Digitalisation is an important source of growth, innovation and new business, transforming our economy and society at a rapid pace. Inland Waterway Transport requires a digital transition of the business processes of stakeholders in Inland Waterborne Transport (IWT).
In 2016 the European Commission – DG MOVE – commissioned a study for investigating the potential for digitalisation in the IWT sector and to define a concept for the Digital Inland Waterway Area – DINA. In the DINA study it has been concluded that it is essential for the future competitiveness of inland waterway transport to follow the trends in digitalisation: in some cases IWT competes with other modes of transport whilst in other cases IWT is part of a larger multi-modal chain making collaboration an essential prerequisite.
An important pre-condition for a successful digital transition is the availability of digitalised Inland Waterways supported by the fairway authorities. The digital infrastructure of Inland Waterways will support the digital transition of business processes in IWT and will facilitate the IWT stakeholders with the required harmonised and standardised digital services on the European network level.
In order to meet this challenge, five national fairway authorities of the Member States Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands are embarking on a joint project to create a Masterplan Digitalisation of Inland Waterways.