Inland waterways freight transport - quarterly and annual data
From Statistics Explained
- Data from November 2011, most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
This article presents the main results from annual and quarterly statistics on inland waterways goods transport in the European Union (EU) and Croatia. The article is based on both, quarterly and annual data, for total and container transport, while data on the type of transport, type of goods and type of vessels are only shown on a yearly basis.
Main statistical findings
Recovery of total EU inland waterways transport EU in 2010 - but growth rates fluctuating between countries
Compared to the global economic crisis in 2009 a strong recovery is observed in early 2010 for inland waterways transport performance of EU ports (transit transport in Bulgaria excluded) reaching almost the pre-crisis level.
However, the fall of 3 % in the fourth quarter 2010 and the slump of 11 % in the first quarter of 2011, due to extreme weather conditions in some countries in January 2011, suggest that the recovery of European port activity is fragile. With these two latest quarterly falls, transport performance in Q1 of 2011 comes close to the levels recorded during the year of the global economic crisis.
International transport dominates inland waterways freight transport
In 2010, transport on the EU inland waterways network increased for all types of transport (total, national and international) for both transport performance (Tkm) and transport volume (tonnes). Among the countries listed in Table 3, only Poland and Lithuania did not contribute to the overall rise of the EU total transport performance between 2009 and 2010.
International transport volumes (tonnes) increased between 2009 and 2010, substantially faster than national transport. Bulgaria (+4.2 % rise in international versus -23.1 % fall in national), Hungary (+29.0 % versus -29.6 %) and Poland (+10.6 % versus -28.8 %) stood out. For transport performance in Tkm, only Hungary (+34.0 % versus -6.0 %) and Poland (+12.8 % versus -51.7 %) showed the same pattern. With the exception of France and Poland, international transport is more important than national transport. Germany (62 Mio Tkm) is the country recording the highest transport performance, followed by the Netherlands (40 Mio Tkm), while in terms of transport volumes this ranking is inversed (about 304 Mio tonnes in the Netherlands and nearly 230 Mio tonnes in Germany), a reflection of the longer distances travelled in Germany.
Container transport develops better than total transport
Movements in EU freight container transport followed a similar quarterly pattern to total transport up to the fourth quarter 2010. In the first quarter of 2011 freight container transport increased by 11 % in contrast to the fall in total transport in the same quarter (see Figure 1). However, the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2011 was around 15 % down compared to the peak in the period before the economic crisis (third quarter of 2007).
Compared to 2009, EU freight container transport performance (expressed as TEU-km) in 2010 rose 16.0 % for loaded and 18.7 % for empty containers giving a 16.7 % rise in the total. Germany is the only country where growth rates are higher than EU growth rates for both loaded (17.3 %) and empty (30.4 %) containers. But in 2010, absolute values for total container transport performance reached the levels before the economic crisis in Germany, France, Romania and Slovakia. In contrast to total inland waterways transport, EU container transport shows in general a trend towards transport over longer distances, especially for empty containers in Bulgaria and Romania.
‘Metal ores’ is the most important individual goods category transported
At the EU level, the main types of goods (according to NST2007) transported are the categories ‘other’ and ‘metal ores’. Together they account for more than half of all goods transport on EU inland waterways in 2010. Between 2009 and 2010 all main goods categories recorded a rise in transport performance. Apart from the categories ‘other’ (20) and ‘unidentifiable goods’ (19), the largest increases were registered for ‘coal and crude petroleum (02) with more than 13 % and ‘metal ores’ (03) with almost 13 %. However, the shares of ‘coal and lignite’, ‘metal ores’, agricultural products’ (01) and ‘coke and refined petroleum products’ (07) in total goods transport decreased from 2009 to 2010 by a little under 0.5 percentage points. These falls were mainly compensated by the category ‘other’, which showed an increase of its already high share by 0.6 percentage points.
Increasing transport performance for all types of vessels in the EU from 2009 to 2010
In 2010, either ‘self-propelled barge’ or ‘barge not self-propelled’ were the predominant types of vessel used for goods transport on EU inland waterways. Out of the 13 countries, for which data are available, one of these two vessel categories transported the largest volumes in 6 countries each. ‘Self-propelled barges’ reached shares of more than 50 % in total transport in the Benelux states and Germany, while ‘barges not self-propelled’ were the dominant element in most eastern European countries, with especially high shares in Poland and Romania (each more than 85 %). The only exception was Slovakia where ‘other goods carrying vessels’ accounted for almost 54 % of total goods transport.
Data sources and availability
All figures presented in this article have been extracted from the Eurostat online inland waterways transport database. The related datasets are collected according to the Regulation 1365/2006 on statistics of goods transport by inland waterways implemented by the Regulation 425/2007 and amended by the Regulation 1304/2007.
