued dynamic development for the year 2022 with partly opposing trends. While, for example, passenger navigation still benefited from recovery effects in the immediate period after the pandemic and was able to record a strong increase in the number of passengers by 76 percent to 955,000, freight traffic and water-side port transshipment partially showed significant declines. At the same time, the waterway was navigable on all 365 days of the year and offered water levels of at least 2.5 meters in the free flowing stretches – 99.5 percent of the year in the Wachau and 94 percent of the year east of Vienna. As confirmed by a survey among commercial users of the Danube waterway with an average grade of 1.33, the opinion on the quality of waterway management by viadonau is extremely positive.

For those interested in learning much more about this in detail – the Annual Report on Danube Navigation in Austria 2022 is already available digitally in traditional form as a PDF in German and English on the viadonau website. In addition, the most important facts and figures can now also be explored on a specially integrated online platform for the Annual Report on Danube navigation.

Here you can go directly on a digital discovery tour

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1820 Wed, 05 Jul 2023 11:13:48 +0200 FAIRway Danube II – "Workout Program" for the Waterway Continues In recent years, the successful modernization of the Danube waterway has been associated above all with one term: FAIRway Danube. The outstanding EU co-financed project coordinated by viadonau not only created enormous visibility for the importance of cross-border cooperation for a top-developed fairway. With its successes, the international flagship project paved the way for strong follow-up projects. An ambitious sequel, FAIRway Danube II, valued at 70 million euros (47 million euros EU funding), officially approved by the EU at the end of June, will continue the successful course in terms of fairway modernization along the entire Danube for the coming years. A powerful project family

The successfully completed FAIRway Danube project (July 2015 to December 2021) – involving Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania – was the first implementation phase of the "Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries". The authorities' fleets were complemented by nine additional state-of-the art vessels for surveying and marking. The "FAIRway Works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor", which started in April 2020, is investing in the upgrade of the Serbian Iron Gate II lock and, for example, three public mooring places in Austria. The "Preparing FAIRway 2 works in the Rhine -Danube Corridor", which started in July 2020, is preparing plans for public mooring places in Austria, Croatia and Serbia, defining next steps for the transnational waterway monitoring system (WAMOS 2.0) and laying the foundations for possible future interventions on the Croatian-Serbian Danube common section. 

FAIRway Danube milestones as a strong foundation

FAIRway Danube II continues where its predecessors already initiated important developments, but also includes a number of innovative measures towards further holistic modernization of the fairway.

The  planned tasks and objectives of FAIRway Danube II:

  • Implementation of regular transnational monitoring of fairway conditions
  • Procurement of sensors for measuring water levels, fairway depths and bridge clearance heights 
  • Upgrading the national waterway management systems and the transnational waterway monitoring system (WAMOS 2.0) to increase their performance and efficiency and to improve information provision to users 
  • Extending the lead time of level forecasting – a key tool for logisticians
  • Testing flexible infrastructure elements in Austria, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. This unique approach will provide a non-invasive, nature-based solution for low water periods, as it can be used to flexibly influence fairway depth. In this way, the reliability of inland navigation will be improved without any permanent impact on habitats and ecosystems.
  • Modernization of existing berths in Austria and Romania to improve infrastructure, especially in terms of crew safety and mobility. The work also includes green energy solutions for shore power at each berth. Plans are also being developed for additional investments in moorings in Austria, Slovakia, Croatia and Romania.

The FAIRway Danube "project family" is co-funded by the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility CEF. 

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1813 Wed, 14 Jun 2023 13:41:31 +0200 Your opinion makes us better! Customer satisfaction survey on waterway and locks Along some 350 kilometers of the Austrian Danube as well as at nine Danube locks and the lock in Nussdorf on the Vienna Danube Canal, viadonau ensures smooth and safe shipping traffic with proactive waterway management and competent lock services. What is your opinion of the quality of the waterway and lock service? What „school grades“ would you give us? Give us your evaluation now in the current viadonau survey on satisfaction with the Danube waterway and lock service in Austria. Take just a few minutes and devote yourself to the online survey "Customer Satisfaction Waterway & Locks", which is available to you in German and English. Participation is, of course, anonymous. No data will be stored or passed on to third parties.

Furthermore, it is possible to fill in the questionnaire electronically as a Word file in German and English and then either send it by e-mail to kata.seher[at] or hand it in as a printout at the Aschach, Melk or Freudenau locks.

Click here for the questionnaire in MS-Word format:

Thank you very much for your support!

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1803 Mon, 06 Mar 2023 10:02:52 +0100 SYNERGETICS – Synergies for Green Transformation of Inland and Coastal Shipping – kicked-off! SYNERGETICS – Synergies for Green Transformation of Inland and Coastal Shipping – is an Innovation Action funded by the Horizon Europe programme of the EU, which kicked-off at DST (Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e. V.) in Duisburg on 8.2.2023. viadonau is involved as a project partner with extensive expertise in ship technology and the development of sustainable waterway management, and is providing a new pusher vessel as the object of study. What is SYNERGETICS?

Inland and coastal shipping face great challenges with respect to a significant reduction of greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions resulting from the requirements stipulated in the European Green Deal and the Taxonomy Regulation as well as the fact that improved environmental performance has become a feature of ever-increasing importance to the sector in order to remain competitive.

The existing fleet operating on European inland waterways and in the respective coastal areas displays a great potential for greening, which can be unlocked by proper means of retrofit. Currently, different undertakings with respect to greening in the shipping sector as well as other sectors have been carried out or are ongoing. However, the solutions are not brought together in order to facilitate a roll out on a large scale. This is the starting point of SYNERGETICS! The project aims at bringing together the relevant knowledge from different sectors, in particular the waterborne one. This will be realized by creating synergies between the leading research institutions in the field of ship hydrodynamics and energy transition, innovation centres and shipping industry associations, shipbuilding industry, regulatory bodies, vessel owners, and technology providers, as well as between different European regions. The goal is the provision of a consistent catalogue of developed and ready to deploy retrofit solutions which would facilitate and accelerate the green transformation of inland vessels and coastal ships.

What are the objectives?

The key objectives of SYNERGETICS are:

  • demonstration of the potentials of retrofit technologies in greening the existing fleets by retrofitting four existing ships in the course of the project duration;
  • demonstration of the potentials of hydrodynamic improvements in greening of the existing fleets;
  • demonstration of the value of digital assets in greening the existing fleets;
  • integration of the knowledge on shipping decarbonisation and air-pollutant emission reduction technologies with experience gained in the pilot projects and in the demonstrations performed within SYNERGETICS, and establishment of the Catalogue of Greening Solutions;
  • provision of up-to-date Scenarios to Policy-Makers and the Handbook to Vessel Owners for an accelerated greening of inland and coastal shipping;
  • acceleration of the uptake of the greening retrofit solutions by streamlining regulatory procedures;
  • propagation of the use of the Catalogue, the Scenarios, and the Handbook developed within SYNERGETICS beyond Western Europe.

What will be demonstrated?

In SYNERGETICS a number of demonstrations will be carried out relating to:

  • hydrogen combustion in internal combustion engines;
  • methanol combustion in internal combustion engines; 
  • innovative hydrodynamic improvements of the hull and the appendages;
  • electrification of ships by means of hybridisation of the main propulsion system;
  • electrification of ships by means of development of power management system for hybrid propulsion and onboard energy storage.

Details on SYNERGETICS are now also available in our project database.

press release viadonau
news-1798 Tue, 31 Jan 2023 10:45:30 +0100 We bring Danube expertise to the Isar – viadonau and the Austrian Danube ports in the starting blocks for transport logistic 2023 In the course of the transformation of the European transport network, new opportunities are also opening up. One particularly promising one is called "Danube", and its flow direction is clearly the future. From 9 to 12 May at the transport logistic trade fair in Munich, viadonau and the Austrian Danube ports will finally be able to demonstrate once again the wide-ranging know-how with which business and shipping can secure this future. In addition to numerous topics, innovation is of course the central point: which propulsion systems and energy sources will give the inland vessel of tomorrow the necessary boost and how can rail and inland navigation together combine and use their environmental protection potential even better? Experts from viadonau, the ports of Linz, Enns, Krems, Vienna and WienCont as well as from rail and shipping sector are looking forward to providing the latest findings at the world's leading trade fair for transport and logistics. Insights which will be provided, for example, by a programme highlight which together with rail representatives will focus on opportunities and perspectives for even closer customised cooperation between rail and barge, emphasizing effective synergies for a more climate-friendly overall transport system.

Additionally, the "Wasserstoff-Brunch" (Hydrogen Brunch) will also offer a lot of input, based on the central question of what will literally drive inland navigation in the upcoming years under the increasing pressure of climate change. Recommendation from the "topics menu": New propulsion concepts and energy sources as well as flagship projects by young experts demonstrating the potential of alternative propulsion ideas – such as the use of fuel cells and new types of ship engines – at the stand of viadonau and the Austrian Danube ports. 

First samples that will whet your appetite for more – be there, 9 to 12 May, at transport logistic 2023 at Messe München, following the motto: „Treffpunkt Donau: Wasserstraße & Logistik“ ("Meeting Point Danube: Waterway & Logistics"). You bring curiosity and interest – we bring the Danube know-how. We are looking forward to finally shaking many hands again.

viadonau economy
news-1794 Mon, 19 Dec 2022 14:21:36 +0100 Final workshop "Intermodal and rolling cargo by inland vessel" Under the motto: "Cooperation of rail and inland navigation" the last expert exchange within this project took place on 23.11 in Krems. In addition to the guests from inland navigation, numerous representatives, from rail, freight forwarders and also intermodal operators were invited. The aim was to initiate a discussion that would highlight possibilities and opportunities in efficient combination of these two environmentally friendly modes of transport. The large response reflected the actuality of the subject, with more than 45 participants attending digitally or in person. In the focus of this project, in addition to rolling loads, are intermodal units such as ISO containers. In this sense, the workshop was enriched with an interesting technical visit through the Rhenus Donauhafen Krems and the container terminal of METRANS. Mr. Andraschko and Mr. Gussmagg guided the group through numerous handling areas of the port area and pointed out current changes as well as future planned expansions. The participants had the privilege to experience first hand the loading at the container terminal with reach stackers as well as to watch the bridge crane "Rudi" unloading an inland vessel. 

At the beginning of the workshop, Hans-Peter Hasenbichler highlighted the strengths of inland waterway transport and the support measures already taken to interconnect rail and inland waterway. Following this, Bettina Matzner highlighted the steps taken so far during the current project. After this very short introduction, the focus was on the experts from the field. 

Andreas Mandl, from LTE highlighted the major challenges in European rail transport. The lack of interoperability still burdens the execution of international transports and exploding energy prices currently intensify the competition to road transport. Gerhard Harer, from Steiermarkbahn Transport und Logistik underlined the current challenges. "Since the goods transported by rail and inland waterway are very similar, there could be significant advantages and good synergies in cooperation." Harer is convinced. To achieve this, however, the nodes, i.e. the terminals, must also be further expanded efficiently. Additionally, bypass systems could be certified in advance with the partners in order to significantly shorten the preparation time in case of an incident.

After many years of experience, Valdet Farizi from the company Multinaut is also sure that inland navigation can make a valuable contribution to move large tonnages in an environmentally friendly way with less work force needed. 

Mr. Dauser from Dalco presents a best practice example for thinking outside the box and using different modes of transport through the use of intermodal loading units. He reflected a current timber project to underline which new paths he is taking with this. The swap bodies used can be flexibly transported in all modes, beginning from round timber loaded directly from the production site to the shipment of semi-finished or finished products; rail and ship can be used for the transport of long distances across Europe.  

Mr. Nothegger from the forwarding company Nothegger has also already gained experience with Danube Navigation. In a joint project with the Logistikum, the possibilities for the transport of 45-foot inland containers have already been investigated. 

The detailed discussion with the experts showed that there are perspectives and willingness for a joint solution and cooperation between rail and inland navigation. In addition to the exploration of possible relations, customers and products, optimizations still have to be made in the individual systems, also with regard to multimodal loading units and transhipment hubs. Nevertheless, it is time to take advantage of the current change, to initiate cooperation between these modes of transport, and to jointly "educate" the customer toward environmentally friendly transport solutions.

viadonau economy
news-1784 Tue, 18 Oct 2022 16:02:20 +0200 Danube Business Talks 2022 – On the Danube into a green future Linz – Opportunities, trends and the future of the waterway finally got back on the big stage. On October 12 and 13, about 150 participants of the Danube Business Talks conference, organised by viadonau at the Palais Kaufmännischer Verein in Linz, witnessed that the Danube region as an economic factor is more lively, dynamic and relevant than ever. The main topic: climate protection and how companies, political decision-makers and infrastructure operators want to position the Danube in the first row of transport modes for a more environmentally friendly transport network in Europe. Accordingly, the motto of the event, which is also a signal for the departure into this future: Green Deal – Green Danube. In the light of the European Green Deal and the targeted climate neutrality by 2050, the sustainable development of the Danube is no longer a marginal note of transport policy, but an essential criterion for the climate future. This was made clear by representatives of national and international politics, such as the Austrian Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler in her welcome note and CINEA Director Dirk Beckers (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency) already at the beginning of the new edition of the Danube Business Talks. Particularly important: more attention for the Danube as a high-performance transport option, clear guidelines to promote the shift of transport, especially of oversized cargoes, such as the new regulation of special transports in Austria, which has been in force since 2022, but also an innovative international project environment, provided for example by the PLATINA 3 platform, which is dedicated to the development of more environmentally friendly propulsion concepts and the provision of so-called zero-emission services. It is also clear that the modernisation of inland navigation must include its infrastructural framework. Gert-Jan Muilerman, viadonau strategy expert, provided tangible examples of this: The upgrade of berth for dry cargo in Linz 2021 and the current establishment of the berth in Wildungsmauer as part of the EU co-financed project "FAIRway works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor" were important successes that made the continuous improvement of the navigation infrastructure - increased safety and usability of the waterway but also the provision of shore power - on the Danube visible.

Infrastructural and digital upgrading go hand in hand on the Danube. Today, boatmasters not only navigate with electronic precision, administrative processes are also handled digitally. Karin De Schepper from Inland Navigation Europe (INE) highlighted the great importance of new Europe-wide standardised systems in terms of waterway information services: EuRIS - a RIS platform that provides all navigation-relevant fairway data in 13 countries - and the new electronic reporting system CEERIS are outstanding milestones of the RIS COMEX project coordinated by viadonau, which was completed in 2022. Another digital advance that is changing a working environment, that has always placed special demands on the transport industry and logistics. Vera Hofbauer, head of section at the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) therefore sees the expansion of special training programs for inland navigation as one of the most important measures for modernising inland navigation. The REWWay education platform, which was set up by Logistikum Steyr together with viadonau is today one of the most sought-after online contact points for the constantly growing demand for waterway-specific teaching and learning material and has a strong role model effect for other emerging concepts  in the entire transport sector.

Climate change is forcing fundamental changes in business and society. Green Deal, UN Sustainable Development Goals, and responsible business ethics are firmly integrated into the values and goals of numerous "big players" on the Danube. For OMV, for example, climate neutrality by 2050 is also a declared goal. For more than 80 years, the company has relied on shipping as an essential part of the value chain. According to Jana Gavril, Senior Expert for Strategic Logistics at OMV Downstream GmbH, around 1 million tons of petroleum products are transported across the Danube every year. As an oil, gas and chemicals group, OMV is committed to the EU climate goals. Therefore, it is important to significantly reduce the ecological footprint of the company and, for example, to reduce the C02 emissions of the company by up to 30 percent by the end of the decade.

The waterway is a particularly environmentally friendly mode of transport whose great climate protection potential can be further increased, especially in terms of shipping and power supply. According to Sascha Gill of Viking River Cruises, around 16,000 ships travel Europe's rivers, for which "greening" incentives need to be created for switching to more climate-friendly fuels or retrofitting to more modern propulsion systems. The broad-based EU NAIADES III program would set a clear course for this. In order to achieve the zero-emission targets by 2050, Gill believes that the consistent expansion of the shore-side power infrastructure offers particularly large opportunities for CO2 savings of up to 45 percent. The expert is convinced that climate-conscious travel and sustainable offers for tourism are demanded by customers. Responsible management must therefore be a natural element of quality services and offerings.

The waterway is not only a place for environmentally oriented modernisation, moreover it literally transports it. The essential hubs for this are the ports. Mobility expert Marjan Beelen from the Port of Antwerp - the largest transhipment point for RoRo (Roll-On-Roll-Off) goods in Europe -, Peter Stöttinger from Felbermayr and Jürgen Plauensteiner from Rhenus Donauhafen Krems, where the optimal use of the waterway has been demonstrated for many years, for example with the handling of construction elements for wind energy plants, put a striking exclamation mark behind the motto of the Danube Business Talks with positive economic impulses and the constant expansion of the ports‘ superstructure. The message of the conference, which was carried by the many experts and which Austria's Minister for Climate Protection so pointedly emphasized in her welcoming remarks, was all the clearer at the end. Minister Leonore Gewessler: "The motto of this year's Danube Business Talks - Green Deal - Green Danube - is intended to show that we on the Danube are doing our homework and making a strong contribution to the declared goal of the European Green Deal to actually be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, also and especially with the Danube waterway."

Networking is the key

Current topics, variety of themes and concentrated expertise are only part of the success of the Danube Business Talks. This year, it was important to viadonau to again create the appealing contrast between a specialist conference on the one hand and an appropriate setting for personal exchange on the other. While targeted business contacts could be established at the Business Dating, an excursion to the ÖSWAG shipyard in Linz combined the conference topics with exciting impressions of shipping technology. Furthermore, the Danube Business Talks 2022 were accompanied digitally by competent experts. A large part of the presentations and debates could also be followed via streaming.

Downloads [Presentations (PDF)]

Future perspective of inland navigation in European Green Deal (Karin De Schepper, INE)
Austrian policy initiatives and new funding possibilities for greener vessels (Vera Hofbauer, BMK)
New challenges for waterway management Our path to energy self sufficiency (Gert-Jan Muilerman, viadonau)
OMV’s Contribution to Climate neutrality (Jana Gavril, OMV Downstream GmbH)
Your breakbulk home port (Marjan Beelen, Port of Antwerp Bruges)
Power in motion on the Rhine-Danube Corridor (Peter Stöttinger, Felbermayr Transport- und Hebetechnik GmbH & Co KG)
Rhenus port logistics (Jürgen Plauensteiner, Rhenus Donauhafen Krems)
Lower Danube Cruising Perspectives and Challenges (Radu Comanici)
Development of new international passenger terminals in Serbia New Destinations for Sustainable Travel (Port Governance Agency, Serbia)
Green Award for inland navigation (Jan Fransen, Green Award)
Greening projects for inland navigation in Europe (Martin Quispel, PLATINA 3)

Photo gallery

press release viadonau economy
news-1769 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 17:58:44 +0200 Introduction of the harmonized DAVID forms along the Danube successfully completed Congratulations! The harmonized DAVID forms are from now on used at all checkpoints at and outside the Schengen external borders. After Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Ukraine introduced the DAVID forms in 2020, also Romania and the Republic of Moldova followed in the first half of 2022 and thus completed the introduction process. The internationally harmonized DAVID forms replace the three most commonly used border control forms (arrival & departure report, crew and passenger list) and therefore lead to a simplification of border controls and to a reduction of administrative efforts for the shipping sector. From now on, the so-called Danube Navigation Standard Forms (DAVID) are applicable at border controls in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. In detail, Romania introduced the DAVID forms on April 15, 2022, followed by the Republic of Moldova on May 13, 2022 .The DAVID forms were developed under the coordination of viadonau in the working group "Administrative Processes" of the EU Danube Region Strategy for the priority areas PA1a (inland waterways) and PA11 (safety) under the involvement of the shipping sector and experts.

The DAVID forms unify the data fields of the three most commonly used border control forms (arrival and departure notification, crew list and passenger list). They have gradually replaced corresponding national forms in the Danube region. The introduction of the DAVID forms in Romania and the Republic of Moldova thus contributes to the further simplification of border controls and to the reduction of administrative efforts for freight and passenger shipping along the Danube.

A brief review

In 2020, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Ukraine have introduced the DAVID forms. Since their introduction in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, the DAVID forms are applicable at all border checkpoints at or outside the Schengen area.

Further information

Danube Logistics viadonau economy
news-1767 Thu, 02 Jun 2022 14:40:04 +0200 Expert workshop: "rolling cargo by inland vessel" – Keep Rolling 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. 

