Millions of euros to improve to improve the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor
Container ships that aren’t fully loaded, congested locks resulting in long waits for vessels, suboptimal navigation of ships on rivers and fully loaded ships that cannot cope with low water levels. These are common problems on inland waterways. The Horizon 2020 programme ‘Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively’ (NOVIMOVE) is going to use a European grant of almost 9 million euros to conduct research on how to improve the logistics of this transport system.
The research focuses on improving transport on the Rhine-Alpine water corridor from Rotterdam/Antwerp all the way to Basel. Rudy Negenborn, professor of Multi-Machine Operations & Logistics at TU Delft, is coordinating this four-year programme in cooperation with 21 parties from six European countries. Negenborn believes the programme has immense added value. ‘More transport on water means less transport on roads. Our aim is to ultimately increase transport on this water corridor by 30%, in order to make much better use of this mode of transport’s low energy consumption and emissions.’
Not only smarter vessels but also a smarter communication and logistics network will help to make the transport system more efficient. ‘The research,’ Negenborn says, ‘focuses on four different levels: designing new types of vessels that can cope better with fluctuating water levels; smart river navigation by combining satellite data with real-time information about water levels and currents; smart scheduling in locks through interaction; and a more efficient scheduling and better cargo reconstruction by increasing load factors.’
Logistics operators, ports, system developers and research institutions from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway are working together in the consortium on the development of new logistics concepts, prototypes and communication systems to permanently improve transport on this corridor. The official kick-off is scheduled for June 2020.
- Read more about the Horizon 2020 MG-2-6-2019 Research and Innovation Action programma.
- Read more about Rudy Negenborn’s research.