Shaping a better maritime world

Inland navigation contributes to a better maritime world

Apr. 1 2022 - 3 min

Inland navigation is an integral part of Bureau Veritas’ contribution to shaping a better maritime world. This sector of the maritime industry can play a key role in improving sustainability in a wider sense.

Today, road transport is the most dominant mode of transport in Europe, carrying 76% of total inland freight. But European efforts to become climate-neutral by 2050 envisage a greater role for inland waterways.

The EU Green Deal mandates that 75% of today’s inland freight transport should move from road to rail or waterways.

The development is expected to diversify the commodities carried by inland operators, and open up new opportunities for the industry.

These include transport services for the renewable energy industry, including the carriage of wind turbines (notably rotor blades), biomass, biofuel and hydrogen cargoes.

An increasing number of urban areas will also be supplied by inland water transport. Regional authorities are promoting sustainable urban transport systems to carry passengers, materials, food, retail products, and waste.

These new emerging markets will require new vessels and innovative technologies.

Meanwhile, sustainability efforts will focus on developing inland water transport that uses electricity or other clean propulsion methods.

Bureau Veritas is set to play an integral part in the development of key technical and safety standards for this industry.

It has already created dedicated Rules in collaboration with industry players for the design and construction of each type of service and transport. It also offers sustainability services, including impact monitoring, emissions reduction, vessel optimization and modification.

For thousands of years, inland water transport has played a central role in human and economic development. With the new energy transition, the sector is set to play an even greater role in the downstream economy and modern supply chain.