Danube Logistics viadonau economy
news-1749 Thu, 30 Dec 2021 09:08:28 +0100 Happy New Year! Together to a successful new danube year! viadonau wishes you a happy and healthy new year! If you want to be up to date on interesting and exciting activities on the Danube, March and Thaya in 2022, then follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Together we will set course for another successful Danube year!

Aktuelles viadonau
news-1746 Tue, 30 Nov 2021 18:04:43 +0100 SAVE THE DATE - „Shore power at berths“ Workshop by CCNR and viadonau, February 3, 2022 Zero-emissions inland navigation sector by 2050: this target for protecting the environment and climate concerns not only inland navigation vessels’ propulsion systems but also the on-board power supply for operating machinery, for example when at berth. The workshop which will be provided by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine and viadonau will focus on sustainable solutions for power supply of inland navigation. The conflicts over city centre berths on the Rhine demonstrate that joint efforts are required to reduce or largely eliminate both greenhouse gas/pollutant and noise emissions. Supplying inland navigation vessels with shore power can play an important role in reducing emissions and noise. Supplying inland navigation vessels with green electricity at berths helps achieve the objectives both of the Mannheim Declaration and of the European Commission’s Green Deal, while also securing attractive city centre berths for future generations of boatmen.

But how to go about this transformation? The workshop aspires to help solve this challenge facing the inland navigation sector, while at the same time deriving the requirements for technical standards, management systems, the reliability and usability of the systems, and also the need to use such services from the providers’ and users’ perspective. The ports as well will play a particular role in this as a result of their transformation into energy hubs.

This will involve CCNR Member States’ experts sharing their experience of planning, building and operating shore power connection units. The users of these systems will also be given adequate time to make their wishes and comments known. For a technical discussion with actors including those from the Danube region, the event will be organised in Strasbourg in collaboration with viadonau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH.

The workshop is targeted at waterway, lock, port, terminal, berth and cargo handling operators, the shipping industry, power generators and power network operators, as well as the river commission and other international inland navigation organisations.

Working languages: French, German, Dutch, English
Participation in the workshop is free of charge. The event programme will be notified later.


Save the Date Workshop Berths Flyer

E-Mail: ccnr[at]

viadonau economy
news-1743 Fri, 19 Nov 2021 10:39:03 +0100 Top info for top transport planning viadonau continuously expands its range of online services for optimal transport on the Danube waterway. For example, the new website "Services transport planning" has recently been made available at under the heading "Business", which provides shipping operators with useful information and contact data on the fairway, traffic, infrastructure, authorities and much more for their transport and voyage planning. The new site makes the numerous and varied services offered by viadonau and external bodies available in a user-friendly way. More than 40 services and publications are grouped thematically into the groups "water levels", "shallow sections", "infrastructure", "traffic-related information", "draught loaded calculation", "communication channels", "maps", "contacts relevant to navigation", "electronic reporting forms", "manuals" and "logistics providers" and can be accessed via specific links.

Under „Services transport planning“ you will find your precise information. Take the opportunity to take a tour of the variety of topics and information right now.

viadonau economy
news-1740 Thu, 28 Oct 2021 12:18:28 +0200 Expert workshop as a hybrid stage for "container transports on the Danube" In international freight transport, nothing goes without the container. On the Danube, however, they are rarely seen. Although empty container transports have been running steadily for several years. Not to forget, there are large volumes of continental transports in swap bodies and semi-trailers, which could also be transported in an environmentally friendly way by barge. How the volume of intermodal units on the Danube can be increased was discussed at the first hybrid expert workshop with a total of almost 50 guests. Some of them were connected online and some were present on site. Thinking INSIDE the box. How exactly container transports by inland vessel can work on the Danube was discussed at an expert workshop, which was held at Tech Gate Vienna on September 29, 2021. But not all participants were attending physically in the room, because for the first time, the audience could choose to participate in person or virtually. Special attention was paid to the constant exchange between the digital and the in-person audience during the workshop via webcam & co.

First Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, Managing Director of viadonau, highlighted the advantages of Danube navigation and its good environmental performance, as well as the development of initiatives in the field of Danube logistics at viadonau. Afterwards, Bettina Matzner gave a short overview of the special field of container transport via Danube and current challenges and potentials. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection also attaches great importance to the topic of "combined transport" within the Austrian transport policy. Julia Elsinger presented national strategies and funding in this area.

Digitally connected from Salzburg, Otto Hawlicek from Container Terminal Enns gave an insight into the multimodal terminal on the Danube in the Ennshafen. Efficient handling of containers by gantry cranes, which span the depots as well as railway tracks and quay, enables the optimal transhipment of containers with increasing quantities every year between the three modes. Currently, about a quarter of the empty containers are delivered to the Ennshafen by barge. In addition to these transports, Mr. Hawlicek also sees potential for continental volumes in swap bodies and semi-trailers by barge.

Not far away, intermodal transports are also moving into the spotlight in Bavaria. Andreas Plank of Bayernhafen reported on the planned expansion in Regensburg and the implementing of the new container terminal in Passau in cooperation with various partners. 

Multinaut Donaulogistik has also gained experience with container transports by barge in the past. Chartering a total of 20 vessels, numerous products are transported along the Rhine-Main-Danube corridor. As Valdet Farizi highlighted, suitable vessels and necessary experience are already available. In order to ensure reliability despite lock closures in the westbound direction, currently potentials for cooperation with railways are worked out.

At Nothegger Transport Logistik, on the other hand, the focus is not on ISO containers but on continental volumes. With numerous block train connections through Western Europe, Karl Nothegger Senior has already been able to establish many intermodal transports. Currently, the possibility of inland waterway transports to the east is being investigated in a joint project with various partners; the conception of an optimized vessel is also part of this project.

The following discussion showed that in principle there is enough volume available for the transport of full containers. What container transports on the Danube still need for a big push is cooperation: only together can carriers, forwarders, ports and shipping companies get such concepts off the ground. Last but not least, cooperation with rail operators would open up special opportunities to maximise the strengths of both modes of transport and increase resilience.

Further Info:

viadonau economy
news-1736 Wed, 13 Oct 2021 18:46:07 +0200 Danube Business Talks 2021 – Let’s talk about the future Postponed in the previous year the long-awaited Danube Business Talks were finally held in a digital way on 13 October 2021. Providing a diverse field of topics – from current data on inland waterway transport and logistics to optimizing cross-border administrative processes and the upgrading of waterway infrastructure as well as the recovery of passenger shipping – the popular conference platform organised by viadonau once again presented itself as the flagship event for Danube navigation. The motto on the Danube river: Overcoming the crisis with rebuilt power and positioning inland navigation as an environmentally friendly transport mode with great potential to tackle climate change. During the biggest health crisis of the last 100 years especially the Danube waterway faced dark and light simultaneously. While tourism and passenger shipping dropped dramatically on the Danube due to the pandemic, cargo shipping was at the same time demonstrating distinctive qualities of resilience thus pointing out the enormous importance of the waterway as a crucial supply artery for essential goods. Now, since the pandemic is slowly backing down the task must be to support Danube navigation on its successful path into a climate-conscious future and to strengthen modernization of the Danube waterway. With substantial measures like upgrading of berths and state-of-the-art shore power supply for mooring ships but also with logistical and technical innovations to strengthen the Danube as part of Europe’s multimodal transport network viadonau together with inland navigation operators, entrepreneurs from the Danube region and experts from the fields of policy-making, traffic and logistics took an extensive look into the future of Danube navigation, for which the Danube Business Talks once again provided an ideal platform.

The State Secretary at the Austrian Ministry of Climate Action, Magnus Brunner, confirmed the enormous impact of the corona virus pandemic on the Danube waterway even though the cargo shipping sector showed great resilience against the crisis: „Thankfully we were able to continuously maintain important supply chains on the Danube especially regarding agricultural and industrial products. Now we have to focus on tackling the climate crisis also in the field of Danube navigation. Therefore, great efforts by every stakeholder are needed to set up the right path towards greening inland navigation. Together with viadonau, one of the most important goals is therefore to establish low-emission and energy-efficient ship technology through new funding programms.“

viadonau’s managing director, Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, pointed out the major efforts to ensure appropriate usability of the Danube waterway during the pandemic. ’’From the start of the crisis it was very clear for us that we had to ensure the continuous functionality of our services for the users of the Danube waterway. A success we achieved together with federal institutions and partners. But the next tasks are already waiting to be accomplished like simplifying cross-border administrative procedures as well as the further digitalization of the Danube waterway. “

After the tremendous decline of passenger shipping, experts now have a brighter view of the future. The number of tourists will very likely rise again to pre-crisis level in the seasons 2022 and 2023. Austria scores above all as a safe travel destination, and at the same time Danube journeys are increasingly in demand from the domestic tourism sector.

The experts agree: The Danube waterway carries great potential to support measures against the climate crisis and to lead the European Commission’s Green Deal to success. With an increased modal shift towards inland navigation carbon emissions could be avoided to a significant extent. viadonau is specifically focusing on these positive effects of an increasing use of inland navigation as an effective transport option and ensures the best possible conditions for sustainable cargo shipping on the Danube waterway. To support improvements of waterway infrastructure along the entire Danube river viadonau takes a leading role in international projects – for an integrated maintenance of the entire river and a competitive transport mode in the 21st century.


The presentations of the speakers can be downloaded here.

Aktuelles viadonau
news-1731 Mon, 09 Aug 2021 10:51:30 +0200 Upgrade of public mooring place “Trockengutlände Linz-Mitte” finished - high quality infrastructure for commercial shipping Finished! viadonau has completed the upgrades of the public mooring place “Trockengutlände Linz-Mitte” (km 2129.22 –2128.90). The modernised berth is now available for mooring of commercial vessels. The mooring place has been selected for modernisation works due to prior surveys conducted with commercial vessel operators, where requirements for upgrading measures have been identified. As of now, the mooring place “Trockengutlände Linz-Mitte” offers 14 dolphins, two access bridges for the ship's crews and one access bridge to tranship a car. The upgrades enable safe mooring, while the access bridges for the ship's crew and their cars increase mobility and minimise the risk of accidents. In general, the increased quality of the mooring place improves the planning of resting and travelling times. In order to contribute to the achievement of the current climate goals, the public mooring place Linz will be equipped with shore power in the near future in order to minimize the use of on-board generators.

The modernization of the public mooring place in Linz is being carried out as part of the “FAIRway works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor“ co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) of the European Union. FAIRway works! is a joint project by Austria and Serbia with the aim to improve the waterway infrastructure along the Danube in these two countries.

One of the project goals is to sustainably improve the supply and quality of public mooring places in Austria for commercial shipping. This is important, as berths enable the sector to comply to legally required resting times. Public mooring places enable the ships’ crews to conduct necessary crew changes or shore leaves, while they also offer safe anchorage in the event of emergencies and accidents.

In addition to the modernization of the mooring place in Linz, the public berth in Wildungsmauer will be upgraded. After the construction works, the mooring place will offer the necessary infrastructure for commercial cargo shipping. In a further step, the public mooring place in Vienna (Brigittenau II) will be modernized according to the requirements of the sector.

More information about the project:

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1727 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:09:03 +0200 Launch of the DAVID Creator: With the digitalisation of the DAVID forms within the DoRIS Portal, viadonau is celebrating an important milestone The DoRIS portal, operated by viadonau, offers another free service to interested waterway users: the DAVID Creator. The new application enables the electronic creation of the internationally harmonized border control forms – the Danube Navigation Standard Forms (short: DAVID forms) - which will further reduce administrative barriers in the Danube region. The DAVID forms were developed under the coordination of viadonau and with the involvement of the shipping sector and experts in the Working Group on “Administrative Processes” of the EU Danube Region Strategy under the priority areas 1a (inland waterways) and 11 (safety). The DAVID forms standardize the data fields of the three most commonly used border control forms (arrival and departure reports, crew lists and passenger lists) and shall replace respective national forms required during controls at and outside of Schengen external borders. The aim is to reduce administrative barriers for shipping companies in connection with border control processes.

So far, the DAVID forms have been officially introduced in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Ukraine in 2020. Soon, the DAVID forms shall also be implemented in Romania and the Republic of Moldova for a transnational deployment of DAVID forms at and outside of all Schengen external borders along the Danube.

In addition to the introduction of DAVID forms in the Danube region, the digitalisation of the forms also plays an important role in order to diminish administrative barriers, making Danube shipping even more attractive for existing and potential new customers. In coordination with the Working Group on “Administrative Processes”, viadonau offers the DAVID Creator in the DoRIS portal to interested users free of charge.

The application enables the

  • Electronic creation of the 3 DAVID forms (Arrival & Departure Report, Crew List and Passenger List
  • Saving of template versions for later usage
  • Creation of new DAVID forms from already existing forms with automatically pre-filled, basic data (e.g. ship name, ENI number),
  • Saving the created DAVID forms as PDF in the desired Danube language on desktop for further submission to authorities via e-mail (submission takes place outside the portal).

Also, the navigation of the portal is available in all Danube languages to support the Danube-wide digitalisation of the DAVID forms.

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1719 Tue, 04 May 2021 09:50:49 +0200 A strong arm for the Danube - On-site visit of the reconnected Spittelauer side arm on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Donau-Auen National Park On May 3, State Secretary Magnus Brunner, Lower Austria's Deputy Governor Stephan Pernkopf, Vienna's Climate Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky, National Park Director Edith Klauser, WWF Austria Managing Director Andrea Johanides and viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler visited the Spittelauer Arm renaturation project. The tributary reconnected to the Danube within the framework of the EU-funded Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube project also represents an important joint ecological milestone in the anniversary year of the Danube Floodplains National Park. A bright river ecological signal on a significant anniversary. Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube stands for the preservation and ecological improvement of the Danube floodplains in eastern Austria and western Slovakia. As part of the multi-year project, the renaturation of the Spittelauer side arm in the Stopfenreuther floodplains has now been completed and a Danube tributary that flows almost year-round has been restored - a new development space for nature that also offers people unique experiences of nature, as State Secretary Magnus Brunner also noted on site. For Brunner, the completion is a particularly beautiful and fitting occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Donau-Auen National Park in a dignified manner. The success impressively demonstrates the importance of the joint protection of habitats, which are also particularly valuable for people as recreational areas and leisure spaces, he said. Emphasizing the unique added value of river habitats for both people and nature is also important to Lower Austria's Deputy Governor Stephan Pernkopf. He is particularly proud of Lower Austria's long tradition of involvement in a wide range of renaturation projects and ecological measures to protect biodiversity over the past 25 years. Vienna's Climate Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky also looks back on the past quarter century with pride. In good cooperation with the province of Lower Austria and the federal government, the City of Vienna has ensured the preservation of precious floodplain landscapes between Vienna and Bratislava. The successful renaturation of the Spittelauer side arm is of great importance for the preservation of the Danube floodplains and a model for the future of river ecology east of Vienna.

The future of the Danube east of Vienna seems to be marked out. Thus, the milestones jointly achieved with the Donau-Auen National Park describe a clear development course for viadonau along the Danube. The name of the Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube project says it all: for viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, restoring the tributaries as lifelines for the surrounding area is a central approach to re-establishing varied microhabitats for a variety of plant and animal species. In this way, the Spittelauer tributary, which once again has a year-round flow, acts as a true multiplier for biodiversity. For example, for animals such as the nose, barbel, little ringed plover and kingfisher, as National Park Director Edith Klauser explains. With the changing water levels and near-natural conditions, the young stages of an alluvial landscape in particular would be promoted. According to Klauser, the consistent environmentally oriented path along the Danube in the national park area was possible primarily through the cooperation and support of viadonau, municipalities, interest groups, nature conservation organizations, politics and science. Finally, WWF Austria Managing Director Andrea Johanides also emphasized the nationwide exemplary effect of the project: "The reconnection of the Spittelauer side arm with the Danube after more than 100 years is an enormously important signal. Only about one percent of rivers still have intact floodplains. This makes every single kilometer of floodplain that is preserved or newly created more important."

Further information:

FGP environment
news-1716 Thu, 18 Mar 2021 16:12:23 +0100 Two new flagship projects aim to further improve navigability on the Danube The first Advisory Committee Meeting held on 9 March 2021 in a digital format kicked off two new CEF co-financed projects “Preparing FAIRway 2 works” and “FAIRway works!”. Expectations are high, as their predecessor “FAIRway Danube” is a CEF flagship initiative for coordinated Danube rehabilitation activities. Modern navigation plus sustainable river engineering

One of the most important activities in the framework of “FAIRway works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor” is the upgrade of the Serbian navigational lock Iron Gate II, planned for 2022-2023, which will be implemented without serious interruptions for the navigation. The current state of the lock jeopardises the safety and reliability of the operations, therefore the works foreseen in this project are essential to ensure that a Good Navigation Status is achieved and maintained. While Serbia will also procure one multifunctional marking vessel, one surveying vessel and monitored buoys in the framework of the project, the initiatives in Austria address the upgrade of three public mooring places in Linz, Wildungsmauer and Vienna. The construction works in Linz started in December 2020 and aim to improve the safety and the environmental performance of mooring operations. Another activity celebrating first success, is the procurement of multifunctional marking equipment with delivery of the lighter and contract signature for the pusher in March 2021. The new marking equipment will improve surveying data and enable faster marking operations, in particular in the free-flowing sections Wachau and East of Vienna.

While “FAIRway works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor” focuses on the technical implementation of modernising the Danube waterway, the project „Preparing FAIRway 2 works in the Rhine-Danube Corridor“ carries out as a joint undertaking with Croatia and Serbia preparatory works for the potential river engineering measures along the critical bottlenecks on the Croatian-Serbian common Danube section.

Flagship projects with ecological responsibility

The modernisation push generated by the new cross-border projects on the Danube ensures a lot of enthusiasm among the project partners, especially due to the important cross-border connection of economic and ecological interests. Vera Hofbauer (Austrian Federal Ministry of Climate Action) is convinced that “both projects not only contribute to the realisation of the Green Deal through the promotion of Danube navigation, but will also contribute to the realisation of the biodiversity strategy by means of integrated planning on the Croatian-Serbian border stretch”.

The new Rhine-Danube Coordinator, Inés Ayala Sender, welcomes the projects in the CEF portfolio and explains that expansion of the European core transport network to the Western Balkan, as addressed by both projects, is essential for a seamless and effective transport in Europe because “transport does not stop at EU borders”.

For Herfried Leitner (Pro Danube International) the safety and reliability of the waterway are an important basis for its future. He endorses the presented projects and explains: “Danube navigation sector very much appreciates the two new project initiatives, which ensure the decrease of waiting times at the Serbian Iron Gate II locks, provide better marking and information services and enhance safety and sustainability of mooring operations.”

Arno Mohl from WWF Austria urges to act responsible in dealing with the Croatian-Serbian common Danube section and reminds: „It is one of the best-preserved Danube stretches with the largest floodplain forests along the whole Danube with a unique biodiversity and key protected areas as well as an essential part of the prospective world´s first 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube. Hence, WWF urges that the planned interventions must not lead to any negative ecological impacts on this outstanding area.“

Guided by the Joint Statement on Inland Navigation and Environmental Sustainability in the Danube River Basin, and in compliance with the EU environmental legislation,the project partners will monitor parameters relevant to the work for the fairway upgrade together with environmental characteristics for the catalogue of biodiversity components of the common Danube section. Thecollected data will be used for modelling and multi-criteria analysis. The project will deliver models, define and prioritise critical sections for possible future works on the common Danube section and, on the basis of multi-criteria analysis, the works variants will be assessed and next steps will be defined. All activities will be done in a close cooperation with a multidisciplinary Stakeholder Forum being currently formed and including relevant experts from the inland navigation sector and nature protection NGOs.

Further to the activities on the Croatian-Serbian common Danube section, and under the coordination of viadonau (Austria), the project partners will assess requirements, identify possible measures and prepare plans for future construction and upgrading of public mooring places infrastructure in Austria, Croatia and Serbia along with the new concepts for an improved Stakeholders’ Coordination and enhancement of Waterway Monitoring System functionalities.

About the projects

Both projects are co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union. They aim to improve navigation conditions on the Danube and support involved countries to maintain a “Good Navigation Status” and to reach minimum requirements for rivers and canals by 2030 as set in the TEN-T Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, while preserving a “Good Ecological Status”.

