WIT Press

Inland Waterways Transport For City Logistics: A Review Of Experiences And The Role Of Local Public Authorities


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WIT Press


M. Janjevic & A. B. Ndiaye


Urban freight transport is increasingly difficult to organize and manage: the demographic expansion of cities, the environmental issues, new logistical trends, scarcity of space and the evolving consumer habits are just some of the challenges. In most cities, road transportation is essentially the only mode used for performing urban distribution of goods. Inland navigation is used solely for transport of bulk materials over long distances bulk material (e.g. construction material and agricultural products). However, experiences in several European cities have demonstrated that the use of inland waterways can be a viable alternative for smaller-scale freight transport in urban areas. This present article aims at reviewing current experiences in the field of inland navigation for city logistics. Through the analysis of several implementation cases in Europe, we demonstrate that inland navigation can be used for various segments of the urban freight transport, including transportation of palletized goods (e.g. construction and industrial material), transportation of containerized goods (e.g. for the supply of the supermarkets), deliveries to local shops and restaurants, deliveries of parcels, transport of waste and recycled material and service trips. Furthermore, the article analyses the conditions in which these transport schemes were developed, highlights their key success factors, and investigates the particular role of local public authorities in organizing and managing these innovative transport schemes.


urban freight transport, city logistics, inland waterways, inland navigation, public authorities.