EC published the study on the future digitalization of inland waterway transport (DINA)

Today, the European Commission – Mobility and Transport DG published the study on the future digitalization of inland waterway transport. (DOWNLOAD HERE)

The proposed Digital Inland Waterway Area (DINA) is a concept to interconnect information on infrastructure, people, operations, fleet and cargo in the inland waterway transport sector and to connect this information with other transport modes. An architecture is proposed that allows for the controlled sharing of this information which can serve as platform for future developments.

  • DINA builds on existing investments and developments such as existing components of River Information Services. Extensions are proposed to enable real-time data exchange and the improved integration of other actors such as shippers, logistics service providers and inland ports.
  • Furthermore a digital environment (‘data platform’) for barge operators is needed to allow them to control data on their vessel, voyages, cargo and crew. They can use this data for their own purposes such as smart navigation but also share it in a controlled way with others actors, e.g. for reporting purposes.
  • It is envisioned that a new on-board toolkit (e-IWT) will be needed to connect barges with this digital environment and provide functionality for skippers as one of the end-user categories.

The report recommends to focus on two aspects as part of the implementation roadmap for DINA:

  • Standardization and governance: providing adequate governance mechanisms to develop and maintain the
    standards used in DINA. This can provide the necessary economies of scale. In addition, this is needed to align with developments in other modalities.
  • Public-private collaboration and shared innovation programmes to develop the various components of DINA
    and to encourage the development of new digital service as part of it.

Various policy options exist for financing DINA. This includes finding a mix between public and private funding, as well as national and European funding. A possibility is to fund certain development and set-up costs, lowering the investment barrier for barge operators and others to acquire the required tools and digital services.