Further Information:

FAIRway Works! in the Rhine-Danube Corridor:
Preparing FAIRway 2 works in the Rhine-Danube Corridor:

press release viadonau
news-1708 Tue, 22 Dec 2020 13:11:33 +0100 The Danube proved of its value during the crisis – highlights of the year Probably nobody will deny that the year 2020 was quite exceptional. A world-wide pandemic affecting our everyday lives, which was also challenging for Danube Navigation. While the cargo shipping sector was influenced by uncertain framework conditions and often changing, short-term regulations, the passenger shipping industry came to a standstill for several months because of restrictions from the public health authorities aiming to dam up COVID-19. Nevertheless, the Danube River and its economic actors were able to foster the role of the waterway as backbone for the supply of the Austrian industry, also by creating new transport flows. Despite of travel restrictions and lockdowns, the supply of cargo needs to be guaranteed to ensure the raw material supply. Therefore, infrastructure needs to remain available, locks need to continue their efficient work and cargo vessels still need to pass borders for international transport. The year 2020 has remarkably shown, that this is possible also in difficult times.

The amount of locked-through vessel units for cargo transport reached nearly the amount of the previous year. The crew of the vessels, the port and lock operation personnel and the logistics personnel did a tremendous job to keep the cargo flows running.

In addition to the regularly conducted transports, new flows have been developed and will hopefully continue in the upcoming years:

The Port of Vienna (Hafen Wien) was able to strengthen its position as a transhipment hub for recycling products. In the year 2020, plant components and various other metal scrap was unloaded, stored and loaded on inland vessels to be shipped to Turkey. But also, other recycling materials have gained in importance: Several shiploads of waste wood have been imported from the North of Europe via inland vessel and have been discharged in the port.

The Lagerhaus Absdorf-Ziersdorf was also striking a new path for the transport of their agricultural products this year. To handle this year’s rich harvest of maize, 1.000 tons of maize have been transported directly from the field and loaded onto a ship in the Rhenus Port of Krems. 40 hours later, the corn reached its destination in Aschach (Upper Austria), was dried and ready for storage and processing. With the transport via inland vessel from Krems to Aschach 40 truck journeys have been saved.

This year, the company Pfister Consulting GmbH organised for the first-time regular shiploads of round wood via inland barge from the Rhenus Port in Krems to Hungary. This new export flows have been introduced due to the regional big volumes of wood. Especially for these high volumes, Danube Navigation can offer great opportunities and low transport costs.

All these positive examples from the cargo shipping industry underline the importance of the Danube as crisis-proof, environmentally friendly and cost-effective transport axis for the industry in Austria. The passenger shipping industry will hopefully rise quickly to their earlier performance, after the positive effects of the planned immunisation enables the usual unlimited passenger traffic. Nevertheless, these highlights at the end of a troubled year, help us at viadonau to look ahead in with optimism.

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1704 Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:48:39 +0100 Virtual final workshop “transport of chemical and petrochemical products via inland navigation” The right chemistry for Danube navigation? On the 12 November 2020 27 participants took part for the first time in a virtual workshop to discuss the opportunities and potentials offered by using inland waterway transport of mineral oil products, fertilizers etc. Three experts from OMV AG, the port of Giurgiulesti and TTS Austria provided insights in their logistical processes and highlighted the current and long-term challenges concerning the transport of their (petro) chemical products. In total chemical and petrochemical products like mineral oil and its derivates, fertilizers, coal and other chemical products count more than 25% of all goods transported on the Austrian stretch of the Danube. Concerning the mineral oil sector, the supply reliability is of utmost importance. Several OMV subsidiaries and depots are located along the Danube, as Mr. Vladimir Cernek in charge for primary logistics, reported. Thus, inland navigation is a very safe, well planable and fast way of transportation, especially when considering the great amounts which are transported.

As Thomas Moser from the Port of Giurgiulesti explained that the mayor amount of goods transhipped are agricultural bulk products. Additional high volumes of mineral oil are delivered via sea vessels, as Giurgiulesti is located on the maritime part of the Danube. A new oil mill has settled down recently in the port and besides vegetable oils also liquid fertilizer and ethanol has been transhipped recently.

Exciting impressions on future developments concerning fertilizers were presented by Herfried Leitner from TTS Austria. Especially in South-East-Europe the demand in the upcoming years will increase, only phosphate fertiliser will face a decline. Other fertilizer products will rise in this region and will offer future potential for inland navigation. The company TTS operates 55 pushers and around 450 barges. Additionally, other services are offered within the group such as operation of terminals for transhipment, a shipbuilding yard and bunker facilities.

The current crisis is taking their tolls but the supply reliability plays a central role especially today. Future changes in the transported cargo like e.g. decrease of fossil fuel and yearly changes in agricultural cargo flows, also influence the Danube Navigation sector. On the maritime Danube, the increase of lot sizes using sea vessels can help to optimise cost. On the Upper and Middle Danube more often, multimodal concepts are used as smaller lots for chemical products are getting in focus.

Inland navigation contributes to an environmentally friendly transport system, its markets players like shipping companies, ports and cargo owners should act as a jointly to represent interests of the sector a to show the advantages and opportunities in the competition with other transport modes.

The initiative of chemical and petrochemical products will be accomplished at the end of this year. In total, three expert workshops showed the opportunities and potentials of the different cargo types. Additionally, an information brochure in German and a dedicated website display all necessary inputs on inland navigation.

Further information

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1701 Fri, 23 Oct 2020 18:54:56 +0200 DAVID – Elimination of administrative barriers continues A further success in removing administrative barriers along the Danube: Bulgaria is the fourth country after Hungary, Croatia and Serbia to introduce the “Danube Navigation Standard Forms” (DAVID) on 4th August 2020. As of now, the 3 DAVID forms are also available in the Bulgarian RIS System (Single Window / BULRIS). Said forms replace the three most frequently used border control forms (Arrival and Departure reports, Crew lists and Passenger lists) and therefore contribute to the harmonization of border control processes in the Danube region. The DAVID forms are to be introduced in Romania, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine by the end of 2021.

The DAVID forms were elaborated under the coordination of viadonau in the EU Danube Region Strategy Working Group under the Priority Areas PA1a (inland waterways) and PA11 (security) with the involvement of the shipping sector and experts.

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1698 Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:35:16 +0200 From riverbank renaturation to a new river biotope – viadonau ensures a piece of the original river landscape on the Fischa After more natural bank structures have been created at the mouth of the Fischa in autumn and winter 2019 as part of the EU-funded Austrian-Slovak INTERREG project "Alps Carpathian River Corridor", viadonau is now taking the next step in terms of revitalization of the Danube tributary. Still in the wetland remaining Danube gravel is removed and the groundwork is set for the development of a new biotope. Since the middle of September, constructions have started for the creation of a new, diverse habitat, from which wildlife typical of the river will benefit in particular. In the course of the second phase of revitalization at the Fischa estuary, which began in mid-September, the level of the hinterland upstream of the estuary will be lowered. In this way, a flat branch is created with an intermittent connection to the river Fischa downstream. In the subject area there has already been some sort of still water area, which is now partially restored by removing the remaining gravel layer and made accessible again for life and diversity of a river-typical nature. Since the newly emerging water surface is under the influence of floods, it will quickly develop richly structured and, with favourable shallow water areas, serving as an ideal breeding ground and nursery, especially for fish, amphibians and macrozoobenthic organisms. Hidden and far away from disturbing influences, fish like Barbel and Common Nase in particular, who come together here every year, find a quiet and cosy “waiting room” before they continue migrating up the Fischa. Wildlife and waterfowl also benefit from the upgrading of the river habitat, which will quickly take possession of the new piece of wild river landscape.

The gravel removed during the construction work will be returned into the Danube bed load cycle and, for this purpose, dumped into the river at a suitable point as part of viadonau's proactive waterway management.

By implementing the revitalization measures, viadonau is investing in a sustainable future of ecologically intact river landscapes. The primary goal of the hydraulic engineering measures on the Fischa is the extensive restoration of the original river, floodplain and bank structures as well as increasing the quality of the habitat for fish populations typical in this area. In cooperation with other targeted river-ecological measures, the project contributes to the long-term improvement of the Fischa-Danube habitat network.

Further information:

FGP viadonau
news-1696 Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:40:50 +0200 Danube Business Talks take a break until 2021 due to the Corona pandemic The coronavirus pandemic is a global challenge for the economy as well as for society and demands a lot of flexibility from businesses and people. For viadonau, health always has priority. Due to the current development, the company has decided to postpone the Danube Business Talks planned for October 2020. After an extended waiting time, business and shipping companies, logistics experts, interested parties and Danube fans can positively look forward to the top event in terms of Danube logistics in autumn 2021. „Postponed“ does not mean „abandoned“! With the Danube Business Talks, every two years viadonau offers a popular platform for the transport and logistics sector to exchange views and to discuss topics relevant to the danube river. In view of the current developments of the virus pandemic and the requirements adopted by the Austrian Federal Government, but most importantly in consideration of the health of an international audience, the company decided with a heavy heart to postpone the Danube Business Talks, which were planned to take place on 14 and 15 October in Linz, until next year. The year one after the start of the global corona crisis will symbolize the economic restart in the Danube region and in Europe, which will be presented all the more brilliantly at the Danube Business Talks in 2021 – with current trends, innovations and attractive future prospects on the river.

Especially during the most intense phase of the crisis, the Danube waterway has proven its great potential as an environmentally friendly and high-performance transport option, but also as a reliable supplier of essential goods. viadonau looks confidently into the future of the Danube region and hopes to be able to do this again in 2021 together with numerous high-ranking experts at the Danube Business Talks 2021.

Save the date: 13 and 14 October 2021 in the Palais Kaufmännischer Verein in Linz.

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1685 Thu, 16 Apr 2020 13:11:45 +0200 More water for the Danube floodplains: River reconnection within the frame of Dynamic Life Lines Danube The approximately 4-kilometer-long ‘Spittelauer’ side arm was cut off from the Danube during the “Great Danube Regulation” in the 19th Century. Since then, lots of valuable habitats got lost due to the area slowly silting up, leaving the Danube unable to remodel the river landscape by its own force. Within the framework of the “Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube” project, viadonau is reconnecting the side arm system opposite the city Hainburg to the Danube, creating a new habitat. In the course of the current project, the tributaries will be connected to the Danube and the water will be able to flow through almost all year long. Especially the juvenile stages of the dynamic alluvial landscape and fish population are expected to benefit from the measure. Additionally, an island is created by the reconnection, which then acts as a refuge for the animals of the floodplains.

In celebration of the start of the constructions, state secretary Magnus Brunner emphasizes the integrative approach. “The Danube is both the transport corridor and lifeline and therefore improvements for shipping and ecology go hand in hand. By reconnecting the Spittelauer side arm a vital milestone for the improvement of the habitat has been implemented and on top of that, the renaturation measures give the river more space and have positive effects on flood protection.”

Particularly flood protection profits from this project twice, since the restoration of the Marchfeld flood protection dam which is running at the same time, creates direct synergies by reusing the armor stones. Part of the recovered amour stones can be incorporated in the only 10 km far away dam next to Stopfenreuth. Besides the immediate costs which can be saved for disposal and acquisition, also pollutant emissions can be kept low due to the short transportation routes.

"Multiple renaturation measures were already implemented at some waterbodies in Lower Austria with the help of the LIFE funding program of the EU. The fact that the successful work can now be done within the frame of such a big project, shows the importance of natural protection areas in Lower Austria for the protection of endangered species in Europe”, says Deputy Governor of Lower Austria Stefan Pernkopf.

The important side arm systems at the north bank opposite of Hainburg as well as between Haslau and Regelsbrunn at the south bank will become valuable habitats in the future. According to Edith Klauser – director of the Donau-Auen National Park who welcomes the important revitalization measures: “The LIFE Project will reconnect about 14 km of side arms to the Danube in the national park alone. Further a renaturation of about 4 kilometer of river banks is planned. These measures will give the Danube more strength to remodel the landscape, from which many typical species of the floodplains, such as the endangered pigo or the streber as well as the sea eagle - who successfully hatches in the surroundings of the Spittelauer side arm - will benefit.”

The construction measures are of course carried out with the utmost consideration for the protected goods of the national park. A flexible concept was developed in order to protect the nesting sea eagles and supervised by the employees of the national park.
Also in order to protect the employees from getting infected with COVID-19, construction works were paused for a short time. But after a safety concept and corresponding training had been completed, the construction work was possible to be continued in compliance with the strict health requirements.

The actual start of construction was preceded by a successful application for funding in the LIFE Nature funding program of the European Union. In the previous year, the Austrian-Slovakian consortium under the leadership of the Austrian waterway company viadonau got awarded with the contract for the “Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube” project. 25-kilometer-long lifelines shall come into existence in the Danube floodplains during this project as well as direct measures for improving the alluvial forests will be carried out. The Donau-Auen National Park, WWF Austria, the Slovakian NGO BROZ, the Comenius university in Bratislava (Faculty for natural sciences) and the national forestry center of Slovakia (NCL) are involved. The county of Lower Austria and the Lower Austrian fishery association are financially supporting the project.

“viadonau plays a pioneering role when it comes to renaturing large navigable rivers. The experience from this has influenced the measures which were taken during the preparations and will be forwarded to the experts for ecology and river engineering in the Danube region in this LIFE project”, concludes viadonau managing director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler.

More information

FGP viadonau
news-1681 Mon, 23 Mar 2020 13:30:43 +0100 Hungary, Croatia and Serbia introduce harmonised border control forms In the last years a joint Working Group of Priority Areas 1a (Inland Waterways) and 11 (Security) of the EU’s Danube Region Strategy developed a set of so-called Danube Navigation Standard Forms (DAVID) under the coordination of viadonau. Using the expertise of stakeholders from the shipping sector and control authorities, the data fields of three often used forms (arrival and departure forms, crew lists and passenger lists) were harmonised in an international effort. In the first phase Hungary, Croatia and Serbia introduced the DAVID forms in control procedures thereby replacing the national forms applied until then. Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova intend to follow suit until the end of 2021 latest.

The Community Customs Code requires that control procedures should be aligned and the number of procedures reduced to those that are economically justified. Acting on this maxim a joint Working Group of stakeholders from the shipping sector and control authorities recently reached a major step in ensuring efficient border control procedures in the Danube region.

From simplification...

Analyses of the joint Working Group demonstrated that numerous requests for data are duplicated, different forms are in use in different countries and that multiple controls can be observed. The first step in the developmental path was therefore to agree on the elimination of superfluous data requests.

via harmonisation...

The next challenge was to screen and streamline the different border control forms in use along the entire Danube. In order not to lose the thread, the efforts of the Working Group focused on three often used forms: arrival and departure forms, crew lists and passenger lists. All requested data fields on national control documents were analysed and duplications between various formsidentified. The synchronised application of a first set of so-called Danube Navigation Standard Forms (DAVID) was recently started with its introduction in Hungary, Croatia and Serbia.

to digitalisation

In parallel to the anchoring and application of the already harmonised set of DAVID forms, the RIS COMEX project (co-financed in the Connecting Europe Facility) will specify the required steps to digitalise the submission of DAVID formsbased on the „single data entry“and „report only once“ principle. The joint Working Group of PA1a and PA11, as well as the RIS COMEX and the already concludedDANTE project form together a TEN-T Corridor Flagship Project, that supports the transport policy objective towards digitalisation of administrative procedures on inland waterways.

As a result, Danube navigation will become more attractive for potential customers asship crews can save time and concentrate on their actual job: Carrying cargo from A to B with the most environmentally friendly mode of transport.

The harmonised DAVID forms are available for download on the websites of the respective Ministries:

Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary – National Transport Authority
Links to DAVID forms in hu/en
Érkezési-indulásijelentés/Arrival and Departure Report (hu/en)
Személyzetilista/Crew List (hu/en)
Utas lista/Passenger List (hu/en)
Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia
Link to DAVID forms in hr/en
Najavadolaskaiodlaska/Arrival and Departure Report (hr/en)
Popisposade/Crew List (hr/en)
Popisputnika/Passenger List (hr/en)
Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Serbia
Link to DAVID forms in rs/en
Izveštaj o odlasku/dolaskubroda/Arrival and Departure Report (rs/en)
Popisposade/Crew List (rs/en)
Spisakputnika/Passenger List (rs/en)

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1651 Wed, 04 Mar 2020 12:57:03 +0100 Danube Business Talks 2020 – With power into the multimodal future The Danube as economic factor. On 14 and 15 October Linz will be the host city of the Danube Business Talks. Organised by viadonau, the fourth edition of the successful biannual event attracts the undiminished interest of stakeholders from businesses, industry and trade as well as from the inland navigation sector. This is not surprising, since all efforts focus on strengthening the Danube as sustainable transport option within the European transport network. Top issues this year: cross-border developments, promising cargo groups and the supply of shorepower along the waterway. Vast capacities, environmental friendliness and low costs. As sustainable and effective mode of transport, the Danube waterway offers everything that is necessary to make the European transport network ecologically and economically fit for the future. In order to use this potential in a coordinated manner, attention must be dedicated to bringing together the interests and top performers of the transport sector, in order to identify promising economic perspectives, in which the inland waterway can play a significant role.

For this purpose, viadonau creates with the Danube Business Talks for the fourth time a strong “power house” of international outreach. The motto – Power for the River – has two important meanings: By focusing on the modal shift of promising product groups such as high and heavy goods or chemical and petrochemical products onto the Danube, the high transport potential of the waterway is emphasized once again. Beyond that, the Danube Business Talks for the first time offer a multifaceted forum for current developments and know-how exchange related to the topic how shore power can contribute to a more efficient and environmentally-friendly energy supply on inland vessels.

In their role as lighthouse for the future of inland waterway transport, the Danube Business Talks in Linz will bring their participants on course. Once more, market-oriented programme items, such as the B2B-platform Danube Business Dating, will offer targeted business perspectives and contacts, economic impulses and latest news on Danube Navigation in a pleasant and competent setting.

Reflecting the new climate and environmental protection goals of the Austrian Federal Government, the Danube Business Talks in Linz will provide a favourable opportunity to jointly develop cross-border solutions to strengthen the Danube as logistics corridor in the European transport network.

The participation in the Danube Business Talks is free of charge. Registration will be possible soon.

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1611 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:46:06 +0100 Save the date – Danube Business Talks 2020! Organised by viadonau, the business platform for Danube navigation is entering the 4th round. We invite you to participate at this international  sector event on 14 and 15 October 2020 in Linz. Get on board and find out about latest developments along this European waterway!

This year’s motto: Power for the River. In the cargo shipping sector we will focus on shifting high & heavy goods and chemical products onto the Danube – for these two market segments experts predict particularly powerful growth rates. In the passenger shipping sector we will focus on the supply of passenger vessels with shore power. In order to strengthen competitiveness and environmental performance of the Danube waterway, an efficient and environmental friendly energy supply is particularly important in urban areas.

The Danube Business Talks offer private and public stakeholders an opportunity for targeted networking and knowledge exchange on economic impulses and innovations in the field of Danube navigation. The new climate and environmental protection goals of the Austrian Federal Government provide a favourable framework for the development of cross-border solutions to strengthen the Danube transport axis in the European transport network. In addition to the international exchange between companies, public authorities and politicians, the B2B platform Danube Business Dating will provide once again opportunities for establishing new business contacts.

High Voltage guaranteed!

Danube Business Talks 2020
Palais Kaufmännischer Verein in Linz
14 - 15 October 2020
Participation in the Danube Business Talks is free of charge,
but registration is obligatory (at a later date).
Conference language: English

Cornelia Lang
via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH
Donau-City-Strasse 1
1220 Wien
0043 504321 1406

Danube Logistics viadonau
news-1602 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 13:11:29 +0100 Renaturation measures completed: viadonau enhances ecological value of the Danube tributary Fischa Within the frame of the transnational INTERREG-Project “Alpen Karpaten Fluss Korridor” (Alpine Carpathian River Corridor) viadonau revitalized the mouth of the tributary ‘Fischa’ into the Danube. Approximately 250 meters of bank enforcement were removed or lowered along the Danube. The newly designed river banks offer more room for development and enhance the habitat connectivity in the river system Fischa-Danube. Together with the Danube, the Fischa forms a substantial network of habitats between Vienna and Bratislava, which is used by numerous plant and animal species as an area for migration. While the upper and middle reach of the 35-kilometer-long side-arm of the Danube still shows some ecologically valuable sections, the lower reach and mouth of the river suffer from morphological deficits instead, due to river bank enforcements made from armored stones.