13 Member States are obliged to deliver data: Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), Czech Republic (CZ), Germany (DE), France (FR), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Romania (RO), Slovakia (SK) and the United Kingdom (UK). Following the requirements of Regulation 1365/2006 (article 2, point 3), the United Kingdom is delivering only the reduced annual dataset E1 (annex E of the Regulation 1365/2006).
On a voluntary basis, Italy (IT), Lithuania (LT) and Finland (FI) provide the reduced dataset E1 (annex E of the Regulation 1365/2006).
The acceding country Croatia (HR) is providing data according to the Regulation requirements.
- When presenting quarterly data (Figures 1, 2 and Tables 1, 2), EU-27 includes only Member States obliged to provide data with the exception of the United Kingdom.
- When presenting annual transport of goods (Tables 3, 4 and Figures 3 and 4), EU-27 includes data for all Member States providing data.
- When presenting annual container data (Figure 2 and Table 5), EU-27 includes only Member States obliged to provide data with the exception of the United Kingdom.
- When presenting annual data by type of vessel (Figures 5 and 6), EU-27 includes only Member States obliged to provide data with the exception of the United Kingdom.
Calculation of EU aggregates: In Table 4, the EU-27 international and total goods transport in tonnes is calculated excluding double counting. The EU-27 total international transport is calculated by adding the international loadings plus the international unloading for which the loading country is not in the EU-27. Then, the EU-27 total transport is calculated by adding the national transport and the total international transport.
National inland waterways transport: Inland waterways transport between two ports of a national territory irrespective of the nationality of vessel.
International inland waterways transport: Inland waterways transport between two ports located in different national territories.
Inland waterways transit: Inland waterways transport through a national territory between two ports both located in another national territory or national territories provided that in the total journey within the national territory there is no transshipment.
Country specific notes
Belgium: 2010 and 2011 data are estimated and provisional.
Bulgaria: Quarterly transit transport is available from 2010. Annual transit transport is available from 2008 but in 2009 the country implemented a new methodology for the collection of this kind of traffic. To allow comparability, transit traffic has been used for the calculation of 2009-2010 quarterly growth rates
Italy: Data are delivered on a voluntary basis. 2010 data are not yet available. Only a simplified annual dataset is provided.
Lithuania: Data are delivered on a voluntary basis. Only a simplified annual dataset is provided.
The Netherlands: 2010 and 2011 data are estimated and provisional.
Romania: From 2010 (quarterly data), and 2009 (annual data) the country has implemented a new methodology for the collection of transit data.
Finland: Data are delivered on voluntary basis. Only a simplified annual dataset is provided.
United Kingdom: 2010 data are not yet available. Following the requirements of Regulation No 1365/2006 (article 2 point 3), a simplified annual dataset is provided.
Croatia: Quarterly transit transport is not available. Annual transit transport is available starting from 2008.
Breakdown by group of goods
The NST 2007 classification is available on RAMON.
- ":" not available
- "-" not applicable or real zero
- "0" less than half of the unit used and thus rounded to zero
- "p" provisional data
- "e" estimated data
The content of this statistical article is based on data collected within the framework of the Regulation 1365/2006 on statistics of goods transport by inland waterways implemented by the Regulation 425/2007 and amended by the Regulation 1304/2007.
Further Eurostat information
- All transport publications on line
- Energy, transport and environment indicators - 2011 edition
- Inland Waterways freight transport in Europe 2007-2009
- Illustrated Glossary for Transport Statistics - 4th edition
- Transport, see:
- Inland waterways transport (t_iww)
- Goods transport by inland waterways (ttr00007)
- Transport, see:
- Inland waterways transport (iww)
- Inland waterways transport infrastructure (iww_if)
- Inland waterways transport equipment (iww_eq)
- Inland waterways transport - Enterprises, economic performances and employment (iww_ec)
- Inland waterways transport measurement (iww_go)
- Inland waterways transport - accidents (iww_ac)
Methodology / Metadata
- Inland waterways transport measurement - goods (ESMS metadata file - iww_go_esms)
Source data for tables, figures and maps (MS Excel)
- Regulation 1365/2006 of 6 September 2006 on statistics of goods transport by inland waterways and repealing Directive 80/1119
- Regulation 425/2007 of 19 April 2007 implementing Regulation 1365/2006 on statistics of goods transport by inland waterways
- Commission Regulation 1304/2007 of 7 November 2007 amending Directive 95/64, Regulation 1172/98, Regulations 91/2003 and 1365/2006 with respect to the establishment of NST 2007 as the unique classification for transported goods in certain transport modes