Innovative Waterway Transportation

EU Interreg NSR Project


InnoWaTr (Innovative Waterway Transportation) is a sustainability and innovation project funded by the EU. InnoWaTr aims to open up inland waterway transport to additional freight flows through cooperative Freight Flow Coalitions (FFC) and, in doing so, promote the Modal Shift, which is the shift of transportation from the road to inland waterways and inland water routes.

Project Duration: April 2023 - June 2026

Programm EU Interreg North Sea Region 2021 – 2027 (European Regional Development Fund)

Project Budget: Total 5.74 million EUR, Funding (ERDF): 3.45 million EUR.

Project Focus Areas:

  • Testing a collaborative Freight Flow Coalition (FFC) approach.
  • Deployment of autonomous or remotely controlled vessel units in the participating regions.
  • Acceleration of the shift of traffic from road to water.
  • 8 pilot tests within regional FFC cooperations, including:
    • Hamburg Use Case: Piloting an urban shuttle delivery service for retailers in the Überseequartier in the HafenCity using inland waterway transport.
    • Northern German Use Case: Establishing a container line by inland waterway transport between Bremerhaven and Hamburg.

The project consortium consists of 25 partners from 5 different countries (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Sweden) and brings together academic and economic actors, as well as cities and regions.

Project Partners:

  • Logistik-Initiative Hamburg, DE
  • TOP Mehrwert-Logistik GmbH & Co. KG, DE
  • Wirtschaftsverband Weser e.V, DE
  • Kuehne Logistics University gGmbH, DE
  • bremenports GmbH & Co. KG, DE
  • GmbH, DE
  • Norddeutsche Wasserweg Logistik GmbH, DE
  • Opleidingscentrum voor Hout en Bouw vzw, BE
  • POM Oost-Vlaanderen, BE
  • Urban Waterway Logistics, BE
  • European Inland Waterway Transport Platform, BE
  • Maritieme Academie Harlingen, NL
  • Provinz Friesland No, NL
  • Provinz Groningen No, NL
  • Afvalsturing Friesland NV (OMRIN), NL
  • KOTUG International BV, NL
  • Auto mooring Solutions, NL
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, NL
  • Sogestran Logistics, FR
  • Institut du Droit International des Transports, FR
  • CIRCOE Centre de conseil et d’innovation en logistique, FR
  • SSPA Sweden AB, SWE
  • Göteborgs universitet, SWE
  • Skaw Shipping & Transport, SWE


The Logistics Initiative Hamburg serves as the coordinator for the FFC "City Logistics Retail" in Hamburg within the project and supports the Northern German FFC "Container Transport Bremerhaven Hamburg." Other partners of the two Northern German FFCs include:

  • Wirtschaftsverband Weser e.V. (Bremen)
  • bremenports GmbH & Co. KG (Bremen)
  • TOP Mehrwert-Logistik GmbH & Co. KG (Hamburg)
  • Kuehne Logistics University gGmbH (Hamburg)
  • Urban Waterway Logistics (Gent)

In addition, various associated partners support the project, including:

  • Rijkswaterstaat
  • Port of Hamburg
  • VNF

As part of the European Green Deal and the Fit-for-55 package, the European Union aims to significantly reduce emissions from inland waterway transport. The EU's goal, among others, for inland waterway transport is net-zero emissions. This means that greenhouse gas emissions from inland waterway transport must be completely offset by 2050. This can be achieved through a combination of measures, such as the introduction of carbon pricing, the promotion of renewable energy and hydrogen use, and the improvement of ship efficiency.

In the implementation of these goals, shipowners also play a crucial role. They are often small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) heavily dependent on other stakeholders. Inland waterway transport companies alone are not in a position to convince financiers with long-term securities and sufficiently sustainable proposals to realize innovations.

The InnoWaTr project introduces a collaborative approach that serves as a practical and inspiring strategy for massive follow-up. The InnoWaTr solution shifts the focus from inland waterway transport companies alone to the level of holistic freight flows, involving all relevant stakeholders. By uniting interest groups in dedicated Freight Flow Coalitions, interests, responsibilities, benefits, costs, and benefits are shared, resulting in a proven model approach that works.

The goal of InnoWaTr is to create broad awareness of the added value of a practical and well-guided approach. InnoWatr is committed to stakeholder-targeted communication, supported by inspiring practical guidance, achieved results, and applied strategies.

The project is not yet completed. The project is not yet completed. Project work status and results will be published regularly on this website.


Project Website:  Website

Social Media:  LinkedIn

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