During fall and winter of 2019 viadonau implemented river engineering measures at the mouth of the Fischa for a near-nature redesign of the banks. Roughly 10.000 cubic meters of gravel and amour stones were moved in the context of the renaturation.
While the existing river bank enforcement on the upstream side of the river mouth was lowered over a length of 125 meter, on the downstream section the rip-rap was completely removed over a length of an approximately 130 meters. “The revitalized river mouth allows Fischa and Danube to develop dynamically and form natural bank structures. Especially rheophile fish like the ‘Common Nase’ benefit from the renaturation at the Fischa, where diverse river bank habitats can now develop” explains viadonau project manager Julia Kneifel.

Alpine Carpathian River Corridor

Coordinated by the national park Donau-Auen and co-funded by the European Union and the state of Lower Austria the project “Alpen Karpaten Fluss Korridor” (Alpine Carpathian River Corridor) focuses on the improvement and protection of the connectivity of habitats for water bound organisms at the Austrian-Slovakian border region. The renaturation of the Fischa mouth is the first successfully completed out of a total of 13 planned pilot measures of the project and part of the viadonau Catalogue of Measures for the Danube to the East of Vienna. Further information about the projects of the “Alpen Karpaten Fluss Korridor” can be found here as well as in the viadonau project database.

press release FGP
news-1590 Tue, 07 Jan 2020 18:30:55 +0100 Get active for a high quality waterway The viadonau customer survey on operations and services provided along the Danube waterway ends on 24 January. The results help to develop the Danube in a customer-oriented and targeted manner as an attractive mode of transport in the future. Your opinion is important to us! In order to offer tailor-made services and to push the further development of the waterway in a targeted manner, viadonau regularly asks customers on the Danube river for their current assessment of the quality of the waterway. How satisfied are you with the maintenance and marking of the fairway or the operation of the nine Austrian Danube locks? What impression do you have of the work of the supervision and traffic control at the locks as well as of the quality and usability of digital information services such as DoRIS or the DoRIS Mobile App? And how would you actually assess the available public berths or the need for shore power systems? Your opinion is required as a daily user of the waterway.

Get active now and participate in the future development of the waterway! Click here for the survey. Alternatively, the printed questionnaires are also available directly at the locks.

Wasserstraße viadonau
news-1521 Mon, 23 Sep 2019 17:04:00 +0200 Revitalization measures at Fischa and Schwechat– Kick off for the EU Project “Alpen Karpaten Fluss Korridor” On the 20th of September, the kick-off ceremony for the revitalization measures at Schwechat and Fischa took place within the framework of the transnational INTERREG project Alpine-Carpathian-River-Corridor. Managed by the Donau-Auen National Park, the estuary of the Fischa will be renatured by viadonau. A key partner, who also financially supports the EU-funded project, is the Federal Government of Lower Austria. The Alpine Carpathian Corridor is a strip of land situated between the eastern foothills of the Alps in Lower Austria and the western part of the Carpathians in neighboring Slovakia. It represents an important connection and migration route for many species. However, agricultural, residential and commercial areas as well as transportation infrastructure amidst the conurbations Vienna and Bratislava restrict the migration and propagation possibilities of animal and plant species. In addition to the ecological hiking and connection routes on land, also rivers are essential for the migration of various species.

Section chief Prof. Gerhard Gürtlich (BMVIT), district commissioner Peter Suchanek (Bruck an der Leitha) and Thomas Ram, mayor of Fischamend, were celebrating the start of the implementation measures at Schwechat and Fischa, as a strong sign to permanently give the rivers and their nature their space back as part of a holistic and transnational development.
Deputy governor of Lower Austria, Stephan Pernkopf, emphasized how important it is to preserve and improve the “Green Ring” around Vienna. A total of 2 million euros will be invested in the Alpine Carpathian River Corridor, with the restoration measures at Fischa and Schwechat serving as exemplary projects.

Director of the Donau-Auen National Park Edith Klauser explained that the rivers and floodplains of the Alpine Carpathian Corridor are often the only connecting elements between existing protected areas. Therefore, the goal of the “Alpine Carpathian River Corridor Project” led by the National Park is to ecologically strengthen the rivers as migration corridor, which also play a major role for biodiversity in the National Park area. Fish like the Common Nase, as a typical Danube fish in the national park section, will particularly benefit from the revitalization of the Fischa.

The renaturation of the estuary of the Fischa into the Danube is implemented by the project partner viadonau. The ecological transformation of the estuary is also an important step for the waterway operator to strengthen the habitat network of the tributary river and the Danube. Managing Director of viadonau, Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, highlighted the project as an important part of the viadonau “Catalog of Measures” for improving the ecological conditions of the entire Danube section east of Vienna. With a fish ladder in the "Little Floodplain" (Kleine Au) near the city of Fischamend, the municipality of Fischamend is also implementing a revitalization project as a project partner.

In total, the project will include 13 pilot measures on five rivers in Slovakia and Austria for renaturation, as well as local habitat-shaping interventions for species such as Kingfisher or Dice Snake.

Additional links:

FGP viadonau
news-1503 Fri, 02 Aug 2019 10:26:19 +0200 On site visit at the Johler Arm – Nature grows, thrives and stabilizes Vegetation is an essential part of soil bioengineering measures for river bank restauration. However, an added value for this sustainable engineering and the ecology is only given if the right conditions and a sufficient amount of time is offered. Experts at viadonau for ecology, conservation and ecological engineering visited the river bank at Johler Arm in autumn 2018, which has been redeveloped in cooperation with the organization Geoverde, to see how the vegetation develops due to the newly built structures. The as a stepped pile wall designed wood structure is supposed to protect the Hollitzer Allee from the ongoing bank erosion and has already proved its stabilizing effect during the high-water levels in the first half of 2019. Responsible for the stabilizing effect in the future, are mainly the plants which were built into the construction. The experts on site noted, that the incorporated widows are visibly at ease at the newly built site, are growing fresh roots and already started to stabilize the ground.

The bank restoration shall be further observed and maintained. After all, the structure should be preserved as long as possible – just as the recently discovered medieval river bank construction in the inner city of Vienna.

viadonau FGP
news-1485 Mon, 08 Jul 2019 16:01:15 +0200 Liquid bulk in the spotlight – viadonau starts initiative for chemical and petrochemical products 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. 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.

news-1467 Tue, 18 Jun 2019 16:07:14 +0200 Annual Report on Danube Navigation – Compact and Digital The Annual Report on Danube Navigation in Austria ensures a clear view along the waterway and at the same time provides detailed information regarding current developments regarding traffic, transport volume, fairway situation and more. The current edition of the inland navigation compendium can be downloaded by now. 7,2 million tons of transport volume on the Austrian Danube, 6,1 million tons of waterside transshipment at the Austrian Danube ports – the data from 2018 clearly confirm: The distinctive low water period of last year’s summer and autumn was a burden for the Danube being primarily a challenge for the area of goods transport. While transport and transshipment fell by one quarter, the passenger navigation remained stable (-0.4%) and was even able to record a slight plus with about 465,000 passengers (+3.3%) in the field of river cruises. In 2018 the waterway Danube in Austria was available on every single day, at the same time remaining accessible – not least due to focused proactive activities of the waterway management by viadonau. Thus, for example, a proactive improvement of critical shallow sections and an optimization of existing hydraulic engineering in a nature-friendly way were achieved with dredgings in the ford areas Rote Werd and Trauschütt.

How the development of inland navigation at the Austrian Danube looked like in detail in 2018 and also exciting trends regarding groups of goods, modal split, fairway depths, locking of ships and many other factors can now be brought to home screens, tablets or smartphones. Click here to download.

news-1456 Thu, 06 Jun 2019 16:15:32 +0200 Hello from Munich – Austrian Danube logistics on the global stage of economy Reunion in Munich: Every two years the Danube River finds its way to the Capital of Bavaria. This was ensured by viadonau and the IGÖD partners. From 4 to 7 June the joint stand “Treffpunkt Donau Östereich” (Meeting point Danube Austria) at the transport logistic – the international trade fair for innovative transport-, traffic and logistics solutions – became once again an attractive center of gravity for experts, stakeholders and interested parties to exchange information about the current and future potential of the Danube as the most environmental friendly transport mode of the European traffic network. Dialogue unites: This was shown in Munich by viadonau and the IGÖD partners – the ports of Linz, Enns, Krems, Vienna and WienCont. Both, at the joint stand and in the subject-specific discussion and presentation forum interested business operators together with specialists and Young professionals of Danube logistics focused in a pleasant networking atmosphere on new transport possibilities. Additionally, they informed about innovative logistic offers along the Danube and gained information about current developments from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. The current status of the economic development in the Danube Region was presented at the Danube Ports Info Day organized at the joint stand. Experts from a wide subject range of companies such as Port of Vienna, Pro Danube International, Ennshafen OÖ, Port Governance Agency, Maritime Port Administration Constanta, iC consulenten ZT GesmbH and Danube Logistics SRL provided first-hand answers. What have the Danube countries already achieved together in the framework of international development projects like DAPhNe? Which challenges are still ahead? There is common agreement that not only economic effectiveness but also international ecologic goals require a transformation of transport networks. The most environmentally friendly inland navigation must also be prepared for for this step. While, due to the digitalization of waterways, port information and logistic systems, a development is already in progress, there are infrastructural gaps along the Danube that have to be closed. Furthermore, the connection to the hinterland needs further improvement and ports require uniformly higher standards. Significant projects that aim at the improvement of transport infrastructure at the river, such as the reconstruction of the lock Gabcikovo in Slovakia, are strong signals of an economic optimism along the Danube.

To make optimum use of the waterway and to better position it for future logistic challenges, a consequent customer orientation is needed – a principle that has become a leading motto for viadonau and the logistic service providers along the Austrian Danube a long time ago – unconditional customer service. At the transport logistic fair viadonau and the IGÖD partners gave the stage to those, who are in close contact with business partners as well as with users of the waterway in their daily business. Which current developments do they perceive in their professional environment? It soon became apparent that the ports at the Austrian Danube are continuously upgrading their logistic and infrastructure services. Thus, the port of Linz is opening up new space with the project ”Neuland” to optimize the port infrastructure and, at the same time, to revive innovatively the port area of Linz and better connect with the locals. However, service optimization is also the winning formula when it comes to locks: Shorter waiting times for navigation and a consequent modernization of communication technologies are improving sustainably the framework conditions for reliable transportation planning on the river. In a word: Variety and diversity of the Danube professionals made sure once again that the Danube performs well at the Isar River.

news-1442 Tue, 30 Apr 2019 11:28:26 +0200 Up-to-date bridge data online – viadonau supports transport planning on the Danube The planning and implementation of transports of oversized cargo remain a challenge for vessel operators. viadonau offers as of now up-to-date data on bridges along the entire Danube – a benefit for both passenger- and cargo shipping. When it comes to the planning and implementation of oversized cargo transports, the available vertical clearance is often a decisive factor. In close cooperation with experts from the Danube riparian states, viadonau offers constantly updated bridge data to provide a decision-making basis for transport planning. A list of Danube bridges published by viadonau contains data relevant for navigation along the international waterway. These parameters include the location (river-km), vertical clearance at highest navigable water level (HNWL), horizontal clearance at low navigable water level (LNWL), reference gauges, number of passageways and allowed direction of passage.

This data was collected and processed in the frame of the EU-funded project RIS COMEX by project partners from eight Danube riparian states. RIS COMEX aims to offer efficient River Information Services to public authorities and logistic providers in order to facilitate the implementation of transports along the Danube. The published list of bridges was created by the responsible waterway and river information service operators to their best knowledge and belief. viadonau will continue to function as coordinator and update the data within the framework of this international cooperation on a regular basis.

The list of bridges can be accessed here in English and German.

Disclaimer: The final decision regarding the passage under a bridge is subject to the responsibility of the captain. Thus, any claim of liability based on this list of bridges provided by viadonau as service feature is by any means whatsoever excluded and void.

news-1432 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 14:25:19 +0200 Grand finale of the “Bioenergy meets Danube logistics” meeting series! Fostering sustainable usage of biomass for energy production in the Danube Region and the increase in share of environmentally friendly biomass-transport on the Danube is the main concern of the ENERGY BARGE project. An outstanding feature of the project is its cross-sectoral approach: the project brings together key actors along the entire value chain, stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Danube ports as well as relevant public authorities and policy stakeholders in order to support transnational know-how transfer and cooperation. Business-to-business (B2B) meetings for the use of synergies between the biomass/bioenergy sector and the Danube logistics sector are an essential element of the project, offering a neutral platform for initiation of new transports on inland waterways.

Using the motto “The Danube – A Stream of Energy”, viadonau and the Port of Vienna organised the first out of five regional business-to-business meetings in the framework of the Danube Business Talks in October 2018. The event successfully connected Danube logistics companies and the bioenergy and biomass sector. With speakers from the companies AGRANA, Münzer Bioindustrie, Bulmarket and the Port of Rotterdam the event featured key companies in the field of European biomass logistics. The B2B matchmaking event this marvelous prelude also offered a favourable framework for strengthening the Danube as a logistics axis for biobased cargo.

After another opportunity for a B2B event at the end of 2018 in Bratislava organized by Slovak Shipping and Ports JSC, in January 2019 the MAHART-Freeport Budapest hosted the third stakeholder conference under the motto „DanuBeGreen“. A port visit and fruitful B2B meetings raised expectations for the next event, to be held in Vukovar, Croatia.

The organisers, Croatian Wood Cluster and Port Authority Vukovar, outreached the expectations of the participants from the logistics and biomass sector from entire Croatia and the Danube region by offering an interesting site visit to a large biomass company “Spačva d.d.” and a great conference programme.

The final B2B event, end of March, hosted by Port of Straubing offered a unique opportunity to round up the B2B meeting series. It featured extraordinary speakers, site visits to key companies in the port area and constructive bilateral business meetings.

In total 200 participants visited the B2B meetings organised in five countries. This number confirms the need for neutral cooperation platforms in the field of Danube logistics to initiate new inland waterway transports and to promote a modal shift towards the Danube waterway. Thus viadonau will foster B2B meetings in future and extend this proven concept to other cargo groups together with international partners.

More information on the ENERGY BARGE project:

news-1428 Wed, 10 Apr 2019 18:50:18 +0200 Habitat Danube: Gravel bank transformed to island Sometimes isolation can be a bliss, especially when it means turning a vegetated gravel bank into an island, as it was done at the Austrian – Slovakian border close to Wolfsthal. During the reconstruction of the existing structures for regulating low water, the trench between the gravel bank and the river bank of the Danube was deepened on a length of one kilometer.

The island character of the structure was significantly amplified due to this and since then the Danube flows through the trench during mean flows and turns it into a valuable habitat for fish which offers them protection against the waves.

The island itself is covered by vegetation typically for the alluvial forests and offers the animals of the Danube floodplains a place to retreat.

For the deputy governor of Lower Austria, Dr. Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP), who is also responsible for ecology, the island Wolfsthal is an important contribution to the river restoration in Lower Austria. “I am delighted to see, that another section of the Danube could be renaturated with this project.”

The mayor of Wolfstahl Gerhard Schödinger (ÖVP) is also happy about the successful completion of the project. “Our river bank at the Danube was silting up heavily during the last decades. The revitalization measures do not only lead to an ecological enhancement, but also create a more attractive riparian zone and benefit the fishery territory.

Director of the Donau Auen National Park Edith Klauser emphasizes the interconnection of protection areas along the Danube: “Even though the island Wolfsthal lies outside of the National Park, it means a lot to us. Connecting our protected area with the surrounding area is an important stepping stone for nature. This was also the reason to integrate this project into our DANUBEparksCONNECTED project to make its realization possible.”

Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, general manager of viadonau, the company responsible for the construction implementation: “With the island Wolfsthal another element of our Catalogue of Measures for the Danube to the East of Vienna was implemented. We are working on creating optimal conditions for shipping and ecology at this section of the Danube.

The project was realized in cooperation with the Nationalpark Donau-Auen and the preparations were co-financed by the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project.

FGP viadonau
news-1400 Fri, 08 Mar 2019 11:55:32 +0100 Equal opportunities for more success viadonau knows: Equal opportunities for everyone expand the performance spectrum and benefit the business – thus, equality of opportunity is a key factor of successful modern business strategies. On the occasion of International Women’s Day the company is this year once again presenting in the Report on Equal Opportunities the activities and impulses of viadonau that aim at creating framework conditions for an equal treatment of employees regardless of sex, religion, ethnic origin or belief. When it comes to equal opportunities in the workplace, viadonau has a concrete solution: Flexible working hours, telework, part time leadership or an active maternity management including educational and care leave are rights ensured a long time ago – in that way, the company addresses the individual living conditions of the employees. Esteem, integration and promotion regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation or disabilities is through a key principle of viadonau. A diverse workforce expands the company’s horizon internally and externally – diversity is understood as an important resource. In order to consolidate this business philosophy and to continue in the direction regarding equal rights, viadonau is coordinating both internally organized working group equal opportunities and externally within the platform equal opportunities – a network of 50 state-related companies – as well as in the framework of the diversity network meeting initiated by BMVIT (since 2020 BMK – Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology) in 2017. A current focal point is digital accessibility.

The toughest barrier for women on their way to higher diversity in the workplace is often a lack of perception. A high number of professional worlds related to the Danube are still dominated by men. This also applies for the transport sector, where currently only 20 percent of the employees are female. At the same time the events organized in the framework of the Austrian EU Presidency 2018 showed an increasing share of female specialists and top managers in an upcoming transport branch. At the Danube Business Talks as well as at the RIS COMEX Stakeholder Forum in Vienna renowned experts like Désirée Oen (EU coordinator Rhine-Danube-Corridor), Karin de Schepper (Inland Navigation Europe), Catherine Rivoallon (chief executive officer Port de Paris), Vera Hofbauer (Director of Navigation BMK) and Nicolevon Klaveren (Port of Rotterdam) were able to get involved in a competent way. viadonau aims at strengthening this positive development to more diversity and equal opportunities along the Danube. Thus, the company is supporting the EU initiative “Women in Transport” and at the same time is raising awareness of the young generation for working at the Danube. On the annual Vienna Daughter’s Days and the Federal Girls’ Days in the End of April viadonau is traditionally inviting girls to get to know the varied professional world of the company. Experts talk about their everyday working situations, specific education and extensive experience. The focus is on playful discovering, fascinating technical processes and rich nature along the Danube.  viadonau is convinced that attention creates interest and opens new perspectives – for future female logistics specialists, project managers and captains.

In the report on equal opportunities at viadonau 2019 the company is giving insights in important impulses, offers and current developments in order to make possible equal chances for everyone in a varied and constantly changing working world.

Further links: (Female expert database)

news-1389 Wed, 27 Feb 2019 10:50:57 +0100 A Strategic Research Agenda for Inland Waterways Transport The future lies in research and development – this also applies to the field of inland navigation. In the framework of the technology platform WATERBORNE, the INE (Inland Navigation Europe) presented on 24th January 2019 in Brussels the Strategic Research Agenda serving as a basis for future investments in research and development from the inland navigation sector and the European Commission and containing appropriate measures and developments up to 2050. The waterway is an important transport route and furthermore a mode of transport with low environmental impact. Therefore, development and raising awareness for inland navigation is even more important. As a member of Inland Navigation Europe, viadonau is committed to promoting a sustainable and innovative development of inland navigation and waterway in corporation with other platform partners. In this context viadonau has coordinated the projects PLATINA and PLATINA II and is currently a partner of the research consortia of the projects AEOLIX and NOVIMAR in the EU Horizon 2020 programme which runs until 2020.

The initiative Inland Navigation Europe a network of European waterway managers - contributes to harmonising the needs of the Danube River and other waterways and helps to anchor inland navigation as an environmentally friendly mode of transport in the European Agenda. The main focus is on a clearly defined common goal: the development of the waterway. Therefore it is important to provide targeted information regarding the potential of Danube navigation and, moreover, to anchor it in the future Horizon EU Framework Programme for Research in order to achieve all goals of the National Action Programme Danube by the BMVIT.

Among others, following goals of the lately presented Strategic Research Agenda are of priority: zero-emission, resource efficient economy, sustainable waterway development and improvement in terms of mobility and logistics. To make these goals achievable, investments in research and development from the inland navigation sector, the European Commission and the member states are essential.

Further details on the Strategic Research Agenda

news-1302 Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:18:32 +0100 Ecological river bank protection at the Johler Arm Bioengineering was used to protect the river bank, the Hollitzer alley and the underlying waste water pipes. A near-natural alternative to the hard stone structures is used. The chosen construction is used for the first time in this form at the Danube. The ‘Johler Arm’ has developed itself well since the reconnection to the Danube in 2013. The river develops natural river banks and is (under normal circumstances) flown through by water almost all year long and offers fish a possibility for retreat and spawning. With some luck it is even possible to see kingfishers.

