The Port of Rotterdam Authority has welcomed the European Commission’s NAIADES III Action Plan, a scheme designed to improve Europe’s inland waterway trade.
In a statement, the Port Authority said the strategy addresses the need to shift more freight to inland waterways and facilitate the industry’s transition towards a zero-emission inland system.
“The NAIADES III Action Plan is published at a crucial time, as inland waterway transport is currently coping with a stagnating share in freight transport,” the Port Authority said.
“As a result of the energy transition, the composition of freight transport is evolving. It’s necessary to recognize that the market experiences a decrease in bulk fossils flows and an increase in the growth of the container market.
“As such, freight flows are gradually shifting from inland waterways to road transport.
“Through the implementation of the Action Plan, the Port is hopeful that the competitive position of inland shipping can be boosted, its market share can be preserved, and a modal backshift can be avoided.
It also confirmed it supports the Commission’s proposal to establish a dedicated cooperation framework for inland waterway transport. This would enable EU member states to better coordinate cross-border actions and projects, the Port Authority claimed.
“In order to realize the objectives as put forward by the Commission, the Port calls upon the Commission to integrate the objectives in future funding calls of Connecting Europe Facility to financially support projects that contribute to realizing these objectives.”