A high level of competition with increasing cost pressure is one of the major challenges in inland navigation. This applies especially to companies with smaller vessels, which are characterised by a relatively high personnel intensity – compared to large vessels – and thus have a less favourable cost structure. However, small vessels are necessary because only they can serve small waterways and thus reach numerous shippers directly and without cost-intensive transhipment. These vessels are indispensable for securing the market share of inland waterway transport in intermodal competition with rail and road.
One approach to increase the competitiveness of companies is to reduce personnel costs. The approach of the NOVIMAR project is to assemble vessels into convoys following each other at regular intervals. The ships are “electronically coupled” on the main route. At the beginning and end of the journey they operate independently and outside the convoy. This approach is intended to reduce the number of crew members or increase the permissible operating times and thus reduce costs.
This project is being carried out by an international consortium led by Netherlands Maritime Technology within the framework of the EU research programme Horizon 2020.
Contact person: Dipl.-Ing. Benjamin Friedhoff