M. de Jong
Ontwikkelingen in de binnenvaart
Report 2000.LT.5317, Transport Technology, Logistic Engineering.
Inland shipping is already existing for a long period. It is actually one
of the first methods of transport. For a long time there where little
developments of the ships. In certain periods the developments were more
frequent. For example during the Roman era. It was not until the
industrial revolution that the new developments followed each other
rapidly. Ships grew bigger because of the introduction of steam engines
enabling ships to carry heavier loads. In the twentieth century the
competition the inland shipping had to face grew stronger as the truck
came into use.
Nowadays the inland shipping sector is of great importance to the Dutch
economy. Not just because of the earnings of the sector, but also because
of the problems with road traffic (congestion, environment). Those are
also the reasons for the Dutch government to take measures to reduce the
share of road transport in benefit of inland shipping and railways. The
government is also taking actions to decrease the number of ships and
thereby preventing a crisis, like in the beginning of the century, due to
overcapacity. Some of the important developments in the second half of the
twentieth century are:
The last couple of years there have been some important developments in
inland shipping. The first development is the size of the ships. With the
Jowi and the Amistade a whole new class of large ships has been put into
service. These ships have a length of 135 meters en are 17 meters wide.
They are able to transport up to 470 twenty feet containers. A second
development is the design of small ships. These ships are intended for
transportation over relatively short distances. There are also ships
designed for fast inland transport. These ships have to compete with
trucks on short distances. A recent development is a new way of
propelling, the so-called Whale Tail Wheel. This system does not use screw
propellers anymore. Instead it uses a rotating drum.
- Containerization and the development of inland terminals;
- The development of specialized ships like Ro/Ro ships;
- The transports of cargo with push barges.
In the market situation of inland ships there are a number of
developments. An important development is the liberalization of the market
for North-South shipping. This brings an end to the shipping-exchange that
was introduced in 1933. This is not the only development. Inland ships
transport more kinds of goods. This diverges from containers to bulk goods
and from chemical products to household garbage.
The modifications in the infrastructure mostly concern the construction of
a network of inland terminals. This will benefit the multimodal
transportation. The waterways are also subject to new developments. On the
larger waterways a system has been installed to control the shipping
traffic. This system cooperates with the information systems that have
been taken in use on the ships.
In the future transportation with inland ships will increase. Because of
growing prosperity people will consume more and so the need of transport
Reports on Logistic Engineering (in Dutch)
, TU Delft