At the turn of the year 2017/18, a strong bank erosion at the inflow opening occurred in direction of the Hollitzer alley. While an old, mostly invisible bank protection is securing the Hollitzer alley from erosion by the side arm, a similar type of protection is missing at the inflow opening on the first 250 meters. This gap is now closed with a for the Danube new kind of construction.

When talking about soil bioengineering measures for river bank protection, it means that plant materials are playing a vital role and that the stabilizing and protecting effects of plants and their roots is used.

At the inflow opening of the Johler Arm, resistant larch and black locust trunks were used as a frame for the terrace shaped construction. Willow fascines – bundles made out of living willow branches – were then incorporated. Finally, the bank protection was covered with Danube gravel. Some of the willows from the fascines will sprout in spring and further strengthen and slowly green the river bank. Additionally, willow cuttings will be planted as well.

The soil bioengineering measure was implemented within the context of the Catalogue of Measures for the Danube to the East of Vienna. The implementation took about a month and was mainly done by the local maintenance team of viadonau. The production of the fascines was done by viadonau who were actively supported by members of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna, of the Nationalpark Donau-Auen and of the WWF. In this way the project was also a way of sharing experience about bioengineering measures.

FGP press release
news-1236 Fri, 12 Oct 2018 12:35:52 +0200 Trends, networking, new markets – successes and challenges along the waterway at the Danube Business Talks 2018 The Danube: A Stream of Energy. This year’s motto of the Danube Business Talks on 10th and 11th October in Vienna was versatile on purpose. The Danube – a source of energy, tourism magnet, leisure paradise and natural area – represents at the same time the lifeline of a dynamically developing transport economy that is entering new markets and addressing innovative sectors. The current focus: biomass and bioenergy. In the framework of the third edition of the business platform successfully organised by viadonau, an international expert audience came together to discuss how to make better use of the strengths of the waterway. This year the passenger shipping sector was represented for the very first time. Federal Minister Norbert Hofer and Désirée Oen, EU coordinator for the Rhine Danube corridor, were there to accept corresponding requests and requirements of industry stakeholders. In order to ensure the added value, a development of the Danube River in a predictive and integrative way is essential. Therefore international cooperation is of immense importance. Under the umbrella of the European Strategy for the Danube area and in the frame of the National Action programme of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, several initiatives and projects like FAIRway Danube and Danube Stream were started to harmonise maintenance standards in a common way. "Nobody is able to face the challenges along the Danube on his own", Federal Minister Norbert Hofer said to the expert audience of 200 persons at the Danube Business Talks in his welcome speech and pointed out: "The promotion of an efficient and sustainable European transport network can succeed only in an international common effort. To take this forward is one clearly defined goal of the Austrian EU presidency." Also Désirée Oen, EU coordinator for the Rhine-Danube corridor, mentioned that at European level the Danube has long become a priority. The Danube is an exceptional tourism magnet that attracted 1.3 million passengers (+2.8%) in 2017. This positive trend can only continue if the flow stays ecologically intact and, at the same time, operational in terms of transport. International projects like FAIRway Danube for a harmonisation of information services related to fairway data should contribute ensuring a reliable decision making basis for planning inland waterway transports along the entire Danube - an enormous benefit for the passenger and even more for the cargo shipping industry which is in particular reliant on sufficient fairway depths.

Once again the availability of the waterway was a key topic for representatives of the inland navigation sector, including Wolfgang Lüftner from Lüftner Cruises. The managing director of Lüftner Reisen GmbH noted that an effective measurement and maintenance of the fairway along the entire Danube would help to increase the growth of a sector which is booming anyway. But he also stated that there is quite enough potential left regarding cross-border cooperation. Therefore the Danube countries still need to be encouraged to implement sufficiently high information and maintenance standards. In order to reduce effectively the difference existing between possible capacities and actual transport volume on the Danube, primarily innovations like a consequent move to LNG-fuels, standardised information services and training need to be realised, Otto Schwetz from Pro Danube Austria stated.

There is still potential left for goods that are particularly suitable for waterway transport. In order to create specific incentives for the transport industry, viadonau has started several priority initiatives concerning high and heavy cargo, renewable raw materials, recycling products and building materials in corporation with ports and shipping companies in recent years. The EU funded project ENERGY BARGE is based on the findings from these initiatives and aims at an increased use of bio mass for a sustainable energy production in the Danube region and further at shifting the biomass transport to the Danube waterway. At the Danube Business Talks event the Austrian Danube ports presented a positive development for this sector. Thus, Gerhard Gussmagg from Rhenus Donauhafen Krems reported about 30,000 cubic meters of biomass and cellulose loaded annually and highlighted the continually expanded port infrastructure. The project ENERGY BARGE started in the beginning of 2017 and will run until the middle of 2019 in cooperation with 15 partners from the Danube logistics sector and the bio energy industry. It is co-financed at 85% by the European Regional Development Fund. "Projects like FAIRway Danube, Danube Stream and ENERGY BARGE show that especially in terms of international cooperation a lot has happened. That offers us the opportunity to transfer our high standards across the borders and to develop the Danube River in a common and targeted way", Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, managing director of viadonau, summed up.

Mission for the future
The improvement of cooperation among Danube countries and the willingness of private enterprises to invest in the development of the waterway in recent years increased the importance of the Danube across borders. For a secure future of the river as a sustainably developed and prosperous living and economic space, further impulses at both national and international level are required. Thus Manfred Seitz (Pro Danube International) and Theresia Hacksteiner (European Barge Union) presented a "Draft Findings Paper" to Norbert Hofer and Désirée Oen containing requests of the economic stakeholders along the Danube and declarations of the umbrella organisations European Barge Union, European Skippers' Organisation, Pro Danube International and Pro Danube Austria. The mission is clearly defined: To build the tomorrow of the Danube upon the successes of today.

news-1158 Fri, 07 Sep 2018 16:58:04 +0200 This article is only available in German.  

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news-1138 Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:10:00 +0200 Navigation in view of digitalisation – viadonau presents annual report 2017 The latest annual report on Danube navigation in Austria for 2017 clearly shows that the Danube waterway is still in line with the trend. Therefore, solid growth was recorded in both transport volume (+6%) and waterside transhipment (+6.5%) at the Austrian Danube ports and transhipment sites in 2017. The number of locked-through vessel units also rose (+2%) and so did the passenger traffic volumes (+2.8%). Key factors to the positive development are an easily available waterway and tailor-made and modern services for a safe navigation along the Danube. How did the freight transport develop in detail? How did the fairway depths evolve in 2017? And what about the availability of Danube locks in Austria? These and other questions concerning the waterway are answered by the current annual report on Danube navigation with the accustomed high level of quality. The main inland navigation trends are presented in a clear and well organised way. At the same time the compendium provides the latest information and insights into projects and plans for a further digital modernisation of the waterway – from the development of the Waterway Asset Management System (WAMS) and international co-operations for the European top modern River Information Services (RIS) through to measures for internationally harmonised maintenance and information standards of the project FAIRway Danube.

The current annual report on Danube navigation in Austria 2017 ensures a clear view of the waterway. Click here to download now.

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news-1123 Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:54:04 +0200 Nature Conservation and Navigation alongside the Danube River In the frame of the EU-funded project Danube STREAM transnational cooperation between waterway authorities shall be further improved and waterway management further harmonised. Besides improving the quality of Danube waterway infrastructure and information services environmental sustainability shall be guaranteed as well. To strengthen not only transnational cooperation but also to benefit from synergies between several projects Danube STREAM organised an Intersectoral Conference in cooperation with DANUBEparksCONNECTED and DanubeSediment with the topic Nature Conservation and Navigation alongside the Danube River. The Conference took place from 29-30 May 2018 in Kladovo in Serbia, where the current status of the projects were presented and further cooperation and synergies were discussed.

Danube STREAM is a project funded by the EU in the frame of the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme.

news-1118 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:50:39 +0200 This article is only available in German.  

news-1115 Tue, 12 Jun 2018 16:14:57 +0200 This article is only available in German. viadonau news-1098 Fri, 25 May 2018 11:45:24 +0200 Danube Business Talks 2018 – Registration now open Concentration of inland navigation know-how in Vienna: The third edition of the Danube Business Talks will be held on 10 and 11 October 2018. As an established forum for innovative transport and logistics solutions, the successful business platform offers international entrepreneurs, experts and other interested parties a seat in the first row to receive information on current key topics of Danube navigation. Trends – networking – new markets
In order to position the Danube as a high-performance transport axis in the European transport network, the waterway needs special attention. Therefore the Danube Business Talks offer once again an ideal platform. Shipping companies, port and terminal operators and cargo owners will deal with current issues, illustrate new economic opportunities and discuss required impulses for the future of the Danube waterway. Which measures are currently implemented for the development and modernisation of the infrastructure? What has been done in order to improve the traffic conditions on the Danube? How can the reduction of administrative barriers within crossborder freight traffic be promoted? The aim is to develop new markets and to determine the potential of future transport opportunities.

„A Stream of Energy“
Bioenergy meets Danube logistics. With appropriate framework conditions the strengths of the Danube can be utilised in a meaningful and efficient way – consequently the spectrum of the groups of goods suitable for waterway transport is growing. This time the focus is on new markets for Danube logistics in the European bioenergy and biomass sector. Thus experts from the industry and logistics sector will be analysing promising perspectives for biomass transport on the waterway. The aspects covered will range from raw materials to end products like biodiesel or bioethanol.

Passenger navigation for the first time part of the agenda
This time passenger shipping will also be thematically covered in the event to provide insights in current developments of this fast growing industry. The goal is to identify and utilise available potentials and trends together with important national and international players. In addition, a field trip offers a practical insight into the booming passenger shipping sector on the Danube.

The Austrian EU Presidency offers a favourable framework to develop border-crossing solutions for strengthening the Danube transport axis. In addition to the international exchange between companies, authorities and politicians, the B2B-platform Danube Business Dating provides once again opportunities for establishing new business contacts.

Following high-level speakers will turn Vienna into a hotspot of current developments on the Danube waterway on the 10th and 11th October:

  • NORBERT HOFER, Austrian Federal Minister, Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (welcome note)
  • DÉSIRÉE OEN, Policy Advisor to Rhine-Danube Coordinator, European Commission
  • HANS-PETER HASENBICHLER, Managing Director, viadonau
  • GERHARD GUSSMAGG, Managing Director, Rhenus Donauhafen Krems
  • WOLFGANG LÜFTNER, Managing Director, Dr. W. Lüftner Reisen GmbH
  • LJUBIŠA MIHAJLOVIĆ, Director, Directorate for Inland Waterways Plovput
  • THOMAS BOGLER, Vice President Nautic and Technic, Viking River Cruises AG
  • FRITZ LEHR, President, Pro Danube Austria (PDA) / Commercial Management, Port of Vienna
  • WALTER SCHRAGEN, Head of Raw Material Procurement & Logistics, AGRANA Stärke GmbH
  • MLADEN STANKOV, Trade Manager, Bulmarket DM Ltd.
  • GREGOR REINDL, General Manager, Münzer Bioindustrie GmbH
  • NICOLE VAN KLAVEREN, Business Manager Dry Bulk & Energy, Port of Rotterdam Authority
  • GERD KRÄMER, Managing Director, Central Danube Region Marketing & Development GmbH
  • BURGHART LELL, Director Operations, Avalon Waterways
  • ROBERT STRAUBHAAR, CEO/President, River Advice AG
  • DANIEL JARNEA, Head of Marketing Department, National Company “Maritime Ports Administration” S.A. Constanta
  • RADU COMANICI, CEO, Danube Cruises Romania SRL

Register now!
You wish a clear view at current trends on the Danube waterway? Register now! Here you can get more details on the event and information how to register.

An initiative of the Danube action programme of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit).

The Danube Business Talks 2018 are organised in close cooperation with the transnational project ENERGY BARGE. A project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF).

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news-1055 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 10:05:24 +0100 Danube SKILLS promotes transport development on the Danube In the framework of the EU-funded project, Danube SKILLS, experts for transport development from viadonau visited Constanta in Romania at the end of February, where the first training session for the preparation of the new “Danube logistics promotion centres” was carried out. The training hosted participants from seven different countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Romania. The training is designed to provide fundamental knowledge in order to establish successful promotion centres and to ensure a high level of information services along the entire Danube. Austria as a model: Aiming at creation of new sustainable transport solutions through more intensive international cooperation, the training focused on transnational know-how exchange. Thus, experts from viadonau presented their knowledge and tools with regard to customer-oriented information services to equip the project partners for the setup of successful “Danube logistics promotion centres”. Among several contributions from the participants, well established internet-based tools for inland navigation, such as the Danube Logistics Portal operated by viadonau or further websites used for obtaining information, were presented and tested interactively. In this way, authentic customer inquiries related to transport requests, lock status and current ice conditions were processed by using online-tools and directly applied for a practical implementation of a “Danube logistics promotion centre.”

Conclusion: Due to the customised preparation in the framework of Danube SKILLS the project partners are on a good way to position themselves as a central contact point for requests regarding Danube logistics in their countries – for a free and neutral information service along the entire Danube.

news-1052 Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:23:29 +0100 This article is only available in German.  

news-1038 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 17:11:51 +0100 This article is only available in German.  

news-981 Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:20:18 +0100 FAIRway Danube starts delivering results to the waterway users FAIRway Danube actively supports waterway management authorities in 6 countries along the Danube in improving waterway management activities on their particular section. On 28 November 2017 the project partners reported on the progress made under the lead of the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and viadonau. Maja Bakran Marcich, Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, as well as representations of the logistics industry were pleased with the intermediate results of FAIRway Danube. Between 2015 and 2020 FAIRway Danube provides current and harmonized information about shallow sections, water levels and water level forecasts. Available depths will be used optimally by adapting the location of the fairway to the highest possible water depths and the most suitable nautical conditions. In parallel, FAIRway Danube aims at preparing the harmonized rehabilitation of the Danube and its navigable tributaries. Pilot operations of new harmonised services for waterway users and the contribution to technical specifications or operational concepts for the equipment are integral parts of FAIRway Danube.

Until December 2017, significant progress was made:

  • National Action Plans, which provide information on the fairway conditions and planned measures, were updated in October 2015, May and October 2016 as well as in May 2017. Those reports also provided the factual basis for the meeting of Transport Ministers in Rotterdam on 20 June 2016.
  • The first surveying vessel was baptised on 25 October 2017 in Vukovar (Croatia). The vessel provides more accurate data for the fairway users and for activities of the waterway authorities. Additional vessels for Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia will be delivered later this year. Four marking vessels are currently under construction and will be delivered in the 2nd half of 2018. In their operation, they will support the signalling of the fairway.  Nine gauging stations are currently being set up in Croatia. For nearly 30 additional gauging stations, all preparations for the public procurement have been made so that their operation can start later in 2018.
  • On basis of the pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks (Slovakia), which was prepared within FAIRway Danube, a Connecting Europe Facility project worth 145 Mil.€ was approved by the European Commission and the tenders for works were launched in May 2017.
  • Following three Steering and Advisory Committee meetings in Brussels, a series of national user fora was organised in order to obtain feedback from relevant private and public stakeholders.

In 2018, the project will not only focus on finalizing the construction of the vessels and installation of the gauging stations, but also on providing the current and harmonized information about shallow sections. This way, FAIRway Danube will provide a valuable contribution to the realisation of the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

More about FAIRway Danube

Andreas Bäck (Project Coordinator) via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH Donau-City-Straße 1, A-1220 Vienna Tel: +43 (0) 50 4321-1609
Email: andreas.baeck[at]    

Claudiu Dutu (Project Dissemination) AFDJ – River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati Galati, 32 Portului Street, Romania Tel: +40 (36) 460016
Email: claudiu.dutu[at] 

news-973 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 14:29:37 +0100 PlasticFreeDanube Awareness of a clean Danube has increased in the last years in all neighbouring countries. Keeping the river clean is in the meantime a common European concern and finds its expression also in the European strategy for plastics. Within the cross-border project PlasticFreeDanube funded by the EU viadonau is committed together with Austrian and Slovak partners to a comprehensive investigation and sustainable solutions in order to avoid plastic pollution in the Danube. In this regard the first meeting with national and international strategic partners took place on January 24th 2018 in Hainburg, Lower Austria. Synthetic materials are among the most diverse materials ever and are part of almost all sectors of our daily life. The great success of plastics as a source for all purposes at the same time creates problems regarding plastic waste and its disposal – also in and along the Danube. A study of the Austrian Environment Agency from 2015 calculated the plastic load amounts in the Austrian Danube up to 40 tons per year. About 90 per cent of the plastic particles in the Danube River are emitted by diffuse sources like littering, fragmentation and transport by wind, run-off from sealed surfaces (e.g. roads, parking spaces etc.), construction activities etc. The remaining 10 percent originate from industrial activities such as production processes, conversion and transport. While some fractions of the plastic waste get stuck and pollute the riverbanks – especially in the area of hydropower plants – a bigger part of the plastic waste is transported by the Danube until the Black Sea. Thus, rivers act as considerable distributors for the increasing plastic pollution of the oceans and the growing islands of floating plastic waste.

Profound and reliable data are essential for effective measures. Hence PlasticFreeDanube focuses on extending the knowledge about sources and transport behaviour of macro plastic (> 5 mm) in the Danube River and its environmental impacts. Standardised methods to monitor and evaluate pollution by macro plastic shall be developed which should then lead to pilot measures and finally to an action plan against plastic pollution in and along the Danube. Important starting points are thereby capacity building and awareness raising activities of the project.  

The bilateral project PlasticFreeDanube funded by the EU (Interreg SK-AT) is implemented by five partners from Austria (i.e. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) – Institute of Waste Management (ABF) & Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering (IWHW), viadonau, Donau-Auen National Park) and Slovakia (i.e. Repanet, o.z. and PI SAS – Polymer Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences) and 17 strategic partners. 

More about PlasticFreeDanube
European Circular Economy Action Plan
European strategy for plastics

news-955 Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:58:47 +0100 Initiative on building materials is gaining momentum – break bulk transports increasing 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.

news-927 Fri, 03 Nov 2017 13:17:59 +0100 New EU co-financed surveying vessel baptized in Vukovar, Croatia On 25th October, the European coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Corridor Karla Peijs baptized the first surveying vessel within the EU-project FAIRway Danube in presence of Oleg Butković, Croatian Minister for Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure. The vessel was named “Connecting Europe 1” and provides up-to-date recordings of the riverbed, which is of high value for fleet operators and shippers. The Croatian surveying vessel is the first of a total of nine specialized vessels put into service within the FAIRway Danube Project in order to help the issue of navigation safety on the Danube River. The vessel is financed under the Connecting Europe Facility, the 27 Billion Euro investment programme of the European Union.

The focus of FAIRway Danube is to provide current and harmonized information on shallow sections, water levels and water level forecasts. Available depths shall be used optimally by adapting the location of the waterway to the current riverbed conditions. This way, FAIRway Danube is aiming at the improvement of the fairway conditions of the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

The ship's godmother Karla Peijs emphasized that putting into service of "Connecting Europe 1" is of high symbolic importance for the broader development of the European project. The vessel will provide an invaluable service to the whole inland waterway community for many years to come. The Transport Minister of Croatia Oleg Butković also stressed the potential of waterway and added that the investments in the Danube and in the Sava are essential elements to improve the competitiveness of industry and tourism.

Details on FAIRway Danube: The project FAIRway Danube is the first implementation phase of the "Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries" which has been developed in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR).

The Master Plan was endorsed by the Danube Ministers of Transport in December 2014. It aims at reaching and ensuring good navigation conditions throughout the year by providing a minimum level of service. FAIRway Danube is carried out jointly in 6 countries: Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. The actions are co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility programme of the European Union.

During the project term (July 2015 - June 2020), FAIRway Danube will significantly increase the knowledge on shallow sections of the Danube waterway, so that the fairway routing can be optimized and national rehabilitation measures drafted. Furthermore, FAIRway Danube prepares for the full deployment of the Master Plan by providing the foundation for supplementary and additional projects.

Further information about the Fairway Danube project can be found in the project database and on the project website.

news-895 Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:45:48 +0200 Danube STREAM presents Common Danube Report 2016 Within the framework of the Danube STREAM project, the Common Danube Report 2016 was presented: the Danube waterway administrations are providing a joint information source regarding Danube waterway transport. The Common Danube Report 2016, created within the Danube STREAM project, summarizes key performance indicators of Danube waterway transport: data on fairway parameter availability, passenger and freight transport volume, closures of navigation, lock statistics and fairway information services along the Danube waterway. Furthermore, the report also gives an overview of ongoing projects and initiatives.

