Building on a long tradition of several years, the 2017 European Inland Navigation Market Observation report is the result of close collaboration between the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) and the European Commission. This well-established collaboration aims at providing yearly an exhaustive view of the inland navigation market situation as well as an analysis of its evolution and developments. In this report, policy makers, industry stakeholders, administrative authorities, academic researchers and the broader public will find useful statistics, insights and analysis covering all aspects of the inland navigation market, from freight traffic to fleet evolution and port transshipment. Three smaller ‘market insights’ publications complete the annual report during the year.
A key feature of the report lies in its ever growing European dimension, as several European inland navigation partners, including River Commissions and sector representatives, have taken a very active part in its preparation. The CCNR has been promoting relentlessly collaboration between all inland navigation actors and stakeholders and is delighted to present the Market Observation as one major concrete outcome of this collaboration, among many others.
The report also addresses inland navigation as part of the broader transport multimodal environment. It is clear indeed that inland navigation’s sustainable development must be considered jointly with the development of other transport modes. This is also one of the reasons why the CCNR keeps contributing to the activities of the Trans-European Transport Networks and in particular of the TEN-T Core Rhine Alpine Corridor.
I wish to thank the European Commission and all organisations and individuals who contributed to the present publication. And would like to encourage them to pursue their vitally important engagement in the years ahead to enable an ever greater understanding and better awareness of European inland navigation and its important achievements, challenges and possibilities for further development. It is my conviction that the present report will provide readers with most useful reference material for their activities and I wish them both a pleasant and stimulating read.
CCNR Secretary General
Inland navigation has linked people and economies across Europe for centuries, enabling communication and creating prosperity along rivers, canals and lakes. The EU Transport policy builds on that heritage, looking after the specific role of inland navigation in today’s advanced multimodal logistics.
The positive development and impressive socio-economic returns of inland navigation need to be better documented and more widely known by the general public, industry stakeholders and policy makers. Inland navigation still holds huge potentials which we must use to make our transport system more efficient, resilient and sustainable. Market observation, analysis of trends and identification of best practices and business dynamics are critical to achieving this, because it gives visibility to market opportunities and the many positive externalities inland navigation has.
This is why the European Commission supports – and commends – the European Inland Navigation Market Observation exercise undertaken by the Secretariat of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine, in cooperation with the other River Commissions and the sector at large.
I welcome the 2017 Annual Report, which puts into perspective not only the evolution of the sector over the past months, but also the potential for growth and the contribution that inland navigation can make to sustainable development in the Union, for the benefit of its people and businesses.
The Report is the fruit of excellent cooperation between the CCNR and the European Commission. It demonstrates the role inland navigation can play in an integrated multimodal transport system of the future and will certainly be a source of information and inspiration for our ‘Year of Multimodality 2018’.
European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport