Inland waterway transport (IWT) is safe, environmentally friendly and economically feasible. However, for many decision makers responsible for setting up transport chains in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), IWT is not considered as an alternative to rail and mainly road transportation. This has also to do with limited knowledge about IWT and its integration into international transport chains. They see it as too complicated and too risky. Furthermore, acquisition efforts of inland navigation shipping lines are often weak. Inland barge operators are faced with unsure future infrastructure developments, which hinder larger investments in floating equipment and a modernisation of the fleet. In consequence IWT does not mobilize its full potential to contribute to an efficient and reliable European transport network of the future.

The guideline summarizes results and experiences of various stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region: IWT best-practice cases, an overview on IWT affine in the industry and customer needs, new potential IWT services and a service set-up guideline. It demonstrates the potential IWT could play and aims at changing the way of thinking and acting by all stakeholders.