Inland waterway transport can be a reliable and efficient solution for oversize cargo transport in Lithuania. In the Lithuanian EMMA pilot, the conditions and prerequisites for using inland shipping for oversized cargo transports will be analysed.

In Lithuania many bridges are constructed to carry a maximum load of 200 tons, which is not enough for the heavy cargo transportation. Since inland waterways have good development possibilities in regards to the cargo transportation, the solution could be the development of oversize and heavy cargo service line using rivers. EMMA project partners focus on the heavy goods transportation connection from the Port of Klaipėda to its hinterland along the River Neman (Nemanus in Lithuanian), which is the largest river in Lithuania. In this pilot, links and technical possibilities between Lithuanian inland waterways and European inland waterway system will also be examined.


Interview with the country coordinator

Contact: Vytautas Paulauskas,
NPPE Klaipeda Shipping Research Centre


How would you describe your national pilot?

In the Lithuanian pilot, namely “Oversize cargo transportation by Lithuanian inland waterways”, the project milestones are oversize cargo transportation, data collection and analysis, studying possible oversize cargo forecast methodologies as well as analysis and draft design of the possible transport means, namely barges.

What results have you already achieved and what are the expected results of the pilot?

The expected results of this pilot should be oversize cargo transportation forecast, preparation of oversize cargo transport corridors as well as a draft design of a special barge for the oversize cargo transportation. This pilot project should increase the safety and sustainable possibilities for oversize cargo transportation, have a positive influence on the environmental impacts and decrease oversize cargo transportation costs as well as occupation of roads by oversize cargo in the western and central regions of Lithuania.

We have already analysed and made forecasts of the oversize cargo transportation in Lithuania in total and by inland waterways until 2026. According to the forecast, about 1000 oversize cargo units are expected to be shipped by barge in the Lithuanian inland waterways in 2026. In the Lithuanian EMMA pilot case we find optimal locations for loading and unloading oversize cargo in Klaipeda port and in inland waterways as well prepare a draft design of the IWW transport means for the oversize cargo transportation by IWW in Lithuania.

Links of Lithuanian inland waterways with European IWW system are studied. Technically, it is possible to use a link via Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) region, but politically it is complicated. Therefore, the use of this link is possible in general but not for the moment.

How is the pilot proceeding?

The pilot is proceeding well and according to our plans. We are collecting and analysing different kinds of data related to for instance cargo flows and water levels. We are also having interesting discussions with various actors with an aim to enhance the possibilities of oversize cargo transportation in the area.

What kind of value do the project and the pilot bring to the region?

The Lithuanian national pilot in the EMMA project is important for the development of oversize cargo transportation from the Port of Klaipėda to the eastern and southern regions of Lithuania, the north-eastern region of Poland as well the western region of Belarus.

EMMA pilot forms a good basis for discussions with business as well as for practical actions to use Lithuanian inland waterways for the oversize and heavy cargo transportation. In many cases, using Lithuanian inland waterways for the oversize cargo transportation can save investments in roads, which are needed for the very heavy cargo transportation to the southern and eastern parts of Lithuania as well to the north-eastern part of Poland and Belarus.   

What are your thoughts and experiences of the EMMA project?

During the EMMA project, project partners receive new research results. Best practices in the implementation of oversize cargo transportation via inland waterways, especially in the Berlin area, should stimulate further use of inland waterways for the transportation of oversize cargo in the Baltic Sea Region.