A Powerful Way of Transport throughout Europe
The economic and environmental benefits of waterborne (multi-modal) transport across the European Union are self-evident: Europe’s network of navigable rivers and canals offers access to the continent’s urban and industrial centers, allowing the more efficient, cleaner, quieter, and safer transport of goods large and small.
While large ships carry a great deal of large-scale inland freight, small and modern dedicated vessels are used on smaller waterways and for city-level distribution, opening up road water transport to a growing number of customers.
Internal combustion engines provide reliable power for the inland waterway transport fleet:
- Dry bulk and general cargo ships: for dry bulk products such as agricultural products, building materials, waste and recyclables, also suited for pallets and racks;
- Container ships: for all goods that can be containerised in regular boxes, reefers and tank containers; container lines work with regular services;
- Self-loading ships: dry bulk or container ships with onboard self-loading and unloading facilities such as cranes (for unitised goods) or vacuum pumps (for bulk);
- Tankers: for liquid bulk products such as fuels, chemicals, gas, food liquids, and powders;
- Ro-ro vessels: non-accompanied transport of vehicles.
- Push convoys: for all kinds of dry bulk, containers and abnormal indivisible loads.
- Sea-river and estuary ships: small coasters.