The Common Danube Reports, developed in the EU co-funded project NEWADA, have been provided since 2012. They are a tool to offer easy-to read key data to all interested parties.

The Common Danube Report can be downloaded here.

news-891 Mon, 09 Oct 2017 14:44:04 +0200 Service and know-how – Danube SKILLS as an economic asset for the Danube region As part of the Danube SKILLS project, so-called one-stop shops are set up to serve as public information points providing free available services for (potential) customers of Danube logistics services. These one-stop-shops will ensure a quick and easy access to logistics-relevant information in order to foster a modal shift to inland waterway transport. At the same time, Danube SKILLS focuses on professional nautical education with the aim to create uniform training standards along the entire Danube. The quality of public information services focusing on the Danube logistics sector varies widely between all ten riparian countries: Therefore the main goal of Danube SKILLS is to create a uniform service level regarding the provision of data and information on Danube navigation. The strategy is to bundle information at one-stop-shops and provide an easy and free of charge access for potential customers of Danube logistics services.

In Austria, online platforms such as the Danube Logistics Portal or the DoRIS website as well as the Manual on Danube Navigation are already part of the established information services. An optimized information exchange along the entire Danube will directly support the industry and the logistics sector in planning inland waterway transport and will contribute to an improvement of transport safety. In the long run, the awareness for potentials linked to Danube navigation will increase and an effective modal shift towards the waterway will become possible.

During the last Danube SKILLS Meeting in mid-September in Vienna, the project partners developed a joint work programme in which the concrete services of future one-stop-shops were defined. The work programme will be implemented jointly over the next two years by all project partners.

A high service level at Danube SKILLS goes hand in hand with common nautical training standards in inland navigation. In addition to the provision of market-neutral information on the Danube logistics sector, Danube SKILLS aims at uniform and international recognized minimum requirements for nautical training. Therefore, jointly developed nautical education standards are an important goal to obtain certificates which are transnationally accepted.

The project partners will therefore not only contribute to the economic development in the Danube region, but also to an increase of quality regarding a competent and safety-conscious education for the occupational group.

Further information is available on the project website, Twitter and Facebook.

news-813 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:13:54 +0200 Start of the EU project ENERGY BARGE – ENERGY BARGE creates synergies between the biomass sector and Danube logistics The kick-off event took place on 28 February in Linz, Austria with both project partners and selected companies from the biomass and the Danube logistics sector. The aim of the meeting was firstly, to inform the public about the project’s planned activities, results and benefits for the target groups and secondly, align the activities with the expectations of the project beneficiaries. Furthermore two external speakers, Mr. Christian Schlagitweit from proPellets Austria and Mr. Ralf Jina from the First-DDSG Logistics Holding GmbH, were invited to give key note presentations regarding the energetic use of biomass and biomass logistics in the Danube region.

Mr. Schlagitweit’s presentation outlined the growing European market for wood pellets and its potential for cargo on the Danube not only because of the growing production in the Black Sea Region but also because of the increasing demand which has to be satisfied through imports.

Mr. Jina gave an overview to the company First-DDSG Holding GmbH. He demonstrated the routes of transport on the Danube waterway and also gave an impression on the dimensions and capacity of different vessels used by his company. Through this presentation, the project consortium has been given an impression of the possibilities of inland waterway transport and its limitations.

The presentations of these stakeholders have shown how important the transport of goods on the Danube is and that the project meets current requirements.

Project details
A large amount of biomass is available along the Danube with the potential to improve energy security and foster sustainable energy production. However, currently biomass is mainly processed locally due to a lack of secure, efficient and environmentally-friendly logistic solutions. The ENERGY BARGE project for the first time will build on synergies between the bioenergy industry and the Danube logistics sector. For this purpose ENERGY BARGE will analyse requirements regarding transport, handling and storage of the biomass feedstock, identify promising biomass products for inland waterway transports, initiate concrete transports via Danube through B2B events and implement pilot actions in selected Danube ports.  

The ENERGY BARGE team consists of 23 project partners (15 PP and 8 ASP) from the bioenergy industry and Danube logistics sector from Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Italy ensuring a broad geographic coverage and the participation of partners from all EU countries along the Danube. The project duration is 30 months: January 2017 – June 2019.

Further detailed information about the project can be found here.

news-778 Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:46:24 +0100 Transport Research Arena 2018 From 16 to 19 April 2018, the Transport Research Arena (TRA), the largest transport research conference in Europe, will take place in Vienna under the motto "A digital era for transport". The Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology will host the conference jointly with the Austrian Institute of Technology and AustriaTech and has, among other goals, set a clear goal of significantly increasing the proportion of women among speakers, reviewers and participants. Proposals can be submitted to the following topics:

  • Environment and Energy Efficiency
  • Vehicles & Vessels - Design, Development and Production
  • Advanced Propulsion Systems
  • Smart Urban Mobility & Logistics
  • People Mobility - Systems and Services
  • Freight Transport and Logistics
  • Transport Infrastructure
  • Connected and Automated Transport
  • Digital Technologies for Transportation
  • Safe, Secure and Resilient Transport Systems
  • Human dimension in transport
  • Socio-Economics, Innovation and Policy

The topics of the contributions will refer to all modes of transport: road, rail, waterborne and aviation. Moreover, here will be presentations and discussion on cross-modal themes and on topics that are not mode-specific.

The deadline for submission is 21 March 2017.

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words, the submission will be in English. For more information, please visit 

news-750 Tue, 07 Feb 2017 15:16:07 +0100 FAIRway Danube reaches first milestones in international waterway management FAIRway Danube actively supports waterway management authorities in 6 countries along the Danube in improving waterway management activities on their particular section. On 13 December 2016 the project partners reported on the progress made within the first 18 project months under the lead of the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and viadonau. Between 2015 and 2020 FAIRway Danube provides current and harmonized information about shallow sections, water levels and water level forecasts. Available depths will be used optimally by adapting the location of the fairway to the highest possible water depths and the most suitable nautical conditions. In parallel, FAIRway Danube aims at preparing the harmonized rehabilitation of the Danube and its navigable tributaries. Pilot operations of new harmonised services for waterway users and the contribution to technical specifications or operational concepts for the equipment are integral parts of FAIRway Danube.

Within the first 18 months, significant steps were made:

  • National Action Plans, which provide information on the fairway conditions and planned projects, were updated in October 2015 and May 2016. The most recent update provided the factual basis for targeted actions aligned at the meeting of Transport Ministers in Rotterdam on 20 June 2016.
  • FAIRway Danube has well advanced with the specifications of surveying and marking vessels as well as 39 gauging stations. The corresponding tenders worth around 4 Mil.€ were already launched, thus the pilot activities can start in 2017/2018. The first surveying vessels will deliver high-quality data as of summer 2017 already.
  • FAIRway Danube prepared the pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks, which was one of the enablers of a 145 Mn.€ works project (out of which 122 Mil.€ from the European Union). The modernisation of the lock enables the permanent operation of both lock chambers thereby ensuring more efficient locking procedures for the shipping sector.
  • Following the international kick-off meeting in Brussels on 9 February 2016, national user fora were organised in Slovakia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria in order to obtain feedback from private and public stakeholders.

Please save the date already for the next user fora:

  • 21 June 2017 in Bratislava
  • 17 May 2017 in Budapest
  • 30 May 2017 in Ruse
  • 13 June 2017 in Constanta

The next project year will focus on finalizing the specification of the vessels and gauging stations and start the pilot operation on selected sections of the Danube.  This way, FAIRway Danube will provide a valuable contribution to the realisation of the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

Key project facts

Further information is available here.

news-718 Fri, 16 Dec 2016 16:41:28 +0100 Common Issues Meeting in Vroenhoven, Belgium From 21 to 25 November, Hasselt was the host city of the second RIS Week in 2016. Between expert group meetings, Wednesday 23 was devoted to the RIS Common Issues Meeting. A high participation of 112 delegates showed the high interest in technical RIS developments and updates as well as discussions of how the current RIS services fit in the future DINA framework towards a Digital Inland Waterway Area. Main topics of the event:

  • Strategic Developments
  • Technical Developments and Updates
  • Current RIS Services vs. future DINA framework
  • RIS in Flanders: Live demonstration of VisuRIS
  • Moderated discussion towards a Digital Inland Waterway Area

The RIS Week was hosted by Promotie Binnenvaart Vlaandern vzw, Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV and nv De Scheepvaart and co-organized by the RIS Week Support team of viadonau. The full documentation of the Common Issues Meeting can be downloaded on in PDF format, including all presentations and the minutes of meeting.

The next RIS week will be held in May 2017 (8-12) in Belgrade, Serbia, organized by the Directorate for inland waterways PLOVPUT in cooperation with viadonau.


news-701 Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:04:49 +0100 Danube Logistics Portal updated & on video Since the launch of the viadonau "Danube Logistics Portal" in March this year, the platform has been continuously updated and new profiles have been added. The online directory "The Blue Pages" contains numerous new logistics service providers while the "Danube Ports" were expanded by additional Danube ports. Furthermore, viadonau gained new partners for joint advertising campaigns.

A quick and comprehensive overview on the “Danube Logistics Portal” will now be given in a 1 minute video. The video is available on the viadonau YouTube channel.

news-584 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:20:28 +0200 Last chances to apply for the green vessels funding programme The last Calls for the „Aid Scheme for Green Inland Waterways Vessels“(Förderprogramm umweltfreundliches Binnenschiff) have been fixed and will end with 30th of September 2016 and 3rd of March 2017. There is still the possibility for shipping organisations to request a funding offered by the Austrian Ministry.

bmvit is committed to assisting companies with the environmentally friendly modernisation of their fleets and supporting them with the implementation of new technologies. Direct grants are available for the refitting of ships with environmentally friendly equipment and machinery. Funding is processed by viadonau - Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH.

For more information please click here.

news-582 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:14:42 +0200 Manual on Danube Navigation now available for download! The third edition of the Manual on Danube Navigation celebrates its third birthday. Reason enough for viadonau to make it available for download in digital form. How many locks are there the along the Danube? What kinds of goods are transported by inland vessels? Where are the most important ports located?
These are only some of the questions the Manual has an answer for. Download your Manual now here on the viadonau website free of charge - in English, German or Hungarian.

The hardcover version is still available for those who want this important work of reference at reach any time. You can order it by clicking the link above and send an email to place your order.

news-580 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:11:21 +0200 Strong impulse for Danube navigation from EU investments funds On 8 July, the European Union agreed on funding investments for 195 transport projects that will receive €6.7 billion of EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). For all EU Member States, this means boosting growth and generating up to 100,000 jobs by 2030 in the European Union. Cohesion Fund Member States received almost 85% of the funding, which will help bridge the infrastructure disparities across the European Union. All in all, the investment in the waterborne infrastructure and in ports nears €200 Million until 2020 which translates into an important step for the Danube. This decision of the European Union is not only a major financial contribution; it is also a strong impulse for inland navigation in Europe and in the Danube region. For viadonau, this means funding investments for physical and traffic infrastructure as well as for intelligent transport system, more specifically River Information Services (RIS).

Infrastructure development boost
viadonau has made it its mission to tackle infrastructure bottlenecks on the Danube and find the proper balance between navigation and the Danube's ecosystem. Knowledge on shallow sections of the Danube waterway to optimize fairway routing, rehabilitation measures, such activities among many others, are at the core of the improvement of the physical conditions of the fairway. Thus, the EU funding represent more financial means for projects of crucial importance such as the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks until 2020 and the development of the Galati multimodal platform, a project that will contribute to enhance the way waterway management is being run in Romania. The pre-feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Gabčíkovo locks was in fact developed within the viadonau-coordinated FAIRway Danube project (2015-2020).

In Austria the development and implementation is a success story which started in 1999. Since then RIS services have been established in many European countries. These important digital information tools are constantly being improved and enhanced in order to constantly guarantee accurate and reliable data on the current state of the waterway inside and outside national borders. Since the launch of RIS in Austria, viadonau has led or intensively collaborated in a wide range of projects, the last in date being CoRISMa (2013-2015), the predecessor of RIS COMEX, the Austrian-coordinated, multinational initiative which will pave the way to the next generation of River Information Services.

What it means for the users
Understanding the needs of the stakeholders is utmost priority. Waiting times at locks and delays means jeopardizing the reliability of the transport process and ultimately additional costs and furthermore reducing the reliability of the Danube as a transport route. Lock rehabilitation, less bottlenecks, more fluidity on the waterway and increasing reliability of the transport mode inland navigation will be the benefits that the users will not fail to praise.

news-551 Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:37:31 +0200 The Danube waterway merits attention – Second edition of the Danube Business Talks in Linz Now more than ever. Especially in tough economic times, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at the Danube. Whether through the development of new markets, the development of information technologies or innovative transportation and logistics solutions - the Danube waterway offers many opportunities for the one of the most dynamic economic regions in Europe.Yet, the Danube is also a natural mode of transport that relies to a far greater extent on external conditions than rail or road. Following the record heat of 2015 and an extended low water period, one of the most pressing issues of the Danube Business Talks 2016 organized by viadonau, was see to it that the long term economic viability and reliability of the waterway could be ensured. In addition to latest news on current issues on the future of transport axis Danube, the 150 delegates from 12 countries found at Danube Business Talks a communication platform with fresh ideas, modern solutions and fascinating insights from national and international experts. And at the core of the talks: strategies for an ever more efficient and yet always safer use of the Danube waterway from the perspective of waterway management, shipping, river engineering, infrastructure, transport and logistics.

Fostering strengths and integrating usefully into the European transport network
Inland navigation is efficient and versatile. When it comes to high loading capacities, it is top of its class. Yet, the outstanding transport potential of inland navigation is rarely fully exploited. Transport companies and skippers agree: Highly fluctuating fairway conditions, but especially shallow waters often drive to delicate compromise when it comes to loading volumes. Thus, in order for the waterway to play its strengths optimally, a responsible and appropriate maintenance and a modern and seamless monitoring is required. The National Action Programme Danube of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport Innovation and Technology (bmvit) has made it a priority to increasingly promote the holistic development of the waterway in accordance with the goals set by the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). Economic, environmental and safety interests are thereby connected in a solution-oriented manner in order to strengthen the prospects for the sustainable use of the Danube. Ursula Zechner, Head of Section IV Transport at the bmvit, explained in her opening address at the Danube Business Talks, that in order to achieve the most reliable availability of the waterway, proactive and precise measures are of utmost importance: in an exchange with conference participants, the traffic expert put it in a nutshell:"2015 has demonstrated that we must more than ever, think of the Danube waterway in terms of sections. By examinining even more closely where and in which areas development steps are necessary, we can increase the safety of use of the Danube on the long run, thus strengthening incentives for its increased inclusion in multimodal transport chains. "

Representatives from the sector also voiced again their demands for an even tighter network of transport modes to make optimal use of the advantages of each system. This view was also expressed by Johannes Hödlmayer, entrepreneur and Chairman of Transport and Logistics Division of the Upper Austria Economic Chamber, who emphasised that only an economically viable integration of all modes of transport could bring benefits for the Danube.

Finding building blocks of stability
"Build on the Danube Corridor" - the motto of this year's edition of the Danube Business Talks was also the message of the Conference. And the future of the Danube can only be built on a solid foundation. This clear message was conveyed by viadonau CEO Hans-Peter Hasenbichler: "Efficient waterway management and traffic management are only a few of the important building blocks that we need to ensure a stable development along the entire waterway. Tailor-made as much as practicable services for all waterway users, the effective use of funding but also innovative information platforms for logistics, such as for instance the brand new Danube Logistics Portal, are essential prerequisites for lasting future perspectives on the Danube. " A responsible development towards high standards can therefore not end at national borders .

On the waterway like on rails
The development of the Danube as a reliable transport route is a joint project that goes beyond borders. With the approval in 2014 of the Master Plan for the joint maintenance of the Danube, the Danube countries agreed to develop harmonized standards for waterway infrastructure - a milestone on the path to higher transport safety along the entire Danube. Marc Vanderhaegen , expert on ports and inland waterways at DG-MOVE of the European Commission, explained that "with the Master Plan, we have set things in motion in one of the key development areas of the European transport network and thus are creating new opportunities for the pan-European transport industry". The Master Plan will not only increase the availability of information on the waterway, it will also provide valuable current data in order to take even more targeted measures on waterway management along the entire Danube.

New Markets- optimizing the strengths of Danube navigation
Where does the Danube flex its muscles? Although inland vessels are known for carrying high volumes, some groups of goods are even more suitable for transport on waterways. One promising area of ​​focus for IWT in Austria is certainly recycled products. In the Upper Austrian Ennshafen Port alone, between 40000-50000 tons of recycled products are handled on average annually. Especially with high and heavy and bulky commodity groups, the competitive edge of IWT is also synonym with relieving congested roads. Werner Auer, Managing Director of Ennshafen Port, confirmed that with its exceptional capacities, the Danube waterway can make a significant contribution to achieving the climate objectives of Austria - a 60 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions until 2050. A precondition for this is, however, an even closer infrastructure connection between ports and industrial plants but also with global markets. The future of the Danube waterway is mainly a question of common perspectives.

For the future of the Danube- Let's network!
Looking for new business opportunities and to develop new ideas? You need a good chat - and preferably face to face. And the high interest in current Danube issues was also felt with the high delegate rate at the so-called Danube Business Dating, the business to business pillar of Danube Business Talks. In 20-minute Elevator Pitch-style meetings, the participants made ​​new business contacts, presented their portfolio or used the opportunity to find out if they can add Danube water to their business mix. While the innovative communication platform Danube Business Talks took the participants to Linz this time, the offer is always more innovative for a lively exchange of ideas, expertise from different perspectives and experiences, and again, the Talks were hailed a great success. In addition to burning questions about the future of the Danube in the European transport network and new market opportunities, viadonau Managing Director summarized that the event highlighted the importance of international cooperation and the clear signals that the full potential of the Danube as a competitive transport route can only be unveiled with a joint approach: "We still have a lot of work to do. But it is also in difficult times that the robustness of a transport system can be proven. The watchword must therefore be: develop together according to clearly defined standards and exploit the strengths of the Danube where it pays off most not only as an economic, but also as an ecological asset for the future", so Hasenbichler.

Danube navigation now - Everything you need to know is packed in the new Annual Report of viadonau, released just in time for the Danube Business Talks. Check out the most important key facts and figures on Danube navigation in Austria at a glance - order now or download here:

Click here to access the Danube Business Talks 2016 photo gallery and here to share your feedback on the Conference with us!

news-547 Thu, 30 Jun 2016 01:37:00 +0200 Mastering a turbulent year – viadonau presents Annual Report 2015 The extended low water period, as a result of the exceptionally hot and dry summer, presented cargo vessels with major challenges. Nevertheless, despite difficult operating conditions, navigation on the Danube was guaranteed throughout the whole of 2015. This was primarily thanks to professional waterway management and maintenance of the fairway. The Annual Report 2015 on Danube Navigation in Austria provides detailed insight into an eventful year– from the results of a historically low water period to the growing importance of the transport of recycling products on the waterway or the traffic situation at Danubian locks. 2015 was an unusual year. These extreme weather conditions clearly demonstrated that in order to ensure the availability of the waterway, even under difficult fairway conditions, efficient and farsighted waterway management is of the utmost importance

For this reason, 2015 saw viadonau carry out a number of targeted and proactive maintenance measures, with specific emphasis on the free-flowing stretch of the Danube east of Vienna. Between August and mid-September around 125,000 m³ gravel was excavated from shallow sections of the waterway and returned to the river at suitable locations. Although cargo vessels were forced to navigate the river downstream from Vienna with reduced loaded drafts, viadonau's competent management of the waterway meant that shipping on the Austrian section of the Danube could be guaranteed throughout the year. The transport sector was especially affected by the negative impact of low water. While transport volumes fell to almost 8.6 million tons of goods, a drop of 15.0% compared to the previous year, passenger traffic recorded a slight increase of 2.2% in passenger traffic on the Austrian Danube.

The increase in sports and recreational boating was even more significant. With a total of 10,600 units, the number of small vessels passing through locks on the Austrian Danube rose by almost 30% compared to 2014. Out of a total of over 90,000 locked-through vessels, only around 11% experienced significant waiting times; these amounted to an average of 34 minutes.

Find out more on navigation on the Danube in the current annual report 2015 Danube in Austria , 2015. Whether because you are looking for a synopsis of the various areas of development, a cutting-edge information pool or a reference publication on very specific trends in the Danube - the new annual report is a must-read for all individuals interested in shipping and the economy.

The annual report is available in the publications section in the download area of our website.

news-537 Wed, 08 Jun 2016 10:49:46 +0200 Danube .... what a soundly name Because today is the Day of the Black Sea, it’s also the day when our Romanian colleagues and friends from AFDJ - Administratia Fluviala a Dunarii de Jos R.A. Galati (Lower Danube River Administration) tell us about their Danube. For thousands of years, the Danube has been flowing along river banks from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. Napoleon, called the Danube the "King of European rivers", the cradle where for thousands of years on its shores, the peoples of the continent have created civilizations.
Thus, 10 different countries, 10 cultures, 10 different economies are connected in a natural way by the Danube River. It is the common denominator of the Danube countries.

The Danube should be seen as a priority because it is "an international river corridor", flowing from West to East, crossing Europe and its borders and being part of the European network of inland waterways linking people, ports, cities, industrial sites and historical locations. Flowing through four European capitals, the Danube provides clear opportunities for economic and tourism development.

Through its waterborne link between the Black Sea and Central Europe, the Danube is also a multimodal network that connects freight transport among regions in Europe. Thanks to the Danube and its tributaries, inland waterways are the backbone of the European multimodal network in South-East Europe. Sufficient evidence indicates that in terms of transport by inland waterways the Danube is one of the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly alternative modes of transportation to and from Central and South-East Europe. The Danube is probably the most cost-efficient transport route for cargo transport bound for Central and South-East Europe, with a large transport capacity which allows transports most commodity groups. Advanced information and communication technologies (e.g. River Information Services or RIS) on the Danube, developed by all Danube countries are providing a solid smart infrastructure and making this river a huge asset for the optimization of inland waterway transport in the region.

Over the years, the completion of several European transnational projects has harmonized the waterway management in the Danube region and enhanced services provided by waterway administrations and authorities for the users of the waterway: from water levels, to information on critical sections, electronic navigation charts, traffic conditions and traffic data, or lock management to the implementation of RIS on the entire Danube corridor.
These encouraging results will make us continue working jointly for the preservation of the natural habitat of the Danube and for the improvement of the infrastructure of this absolutely indispensable waterway.

The Author:
Claudiu Egmont Dutu is Head of ENC (Electronic Navigational Chart) and Hydrotechnical Department. Since 2002 with AFDJ Galati, Claudiu is specialized in ENC production, hydrological and hydrographical survey. Since 2005, he has been working on national and transnational European Projects as well as international cooperation initiatives.
E-Mail: claudiu.dutu[at]

news-523 Tue, 12 Apr 2016 15:19:02 +0200 Conclusions from PLATINA 2 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.

Good Practice Manual on Inland Waterway Maintenance

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.

Report on market potential and up-take measures for the Danube Region

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.

Greening Toolkit

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:

news-514 Wed, 30 Mar 2016 13:48:39 +0200 Solutions to green the inland shipping industry: Flagship EU Project PROMINENT at work PROMINENT: how viadonau is contributing to promoting innovation in the inland waterways transport sector The EU Project PROMINENT - Promoting Innovation in the Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) Sector - which was launched in May 2015, is a multiannual research and implementation programme for inland shipping. 17 parties from five European countries are collaborating to green the inland shipping industry. Running until April 2018, PROMINENT inscribes itself in the objectives of the Action Programme Danube of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. The project foresees the forward-looking approach bringing together the economy, the environment and safety for inland navigation with a clear focus on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increased environmental friendliness of navigation as well as an increase of competitiveness of inland navigation in logistics networks.

A project funded from the Horizon 2020 programme, PROMINENT has been addressing the key needs for technological development, as well as the barriers to innovation and greening in the European inland navigation sector. PROMINENT thereby is fully in line with the objectives of the European action programme NAIADES-II and ultimately aiming at providing solutions which make inland navigation an ever more competitive alternative to road transport in terms of air pollutant emissions by 2020 and beyond. In parallel, PROMINENT aims at further decreasing the energy consumption and carbon footprint of inland waterway transport an area where we already have a strong advantage compared to road transport.

PROMINENT will focus on:

  • Massive transition towards efficient and clean vessels
  • Certification and monitoring of emission performance and development of innovative regimes
  • Harmonisation and modernisation of professional qualifications and the stimulation of the further integration of IWT into sustainable transport chains.

What's different with PROMINENT?
The PROMINENT partners have found broad support among political and commercial decision-makers in the field of inland navigation. Through its direct access to relevant industrial stakeholders and Member States, the consortium has obtained significant backup needed to perform the work.

In PROMINENT, the involvement of stakeholders plays a key role. Consultation with the project Advisory Board, presentation of project results in expert groups, as well as interviews with representatives of the shipping industry - users and shippers - will verify the results. Fleet families, operational profiles, the selection of the greening technologies and concepts, as well as the assessment of technology-specific barriers and facilitating factors, all these will be assessed by the stakeholders.

Role of viadonau
The viadonau-led work package, State-of-Play, under internationally renowned expert Juha Schweighofer was actually concluded during the first quarter of the project lifetime. Here, the exceptional team work of all beneficiaries involved allowed for provision of knowledge and giving direction for the work in PROMINENT by analyzing promising greening technologies and concepts and match-making them with the characteristics of the European inland fleet in order to identify the concepts that carry the biggest greening impact potential.

More in detail, the objectives of this important work package were the following:

  • identify typical fleet families and operational profiles on European inland waterways and canals
  • identify and assess available greening technologies and concepts
    select the best available greening technologies and concepts concerning their effects, impact and availability
  • prepare knowledge on barriers and facilitating factors to uptake of these best available technologies as basis for developing counter-measures by public and private stakeholders
  • analyse barriers for innovation uptake

Through the actions of this important work package, groups of comparable vessels - known as fleet families - and their operational profiles were identified and their cost structures analysed. As a next step, the best greening technologies and concepts to raise energy efficiency and lower emissions were assessed regarding their effects, range of impact and their availability for the most relevant European fleet families. This assessment allowed conclusions on the best available technologies in the short term and their selection for further elaboration within PROMINENT. Although many of the identified technologies are expected to have strong advantageous greening effects, they are not automatically taken up by market players. An investigation is underway to help identify the reasons behind this skepticism. Once the cues are collected, active measures will be set to overcome them.

More information on PROMINENT can be found here.
Click here for the latest project Newsletter.

news-511 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 15:34:49 +0100 All-in-one service – The new viadonau Danube Logistics Portal is now online viadonau is providing a new online portal on Danube logistics services. The new "Danube Logistics Portal" merges the existing "Blue Pages" and "Danube Ports" online portals in a joint platform with a new design which offers useful services to support transport planning on the waterway. It primarily targets potential users of services in the field of Danube logistics and contributes to shift transports towards the waterway. The features of the Danube Logistics Portal at a glance:

  • Since 2009 the "Blue Pages" have been providing a detailed overview of shipping companies and brokers from the entire Danube region. The free of charge online directory has been enhanced over the years with new features and has become a highly valuable source of information for all those who want to include inland waterways in their transport chain. The new layout and updated company profiles offer higher efficiency and an optimized usability.
  • The "Danube Ports" include profiles of more than 60 ports and transhipment sites along the Danube from Kelheim to the Black Sea. Information on port facilities, storage capacities, logistics providers and relevant contacts are available in an easy-to-use and clearly structured form.
  • The "Travel Time Calculator" is a tool for calculating the estimated travel time between two ports on the Rhine-Main-Danube axis.
  • The "Transport Planner” is a new tool, which combines all functions and information in the portals "The Blue Pages", "Danube Ports" and "Travel Time Calculator".

The new portal can be accessed at:

news-492 Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:17:00 +0100 More money for clean Ships – CALL 2016 Austria’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology continues to foster environmentally friendly fleet modernization of inland cargo vessels. A new call is opening on 7 March 2016. Among the actions that can be funded are, for instance the installation of energy-efficient propulsion systems, the retrofitting of single hull ships to double hulls or the application of new technologies.

Eligible beneficiaries are European inland waterway transport companies whose head office is in Austria. In order to be eligible for funding, the vessel that presents the characteristics stated above has to pass the Austrian Danube at least 10 times a year. The state aid program is conducted in annual Calls.

Deadline for applications to the current Call is 13 May 2016.

The application process is conducted by viadonau. Further information can be found here.

Further Links:
European Funding Database for Inland Navigation

news-477 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:06:27 +0100 Official start for FAIRway Danube Brussels, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 – Today, the FAIRway Danube initiative was kicked-off in Brussels. Between July 2015 and June 2020 - for 5 years, FAIRway Danube will significantly increase the knowledge on shallow sections of the Danube waterway so that the fairway routing will be optimized and rehabilitation measures drafted. FAIRway Danube will be carried out in a harmonized way in 6 countries: Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania under the umbrella of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) of the European Commission. The actions are co-financed by the Connecting Europe facility (CEF) programme. The Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) and viadonau, the Austrian waterway administration are responsible for the coordination of the project. The multi-beneficiary CEF project FAIRway Danube is the first implementation phase of the “Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries”, which is part of the TEN-T Corridor Work Plan for the Rhine-Danube Corridor. The Master Plan prepares harmonised initiatives to tackle infrastructure bottlenecks along the TEN-T Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor and was elaborated in close cooperation with all Danube riparian states.

In this perspective, the international initiative with the main objective to foster the coordinated rehabilitation of bottlenecks is supported by the European Commission within the CEF funding program. The focus of FAIRway Danube is to provide current and harmonized information about shallow sections, water levels and water level forecasts. Available depths will be used optimally by adapting the location of the waterway to the current riverbed conditions. In parallel, FAIRway Danube is aiming at preparing the harmonized rehabilitation of the Danube and its navigable tributaries. Pilot operations of new harmonised services for waterway users, the provision of feedback and the contribution to technical specifications or operational concepts are integral parts of FAIRway Danube. A key objective is also the involvement of stakeholders for approval and validation of results by means of pilots.

In short, FAIRway Danube is thriving to contribute to an increased safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness of inland navigation by setting the following steps:

  • Update national action plans regularly (twice a year, October and May)
  • Concerted purchase of advanced equipment for hydrological services (gauging stations, surveying and marking vessels)
  • Carry out pilot activities and evaluate results:

      o Collection of basic data for all critical sections of the Danube waterway

      o Analysis and evaluation of the data collected as basis for coherent monitoring
         of the navigation status

      o Harmonised water level forecasts

      o Optimized routing of the fairway based on current depth measurements

  • Develop innovative approaches in the area of aerial monitoring, modern Aids to Navigation, and any other supporting tools for fairway rehabilitation

Partners and beneficiaries:
Austria: Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and via donau-Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH (viadonau)
Slovakia: Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic and Waterborne Transport Development Agency (ARVD)
Hungary: Ministry of National Development (NFM), Nemzeti Infrastruktura Fejleszto Zrt. (NIF) and General Directorate of Water Management (OVF)
Croatia: Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and Agency for Inland Waterways (AVP)
Bulgaria: Executive Agency "Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River" (EAEMDR)
Romania: River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati (AFDJ); Administration of the Navigable Canals (ACN)

Key facts:
Duration: 07/2015 - 06/2020
Budget: EUR 23.4 Mn
EU-Financing (CEF): EUR 19.6 Mn

Andreas Bäck (Project Coordinator)
via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-
Gesellschaft mbH Donau-City-Straße 1, A-1220 Vienna
Tel: +43 (0) 50 4321-1609
Email: andreas.baeck[at]     

Claudiu Dutu (Project Dissemination)
AFDJ - River Administration of the Lower Danube
Galati, 32 Portului Street, Romania
Tel: +40 (36) 460016
Email: claudiu.dutu[at] 

news-473 Thu, 14 Jan 2016 09:43:15 +0100 By Waterway and Rail! Austria continues to subsidize Combined Transport The funding program for combined transport has been prolonged until 2020. Thus investments into combined transport machinery, innovative transport systems, feasibility studies and job-specific trainings will be supported by direct grants in the extent of 30 to 50%. When will the next Call be opened?
The first Call is already opened for submissions. Applications can be submitted to the AWS until 29 January 2016. Three further calls are planned for the year 2016.  

Where can I find further information?   
Further information about the funding scheme, eligible costs and beneficiaries can be found on the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. Furthermore, for Inland Navigation, the NAIADES Funding Database provides further information on funding and subsidy schemes.

news-463 Fri, 18 Dec 2015 13:43:45 +0100 CoRISMa – International project for the future of RIS in Europe crosses finish line The development and implementation of River Information Services (RIS) is a success story which started in Austria in 1999. Since then RIS standards have been established in many European countries to a great extent thanks to the crucial support of viadonau. These important digital information tools are constantly being improved and enhanced in order to constantly guarantee accurate and reliable data on the current state of the waterway inside and outside national borders. Given the fact that a well-functioning international cooperation is crucial for the success of RIS, the TEN-T Project CoRISMa has been dedicated intensively for the past two years to the enhancement and development of RIS. This project has further ensured the continuation of the European success story of RIS and crossed the finish line on 11 December in Antwerp (Belgium). The best way to ensure safer and more efficient inland waterway transport throughout Europe is one that goes through harmonization, precise and regularly updated fairway information. Building on already well-founded RIS-related infrastructure, the implementation of a harmonized information system in Europe can perform significantly better. Therefore, the focus of the TEN-T project CoRISma - RIS enable Corridor Management - was on the enhanced international harmonization of the information services as well as the provision of more specifically adjusted and tailor-made information services adapted to the various needs of the numerous users of inland waterways.

CoRISMa the future of modern European corridor management

The CoRISMa participating countries, Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg see it as their mission to improve the use and interconnection of RIS systems with a strong focus on stakeholder needs (ports, logistics and transport companies, shippers and skippers). This project was coordinated by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment - Rijkswaterstaat -, funded by the European Commission under the Department for Transport and Mobility (DG MOVE) of the European Union. viadonau took over the coordination of the Austrian contribution to the project and the communication and dissemination of the project and made tremendous contributions especially in the fields of lock management, logistics services and consolidating a vast range of information on fairway and traffic information.

CoRISMa has applied an integrative approach for its pilot concepts, one that was developed for the various transport planning and logistics challenges of a modern corridor management. These were carefully drafted in accordance with the needs of the stakeholders for all affected areas, starting from lock management until traffic planning and facilitated access to vessel positioning data and a new revolutionary cross-border data model of the traffic network.

The advantages of a harmonized and internationally accessible information system for infrastructure, traffic and logistics on the European waterways is obvious for the project partners. Through the usability of the information services by private and public interest groups (Logistics partners, skippers, fleet operators, shipping companies and authorities). This is a vital step towards a harmonized corridor management for the waterways of Europe.

Marc Vanderhaegen, DG MOVE Policy Officer for Port and Inland Navigation, expressed his enthusiasm about the constructive cooperation of the project partners and underlined again: "viadonau has been for many years a visionary driving force behind the integration of eastern European countries in a continental RIS network. We have succeeded in creating long-term Incentives for commonly used waterways and hence sustainably reinforced and enhanced the role of inland navigation as a highly efficient transport mode. This could only be achieved thanks to the successful international cooperation of all partners in all aspects of the project, ranging from communication to technical expertise."

Harmonized technolgies as foundation for the future

viadonau and its fellow CoRISMa project partners want to be part of the future of RIS in Europe, actively and sustainably. After the successful completion of the project on 11 December at the Cruise Terminal in Antwerp and two very intensive years, the international experts are already focusing on the next important development phases. The new challenge will be the technical harmonization of the information systems but also possibilities of combining maritime and inland navigation technologies along with modernizing the European waterway network.

CoRISMa Project partners:
Netherlands: Rijkswaterstaat, Ministerium für Wasser, Transport und Umwelt (RWS) Germany: Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI), Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt - Außenstelle Süd (GDWS, ASt Süd) Austria: via donau - Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH (viadonau), Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie (bmvit)
Belgium: nv De Scheepvaart, Departement van Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken Luxembourg: Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures

Find out more on the CoRISMa project in this animation film:


news-452 Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:53:31 +0100 Common Issues Meeting in Lille – ERI is talk of the day On Wednesday, 25 November 2015, Voies navigables de France aka VNF hosted the RIS Week and its Common Issues Meeting in the beautiful city of Lille in the North of France. Co-organized by the RIS Week Support team of viadonau, this second RIS week witnessed a high participation turnout and over 70 registered participants at the common issues meeting. This year no less than 18 speakers and 15 presentations were devoted to RIS issues. The event this time was devoted to ERI issues.

While the morning session and a part of the afternoon was devoted to electronic reporting or in expert language ERI, the afternoon session focused on the CoRISMa project and the evolution of RIS until 2020. A well-balanced agenda including keynote speeches, expert group reports, project and technical development updates as well as discussions made the participants look forward to the next steps and of course the next RIS week in June 2016 in Prague.

The agenda highlights were the following:

  • Strategic Developments
  • Technical Developments and Updates
  • Latest Trends in electronic reporting
  • Intermediate Results of RIS-enabled Corridor Management (CoRISMa) – Towards the Creation of a Single Common Information Corridor
  • The Evolution of RIS until 2020  

The presentations of the Common Issues Meeting in Lille can be downloaded here in PDF format.

The next RIS Week will be held in Prague  and hosted by a consortium of the Czech Ministry of Transport, the Czech State Navigation Authority and the Czech Waterway Directorate between the 13th and 17th June 2016.  

Source and Editorial:

news-385 Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:01:55 +0200 The Danube guest in Argentina: viadonau represents waterway expertise made in Austria at Smart Rivers 2015 See you in Buenos Aires! For the first time, the biennial Smart Rivers Conference was stationed in South America and for four days the Argentine capital became the center of the world for modern waterway management. Together with the representatives of the Austrian delegation, viadonau brought expertise, experience and current developments from the Danube region to the Atlantic coast for the 7th edition of Smart Rivers. Smart Rivers is setting out for new shores. The city on the Rio de la Plata with its 2.9 million inhabitants offered in the district of Puerto Madero between 7 and 11 September a picturesque backdrop for 370 international experts who met to discuss the latest trends in waterway management and cargo transport- an ideal opportunity for a global networking of expertise and latest development in a rapidly developing region. Professionals and experts from 25 countries were invited by the organizers, the Argentine section of PIANC, to hold some 90 presentations on a broad spectrum of themes ranging from River Information Services to navigation technologies, inland waterway transport and the environment, infrastructure maintenance, ports or international and transnational cooperation in the field of inland navigation and the integration of the waterway in multimodal transport chains.

viadonau experts provided interesting insights on the areas of Communication and Stakeholder-Management, Renaturation and fairway maintenance as well as on the implementation and enhancement of River Information Services in Austria and Europe. This premiere event for Smart Rivers in Latin America was held in a positive atmosphere with a world-wide attendance discussing the future of a promising market - the active and responsible, efficient and modern waterborne transport sector.
"Smart Rivers in Buenos Aires was an opportunity for viadonau to exchange views on an international level and for the first time in Latin America", summarizes viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler.

A view also shared by Geoffrey Caude, PIANC President and Representative of the French Ministry of the Environment. "Smart Rivers halted for the first time in Latin America - a milestone thanks to which we opened our doors to newcomers", said Caude.

The Austrian delegation, comprising of representatives of viadonau, Port of Vienna, Pro Danube Austria, A3PS and Pro Danube International, also had the opportunity - upon invitation by the Austrian Ambassador to Argentina,  Karin Proidl, to meet former Austrian Chancelor Viktor Klima and discuss with him the national and international development of the inland waterway as siginificant mode of transportation.

SMART Rivers Conferences
Held for the first time in 2005 in Pittsburgh (USA), SMART Rivers is a biennal Conference which every two years brings together professionals and experts involved in river transport around the world. Since 2011, SMART Rivers is under the patronage of PIANC.

PIANC is an umbrella organization which joins together 65 countries and about 450 companies, organizations and institutions as well as 2000 individual members worldwide. Founded in 1885, it is the oldest international organization for technical and scientific issues in inland navigation.

The 8th PIANC - SMART Rivers Conference is scheduled for September 2017 in St. Louis, United States.

The book of abstracts can be downloaded here and the papers can be found here.

Source and Editorial: viadonau

news-362 Fri, 25 Sep 2015 08:46:57 +0200 Manual on border controls along the Danube available The compact and easy to read manual informs captains and ship crews on the border controls at all EU and Schengen borders along the Danube. It gives an overview on the steps to be followed and the forms to be filled and includes the locations, contact details and opening hours of control points.

