Tools: transhipment manual

22 January 2020 - Published by Haije Mintjes

“One of the tasks of the POM Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flemish development agency) is to exchange information with private stakeholders in the province. Amongst other topics, discussions are set up on the efficient use of transport modes (truck, water, rail, maritime), taking into account the characteristics of the incoming flows (and origin) and outgoing flows (and destinations).

During this alignment, we regularly detect opportunities for a modal shift towards IWW as our province is connected through the Scheldt and the Leie, two class IV -Va waterways. Unfortunately we determine several reasons why companies won’t consider the use of the waterway. Most often we hear that the volume of a shipment is too small, the product isn’t suited to be transhipped via the waterway or the first-last mile is a bottleneck (too far from a quay).

Until now, we could only share some basic information on possible transhipment solutions, but we weren’t able to share information on investment (CAPEX) and operational costs (OPEX), two critical factors for any company.

Thanks to IWTS, we were able to create an overview of all transhipment solutions we can find in the market and bundled them in a manual. We ended with four categories: bulk, palletized goods, project cargo and containers. On a single A4 page, we present per solution an image of the method, together with capex and opex information and some specific remarks like the minimum required waterway infrastructure (for the quay). Also special remarks like transhipment speed are added.

From now on, the manual will allow us as well as any ambassador of the waterway, to show companies existing solutions and inform them about the essential financial and operational parameters.”

Hopefully this tool will be trigger for many more future waterway transports to be realised in Europe.