How can new and innovative ideas improve the future prospects for inland shipping?
Our Innovation Challenge was a next step in the successful EU project #IWTS 2.0.
We invited industry professionals and decision makers to discuss new views on inland shipping.
The event organised by bremenports and the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany (MCN) simultaneously marked the start of two new online seminars that will be held for trainees, students and interns this autumn.
What fundamental economic and political change is needed to position inland shipping as a key enabler in a future CO2-reduced transport system?
In what form can inland shipping benefit from increased digitization of logistics?
The Innovation Challenge prompted two groups of students from Bremen University to step up onto the virtual stage. Six future industrial engineers presented their ideas for more innovation in inland shipping to around 70 participants. The topics ranged from the use of anticipatory logistics on rivers and waterways right through to suggestions for barge-assisted urban logistics. In anticipatory logistics, inventory management and shipments are organised on the basis of intelligent forecasts. In this case, the students adapted the model used by US American online trading platform Amazon to match the requirements of the inland shipping business.
They also presented practical examples, for instance from Utrecht and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to show how barge transports could be integrated into urban logistics. This idea could lead to interesting prospects for deliveries to end consumers who are located close to the River Weser in Bremen, a city with a more than 40-kilometre long shoreline. In order to improve sustainability and encourage intermodality, the students’ model envisages cycle couriers to transport the shipments from microhubs, which are supplied from barges.
In his opening address at the event, Professor Kurt Bodewig, European Coordinator of the “Motorways of the Seas” and former German Minister of Transport, stressed the importance of improving intermodality between the different transport modes. “Increased transparency resulting from the digitisation of data streams could promote the scope for better interconnection of waterways, rail and road,” said Bodewig. “The EU has created the appropriate political framework with the EU Green Deal.”
“Increased transparency resulting from the digitisation of data streams could promote the scope for better interconnection of waterways, rail and road.”