Besides providing valuable information the manual will serve as a basis for discussion between control authorities and is considered as first step towards harmonised control procedures.

The practical manual results from joint efforts of the two priority areas of the European Strategy for the Danube Region dealing with inland navigation and security. Contents were provided by the control authorities themselves.

We appreciate your feedback on the manual and welcome any improvements you may suggest.

Download the Manual on border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries.

Share your opinion with us:
Technical Secretariat Priority Area 1a of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region
Donau-City-Straße 1
1220 Vienna
E-mail: PA1a[at]

news-339 Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:14:53 +0200 New RoRo-Service Passau – Vidin – Ruse launched in July Since the beginning of July the shipping company Donau Star BG EOOD is operating a RoRo-service serving the route Passau – Vidin – Ruse in cooperation with the Austrian Schachinger Logistik GmbH and the Slovak SLOVAKIA FREIGHT a.s. In order to guarantee an extensive service along the Danube corridor, intermediate stops are considered in the ports of Enns and Vienna (both Austria), the port of Bratislava (Slovakia), in Budapest (Hungary) and Turnu Severin (Romania). Upon request, and by sufficient enducement, the service can be extended to Constanta (Romania) respectively Reni (Ukraine). Two vessels, the M/S JUMBO II and the M/S JUMBO III are operating the route. Both vessels have the capacity to load units of up to 70 m length and 19.5 m width. Cargo height capacity limitations are 6.5 m from / to Passau and respectively 10 m from / to Bratislava.     

Booking requests from Austria are to be made over Schachinger Logistik GmbH. SLOVAKIA FREIGHT a.s. is the agent for Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Booking requests from Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria are managed by the Donau Star BG EOOD.  

Useful contacts:  

Donau Star BG EOOD
Phone.: +359  82 82 51 25 (Bulgaria), + 49 941 603 62 – 0 (Germany)
Fax: +359  82 82 51 21 (Bulgaria), +49 941 603 62 – 20 (Germany)
Email: ruse-bg[at], info[at]   

Schachinger Logistik GmbH
Phone: +43 7221 707 – 352
Mobile +43 664 28 50 262
Fax: +43 7221 707 – 642
Email: andreas.braeu[at]   

Phone.: +421 2 524 44 997
Mobile: +421 903 78 14 51
Fax: +421 2 524 44 316
Email: mayr[at] 

news-326 Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:43:16 +0200 Masterplan on the starting blocks– „FAIRway“ paves the way for improved fairway conditions on the Middle and Lower Danube "FAIRway" is giving the signal flare for the implementation of the Master Plan for Rehabilitation and Maintenance, which was adopted at the meeting of Transport Ministers on 3 December 2014 in Brussels. With current and harmonized information about shallow sections, water levels and water level forecasts, "FAIRway" is supporting the planning of transports on the waterway as well as its maintenance and the design of river engineering measures or the relocation of the fairway course.  

Navigating on the Danube is free of charge. In 1948, this intention was put down in the Belgrade Convention. The Danube States are therefore obliged to keep the waterway in a suitable condition for navigation. It takes concerted and above all effective steps to actually achieve this goal along the entire Danube.

Basic information, joint approach  

Up-to-date recordings of the riverbed, combined with precise water level measurements are fundamental tools for navigation, shippers and logistics providers. To be able to measure regularly and to gather comparable data along the Danube, appropriate measuring instruments and ships are purchased in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Also additional automatic water level gauges will be built in the course of "FAIRway".   In a joint effort, the project partners will make the collected data on the waterway available to the public. Additionally  the data will be used to calculate water level prognosis for important reference gauges according to a standardized methodology .  

The best way  

With a high measuring density and continuity "FAIRway" is fostering the adaptation of the fairway to the current profile of the riverbed, thus improving the fairway conditions for inland navigation. Especially in the broader Lower Danube, there is still room for using intensified measurement activities to determine and mark the best possible fairway location and thus allow for higher drafts loaded to reduce transport costs.   "FAIRway" is just the beginning   To collect and provide improved information and to make optimum use of the current fairway conditions are essential first steps, but it can only be the beginning. Therefore, "FAIRway" is preparing supplementary and additional projects for implementing the Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan. While in the beginning the focus will be on known critical sections, with the progress of the Project  improved measurement results should be used increasingly  to prioritize or conceptualize further measures.  

More information on FAIRway can be found here.

news-310 Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:04:47 +0200 How can border controls be organised more efficiently? A sincere thank you to all the 177 respondents who answered this question by filling out our questionnaire on border controls. Control processes at 19 different border control points along the Danube have been evaluated. The vast majority of feedback forms referred to controls conducted by Romanian authorities, but the most meaningful feedback was received for Mohács, where the number of forms and the language variety was the highest.

The most pressing issue identified in the survey was the need to reduce waiting times as well as the duration of controls. A simplified and harmonized set of forms should be used throughout all the involved authorities and countries. On top of that, there should be a possibility to submit requested information electronically, prior to the control. But also a respectful interaction with the controlled skippers, crew and passengers was demanded.

Please refer to the full report for a more detailed analysis of the returned feedback forms: Results of the survey on border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries

The summary provides an overview and contains aggregated results: Summarized results of the survey on border controls along the Danube and its navigable tributaries

news-299 Fri, 19 Jun 2015 11:58:09 +0200 New Strategy laid out for the Austrian Danube until 2022 - Navigation, ecology and flood protection – all integral parts of Action Programme Danube How should the Danube waterway look in 2022? How should the Danube look as sustainable habitat for people, fauna and flora? And how well equipped are we against flooding? The answers to these important questions can be found in the Action Programme Danube of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), officially presented today by Minister Alois Stöger. The particularity of the Danube is that it is more than just a river; its multi-faceted use as waterway, transport route, energy source as well recreation area also makes it a natural habitat for a large number of species of fauna and flora. All these elements and particularities of the Danube can be found in the Action Programme Danube presented by Minister Alois Stöger: "Ours is an integrative strategy for a well-balanced development of the Danube, a multi-faceted and dynamic river. For the first time, an Action Programme matches strategic goals for navigation to those for ecology and flood protection. The Danube is not only one of the most environmentally-friendly transport routes of Europe - and therefore an inestimable asset for our industry - but also a recreation area and habitat for millions of people. The new Action Programme is covering these aspects and is complementary to the supra-regional programs such as the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). Because our Danube policy - just like our Danube River - does not stop at our borders."

Tailor-made answers

Ursula Zechner, Section Head in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, stressed the importance of the participative involvement of relevant interest groups in drafting the Action Programme. This is the only way we can ensure tailor-made responses to versatile claims and requirements. "Until 2022, almost 12 Million Euro will be available for pump-priming. Thus, we could move almost 100 Million Euro, whereas one third should come from EU funding", said Zechner at the press conference.

Implementation optimally prepared

In the coming years, viadonau will provide support and consultancy for the implementation of the Action Programme. Hans-Peter Wegscheider, representing the viadonau Management and Head of Department for Traffic Management explained that implementation projects were already foreseen for many of the planned measures. "A good example is the project FAIRway which has been submitted for funding and in the framework of which seven Danube partners could come together to improve the infrastructure of the waterway", said Wegscheider. The LIFE+ Project "Auenwildnis Wachau" (English translation: Wilderness Wetland Wachau) has already been approved and will benefit domestic tree species and fauna. In terms of flood protection the focus will be even more strongly on a digital command and control system. A prototype testing will be carried out starting at the end of 2015 and the impacts achieved will be presented every two years in biennial progress reports.

Facts and figures Danube Navigation 2014

Still hot off the press, the Annual Report Danube Navigation 2014 in Austria released by viadonau was handed out at the Press Conference. The publication attests to a stable volume of traffic for inland navigation in the past year, in spite of extended low water periods. Domestic traffic on the Danube waterway rose by almost 14% and a 6% increase was registered by locked-through vessels illustrating a continuity of the positive trend of the recent years. The high availability of the waterway with 364 days was the highest in 15 years. Over 100,000 locked-through vessels and 10.1 million tons of goods transported demonstrate the performance potential of Danube navigation as a safe and reliable transport mode.

Click here for more information about the Action Programme and the Annual Report Danube Navigation: <link en newsroom publications folders>  

news-298 Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:52:21 +0200 Common Issues Meeting, Highlight of the first RIS Week 2015 in Budapest From 8 to 12 June 2015, Budapest was the host city of the first RIS Week for 2015. Hosted by RSOE and co-organized by the RIS Week Support team of viadonau, this was the first of the series of 4 RIS Weeks to be organized in the framework of the EU contract for the provision of technical and administrative support to the RIS expert groups that viadonau won in November 2014. A high participation turnout showed the high interest for this important Meeting in the RIS Week. The RIS Week is a bi-annual event during which the various Expert Groups discuss RIS-relevant issues. An overview of the RIS Expert Groups and their field of activity can be found here:

Wednesdays are traditionally devoted to the Common Issues Meetings which are a central element of the RIS Week. Between expert group meetings, Wednesday 10 June was a busy day attended by over 80 delegates with a well-balanced agenda including keynote speeches, expert group reports, project and technical developments updates as well as discussions on RIS-enabled Corridor Management and a Q&A session on inputs and possible objectives for the revision of the RIS Directive 2005/44/EC.

The agenda focussed on the following:

  • Strategic Developments
  • Technical Developments and Updates
  • Latest Trends in RIS-related Projects
  • RIS-enabled Corridor Management (CoRISMa) - Towards the Creation of a Single Common Information Corridor
  • Moderated discussion on the Deployment of Corridor Management based on the case study "CoRISMa project"

The presentations of the Common Issues Meeting can be downloaded here in PDF format. The next RIS Week will be held in Lille (France) and hosted by Voies Navigables de France (VNF) between the 23rd and 27th of November 2015.

Source and Editorial:

news-283 Mon, 04 May 2015 13:36:00 +0200 Initiative for transport of recycling products on inland waterways in the starting blocks! On 23 April, 2015, 36 representatives of the recycling industry, shipping and forwarding companies, Danube ports and transhipment operators came together in the Port of Enns (Austria) to discuss the potential of Danube navigation as adapted transport mode for recycling products. Metal scrap was the thematic focus of the meeting during which possibilities for a shift of this type of cargo/commodity on the Danube waterway were explored, new contacts established and concrete business cases elaborated.

The topic “recycling products on inland waterways” is one of great actuality and brought a high turnout. The event offered a neutral platform for knowledge and information exchange between the Danube logistics sector and the recycling business

The event started with presentations by Simon Hartl– Head of the viadonau’s Transport Development Team and Milica Gvozdic, Head of the Initiative “Recycling Products on Inland Waterways” who stressed the advantage that inland navigation can offer for the transport of recycling products and highlighted the manifold possibility for this specific type of cargo, one that needs special transport requirements and market conditions.

The host, Werner Auer, Managing Director of Ennshafen OÖ GmbH, presented the advantages of the business location Ennshafen for storage and transport of this commodity group and offered an overview of the local partners who are from the recycling sector Alfred Klement, Managing Director of Donau Metal and Paul Losbichler, Managing Director of Schaufler GmbH, both running companies in this sector explained in their presentations that the connection to the Danube waterway was one of the decisive reasons for their companies settling their business locations in the close proximity of the Danube waterway and that there is still a lot of potential that should be used.

This meeting offered the possibility to discuss identified challenges together, initiate approaches to solve existing obstacles and establish B2B contacts in this new and promising business segment.  

viadonau presentation (available in German only)  

This event was co-financed by the Platina II project.

news-164 Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:00:46 +0100 viadonau to support the RIS expert groups until the end of 2016 viadonau has won the EU call for tenders of DG MOVE for the provision of technical and administrative support to the RIS expert groups. For the next 24 months, until December 2016, a viadonau team of 7 key experts will provide technical and administrative support to the four RIS Expert Groups who meet typically twice a year during the so-called RIS Weeks. RIS Expert Groups are international technical platforms ensuring the harmonized development of standards in Europe. Composed of various representatives, active in inland navigation, such as governmental bodies, branch organizations, research institutes, consultants and industry, they propose standards and documents up-dates, but also technical clarification documents and other relevant documents that are delivered to the EU, the CCNR (central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine) and other international bodies. The RIS Expert Groups also ensure the  seamless development and maintenance of the four key RIS technologies which are regulated through Commission Implementing Regulations of the European Commission as well as Standards and recommendations of the River Commissions and the UN ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), and also international standards.

One RIS Week takes place in early summer (typically June), the other in autumn (typically November).  Governmental delegations participating in the RIS Expert Groups normally volunteer to host and organise a RIS Week in their country, and extend their invitation to the members of the RIS Expert Groups. The next RIS Week will be held in Budapest on June 8-12 and hosted by the Hungarian RIS Provider RSOE.  

More information on the RIS Expert groups and an overview of the next RIS week can be found here.

Source and editorial: viadonau

news-148 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:22:51 +0100 Raising standards: EU Strategy for Danube Region launches online survey to improve border controls on the Danube In order to harmonize procedures at border controls, Priority Area 1A of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region has launched an online survey on border controls. The survey, aimed at shipping companies and vessel operator who are the first to be affected by border control procedures, is available in eight languages. The Danube is the second largest river in Europe and the most international waterway in the world connecting 14 countries. Not all Danube riparian states however are EU Member States or in the Schengen area, thus required customs clearance for imports and exports as well as border checks for passengers and crews can become quite time-consuming and costly.  

Priority Area 1A — To improve mobility and multimodality: inland waterways of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is coordinated by Austria and Romania. The EUSDR thereby lends a voice to key players and stakeholders from the 14 countries of the Danube region, some of whom have been expressing their discomfort with the existing administrative processes accompanying Danube navigation.

In order to systematically collect ideas and proposals from private stakeholders, a short questionnaire was launched in cooperation with PA11 on Security. This initiative is geared towards the reduction of the administrative burden for shipping companies and vessel operators at border controls along the Danube. The recommendations compiled from the results of the questionnaire will be used to develop administrative improvements in cooperation with the responsible authorities.

Working towards the improvement of the framework conditions for navigation on the Danube will contribute to raising the attractiveness and the competitiveness of Danube transport as a whole.

The survey will stay available online until 30 March 2015. It is available in 8 languages and can be found at under “survey border control”.  Filling out this feedback form will take no longer than 10 minutes. The responses will be treated anonymously.

news-108 Thu, 19 Feb 2015 15:46:03 +0100 Market analysis for the Danube Corridor: discover the potentials of Danube navigation The Team Transport Development of viadonau has delivered a market analysis of the potential of transport of specific cargo types on the Danube corridor. This study was carried out in the framework of the EU Project Platina II ("Platform for the implementation of NAIADES II") in 2014. 7 types of cargo and 28 different products were analyzed in terms of production level, trading volumes between Danube riparian states and transport requirements. In order to reach measurable and sustainable performance increase in the field of specific cargo transport for inland navigation, a large-scale study was conducted focusing on cargo transport and infrastructure framework conditions. In its function as transport axis the Danube connects key production and sales markets that are of significant European importance. The waterway makes a major contribution to strengthening the transport network within the Danube Region but also to connecting this macro-economic area via the sea ports along North Sea and Black Sea to the rest of the world. Furthermore, the Danube waterway is of particular importance as a cost-effective transport mode for the industrial sites that are located along the Danube corridor.

One of the main features of the market analysis was highlighting the advantages of Danube navigation for the transport of large volumes of cargo as well as its particular suitability for specific commodities. Furthermore, the study showed that the transport of goods from raw material-intensive industries such as steel, agro- or petrochemical industry on inland waterways proved particularly cost-efficient. The high transport capacity of the Danube is also of particular interest for the segment of project cargo and high-quality general cargo due to the increasing size and weight of the goods produced in the energy, building and engineering sector (e.g. generators, transformers, concrete components).

Since 2010 dedicated viadonau-initiated working initiatives have analyzed cargo types with higher potential for transport on the Danube waterway; within working groups experts from the sector have been discussing the special transport and storage requirements of specific cargo groups, as well as their modal shift possibilities.

The market analysis can be downloaded here.

Work Package 1 "Markets & Awareness" of the PLATINA II project aims at identifying the new markets for inland waterway transport (IWT) in order to facilitate a targeted modal shift towards inland waterway transport in the most promising market segments. The market analysis is here to help decision-makers across Europe to create favorable conditions for the use of IWT in the identified sectors e.g. by lifting administrative burdens for particular transport segments or by providing financial incentives for investments in cargo-specific handling and storage equipment.

Links: Danube navigation:

news-80 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:11:00 +0100 Abstracts Submission for 7th SMART Rivers International Conference: 10 days to go The 2015 edition of the 'Strategic Maritime Asset Research and Transformation Rivers Conference for 21st Century Rivers Systems', in short SMART Rivers Conference, will take place from 7 to 11 September 2015 in Buenos Aires (Argentina) for the first time in South-America. Abstracts must be submitted until 31 January 2015. Passed this date, abstracts will no longer be accepted.

Key actors and professionals in the field of IWT as well as leaders in technical aspects of inland waterway transport, who work in relation with PIANC, have already sent their abstracts. Don't miss this golden opportunity and submit yours now online at: Authors will be notified by 31 March and Conference Papers should be submitted until 15 July 2015.

A list of Conference topics as well as additional information can be found here.

High Level representatives of IWT Authorities from the United States, France, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, will attend the Conference. Eng. Jorge Quijano, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, has confirmed his participation in the event as Keynote Speaker.

The 2015 edition is the second conference to be held under the PIANC banner - the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure. The Conference is organized by, the PIANC National Section of Argentina (AADIP - Argentine Association of Port Engineers), with the support of local authorities, as well as the international PIANC community.


news-103 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:11:00 +0100 viadonau working initiative NAWARO – Argumentative paper summarizes findings Between 2012 and 2014, viadonau carried out an extensive initiative focusing on renewable resources. The main findings as well as a catalogue of measures with impulses for the improvement of the framework conditions for the transport of renewable resources on inland waterways have been compiled in an argumentative paper. In order to evaluate the potentials of specific cargo types for Danube navigation such as for instance High & Heavy cargo, and renewable resources, viadonau has been - since 2010 -conducting market analyses in the field of transport development on a regular basis. The aim of this initiative is to create together with industry and logistics companies of the sector and in accordance to their specific requirements, an information and knowledge exchange platform for the economy.

Within these viadonau-led initiatives, commodity groups which present a high potential for transport on the waterway have been studied closely. Given the high loading capacity and the resulting reduced transport costs of such goods, agricultural and forestry products such as wood, wheat, and oilseed have proven particularly suitable for transport on inland vessels. Furthermore, ports along the Danube offer optimum storage and transshipment facilities for this type of cargo.

With a share of about 20% of the total cargo transport volume of agricultural and forestry products on the Austrian Danube, renewable resources make today a sizable share of the annual volume of goods transported on the Danube waterway.  

The argumentative paper is available for download (in German only).
The next working initiative has already been planned for spring 2015; this time, viadonau will focus on another commodity group with high potential: recycling products ­– such as scrap metal, recovered glass and waste paper.

news-48 Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:21:00 +0100 Rising interest in Danube logistics: successful meetings at the Barge to Business 2014 in Luxembourg On 19-20 November 2014 Europe’s largest inland navigation conference - Barge to Business - took place in the Kirchberg Conference Centre in Luxembourg. In parallel to the Conference the exhibition hall hosted interesting business talks in the framework of the business-to-business platform Riverdating. Many visitors stopped by the Danube Business Corner, a stand hosting a delegation of representatives of the Danube logistics sector. Organised by viadonau the Danube Business Corner hosted the Danube delegation partners comprising Schachinger Logistik, Fluvius, Plimsoll and the Hungarian Federation of Danube Ports. The Danube Logistics sector has by now earned the status of “regular guest” at Barge to Business and Riverdating.

Over 100 meetings for all the participants over two days of Riverdating showed the real interest in the solutions that Danube navigation has to offer; many visitors stopped by the Danube Business Corner for meetings and general inquiries. Business cards were exchanged and new contacts were made.

Barge to Business and Riverdating have proven once more that such events are of great importance for the inland navigation sector. Conferences on the latest navigation-relevant topics coupled with fast-track meetings have proven to be turnkey solution in initiating new business contacts and triggering a modal shift to inland navigation.

The Barge to Business 2014 event was an initiative of the European Logistics Advisory Network (ELAN), a European project without commercial interest that brings together waterway managers and promotion agencies.

Editorial: viadonau