Inland waterways freight transport - quarterly and annual data
From Statistics Explained
- Data from December 2012, 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) (including 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 beginning of 2012
Compared to the height of the global economic crisis a recovery is observed until the third quarter 2010 for inland waterways transport performance in TKm of EU ports (transit transport in Bulgaria excluded).
However, after the fall of about 9% between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, transport performance recovered again in the first three quarters of 2011 followed by another drop of more than 10% in the fourth quarter of 2011. But again a strong recovery is observed in the first semester of 2012 (+11% between the 1st and the 2nd quarter 2012).
These ups and downs confirm that the recovery of European port activity is relatively fragile, but at a higher level compared to the years of the global economic crisis.
The EU total in terms of transported volumes (in 1 000 tonnes) showed a pattern similar to the transport performance in tonne-kilometres. However, drops and recoveries are less important than for tonne-kilometres (-2% between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011 and -6% in the fourth quarter of 2011
After recovery in 2010 another renewed decline for inland waterways transport in 2011
In 2011, national transport performance in TKm increased by 6% while international transport performance decreased by nearly 4%. However the weight of goods transported on EU inland waterways increased for both national and international transport. Though, this was the case for the EU total transport volume. After an increase of more than 14% from 2009 to 2010, it increased again by more than 7% between 2010 and 2011. This was mainly due to a growth of national transport volumes in all EU countries except Slovakia. International transport volumes only increased in Belgium and the Netherlands showing similar rates to national transport. The increase in total transport performance in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Finland could not compensate for the downturn in all other EU countries listed in table 3.
Transport performance in TKm for national transport rose in all EU countries while it decreased for international transport. Only Belgium and the Netherlands were an exception, recording growth for both national and international transport performance. But at EU level as well as in all EU countries except France, Poland and Romania, inland waterways transport contribution to the total international trade of goods is more important than its contribution to national transport of goods. Germany (55 billion TKm) recorded the highest transport performance, followed by the Netherlands (46 billion TKm).
Container transport at the level before the global economic crisis
Movements in EU freight container transport followed a similar quarterly pattern as total transport up to the fourth quarter 2010. But contrary to total transport performance the uptrend for the container transport performance (expressed as TEU-km) already started in the first quarter of 2011, and reached a higher level than recorded before the global economic crisis in the third quarter of 2011. However in the fourth quarter of 2011 another decline was recorded. Similarly to total transport, a recovery of container transport is observed in the 1st semester 2012 (+9% between the 4th quarter 2011 and the 1st quarter 2012).
Compared with 2010, EU freight container transport performance in 2011 rose by 15.1% for loaded and 22.3% for empty containers giving a 17.1% rise in total. Total container transport performance in 2011 reached a level which is more than 7% above the value in 2007 before the global economic crisis. The largest contribution came from the Netherlands, which replaced Germany, the leading country in total container transport performance in previous years. This was mainly due to a doubling of transport of loaded containers in the Netherlands and a reduction of about 20% in Germany.
‘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 2011. Compared with 2010, the shares for these groups in total transport performance decreased by 2.3 and 1.6 percentage points respectively. This was also the case for ‘agricultural products’ (01) as well as for ‘coal and crude petroleum products’ (02) which decreased by 1.7 and 1.0 percentage points respectively. Between 2010 and 2011 only ‘coke and refined petroleum products’ (07) with a growth of more than 19% and ‘chemicals, chemical products, man-made fibers, rubber and plastic products, nuclear fuel’ (08) with almost 46% recorded a rise in transport performance. As in 2010, the shares in total transport performance of ‘coal and crude petroleum’ (02), ‘metal ores’ (03), ‘agricultural products’ (01) and the category ‘others’ decreased in 2011.
Only self-propelled barges increased shares in total EU transport performance in 2011
In 2011, either ‘self-propelled barge’ or ‘barge not self-propelled’ were the predominant types of vessel used for goods transport on EU inland waterways. The first vessel type was the only one which increased its total transport performance between 2010 and 2011. 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 87%). The only exception was Slovakia where ‘other goods carrying vessels’ accounted for almost 56% 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: 20110 and 2012 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.
Italy: Data are delivered on a voluntary basis. 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, 2011 and 2012 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 and 2011 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 - quarterly and annual data
- 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