In a drive to reduce the environmental impact of hinterland transportation, to decongest the roads and to save on transport cost; Inland Waterway Transport is the preferred option.In North West Europe and China, for instance, inland waterway transport has developed to a very competitive alternative for road haulage.

PCR has been involved in Inland Waterway Transport for long. From being involved in the initial development of container transportation in North West Europe to the development of new routes in Eastern Europe, Brazil and Colombia. Our involvement has been from different angles:

  • Organizational and commercial to support the private sector
  • Feasibility/development of new concepts, new lines and new strings
  • Institutional organisation
  • Development of inland terminals
  • Nautical development
  • Engineering of integrated deep-sea and IWT terminals

PCR inland waterways projects involve market studies and cargo forecasts, logistic analysis, capacity calculations, determination of bottlenecks, setting-up strategic frameworks, costs estimates, designs of layout and required equipment, operational business plans, terminal planning, design and phasing, setting-up of financial models and business case, etc.


Savings on CO2, transport cost and time are the main tools to compete with road haulage. An integrated approach needs to be followed including pre-haulage, handling cost, shipping cost and delivery haulage. Initially often government support of some sort is required to get the IWT alternative started.

In some cases, rivers, channels and locks need to be redesigned and Inland Waterway Authorities need to be established.

These efforts should eventually lead to a modal shift; less fuel consumption, less CO2 emissions, less congestion and lower cost. In some countries, like the Netherlands, modal shift has become a compulsory part of terminal contracts and an integral part of the license to operate in the port. It is expected that this trend will be followed in other ports around the world.

If you want to know more about what PCR can mean for your port or terminal or if you have any other enquiries, please contact us!

Projects related to ‘Inland waterways’