Potential of using IWT for the distribution of new passenger cars in Europe
The aim of this paper is to illustrate the potential of using inland waterway transport (IWT) for the distribution of new passenger cars in adequate operation areas in Europe. In this context, the advantages of the currently developed car-carrier "NEWS" including a calculation of external costs are evaluated. The European Union (EU) is endowed with a navigable inland waterway network of approximately 36,000 km. The share of freight transport is insignificant compared to other transport modes like road or rail. Opportunities to promote the modal shift favoring IWT can be found in markets that are rarely exploited by IWT - such as the transport of new passenger cars. Starting with the location of the assembly plants in the EU and the identification of car types assembled in each plant, the study defines the transport flows from the respective assembly plants to selected European countries. For the calculation of the potential, a methodology has been developed. To increase the competitiveness of IWT, a car-carrier called "NEWS" is being developed. Its significant features beyond the state-of-the-art are an active ballast tank enabling adaptable draught and an adaptable LNG-electric energy- and propulsion system increasing resource efficiency (up to 30 %), and decreasing harmful exhaust emissions. Moreover, the capacity of the ship is more than 50 % higher compared to other car-carriers on rivers such as Danube. A transport scenario of a specific transport route has been developed including the calculation of external costs such as greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution to show the advantages of IWT and NEWS.