Water Cargo Barge – Feasibility study on urban waterway logistics in Hamburg published

17 May 2022 - Published by Tom Pauwels
A new feasibility study on urban waterway logistics in Hamburg has been published. The study was recently completed by researchers from Fraunhofer CML on behalf of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

The results of the WaCaBa study on the revitalization of Hamburg urban canals for urban commercial transport were presented at the beginning of May 2022 in the context of the AVATAR conference in Hamburg.

During the conference on May 04, 2022, at the invitation of the EU Interreg NSR project AVATAR and the Logistics Initiative Hamburg, experts from the field of logistics services, scientists and researchers as well as municipal stakeholders exchanged ideas on the potentials of a last mile supply by Inland waterway transport.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of the study results of the Water Cargo Barge, which was recently completed by the researchers from Fraunhofer CML on behalf of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The Logistics Initiative Hamburg, the AVATAR project and the authors of the study had worked closely together, e.g. via stakeholder workshops, to examine the requirements and the logistics demand side in more detail and to obtain feedback from the LIHH network.

"The study results show that demand for an alternative transport route on water currently exists only in parts of the logistics industry. Especially in the courier express parcel industry, however, potential is seen in urban waterways, for example if a transport ship can also be used as a floating micro depot for the fine distribution of parcels with cargo bikes. The economic analysis of urban water transports carried out as part of the study is ambivalent. The waterway can offer cost advantages above all when very heavy goods are transported in large quantities. If, on the other hand, the focus is on the volume to be transported, trucks remain the most cost-efficient means of transport for logistics companies. 

Positive environmental effects can be achieved above all when freight transports with an electrically powered water cargo barge replace transport routes with diesel trucks. In comparison with trucks that are also electrically powered, however, water-bound means of transport consume more energy per unit transported, with correspondingly higher CO2 emissions in energy generation. Urban water logistics would then bring relief primarily for the road network and residents affected by road freight traffic." (Ministry of Economy and Innovation, Hamburg)

The WaCaBa study is freely available online and can be downloaded here (in German language).

More info on the WaCaBa study, see also: here, here and here.

See also info on AVATAR LinkedIn, LIHH blog and LIHH Linkedin.



Picture: (c) Fraunhofer CML



Picture: © Fraunhofer CML


undefinedPicture: (c) Fraunhofer CML