More than 20 experts from all areas of the European Inland Waterways sector participated in the Expert workshop of the TASCS project on 28th June 2018 in Duisburg, Germany.
Experts added valuable insights to the preliminary conclusions of the researchers via dedicated sessions:
Changes and challenges, time horizons, involved actors were voiced and identified.
The European IWT sector faces serious demographic challenges with a severe shortage of qualified staff as a consequence. Many aspects were looked at in great detail regarding organisational approaches to reduce the demand of nautical workforce via outsourcing some parts such as predictive maintenance or via re-organisation of the shore-based personnel.
Many digital innovations have found their way to the sector and many more will follow. Regarding the timeframe opinions differ somewhat, but that a more automated sector will materialise is a firm observation. The overall hampering infrastructure of the European IWT sector is of course a serious issue that needs addressing.
Also changes in the transport demands and overall logistics requirements influence the sector a lot. A decrease of bulk transport demand is noted and a sharp increase of general cargo and smaller shipment sizes. The need for IWT to fully integrate itself within the overall logistics chain is essential for the sectors’ survival.
All this input will be integrated in the interim findings of the researchers and will become part of the final report that will be drafted shortly here-after.