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SWP1.3 | Benchmarks and good practices


One way to raise awareness of inland waterway transport is to collect and disseminate success stories from the sector. Raising the visibility of these successes contributes to further market penetration in new business segments and enhance the image of the inland waterway sector as a successful partner in business.


This Sub-Work Package aims to stimulate innovative transport solutions and increase the awareness of shippers and a broader audience on the efficiency of inland navigation. It should raise the visibility of the IWT sector and the opportunities it offers. In the course of this horizontal activity good practices from the five different PLATINA coordination activities (Markets, Fleet, Jobs & Skills, Image and Infrastructure) are collected and disseminated.

Description of work

Within this Sub-Work Package a methodological approach for collecting information on good practices was developed. Working instructions are prepared and distributed to the leaders of Work Package 1 to 5 (Markets, Fleet, Jobs & Skills, Image and Infrastructure) on a continuous basis.

Information on good practices is collected on the basis of the existing know-how and contact networks of the participating partners. This task is complemented by a review of literature and internet sources, interviews or questionnaires.

Identified good practices are put in an evaluation matrix in order to assess how they contribute to EU transport policy objectives (e.g. emission reduction, modal shift improvements, environmental protection) and to business objectives (efficiency improvements, cost savings). The evaluation gives clear indications on how successful a good practice might be taking into account the feasibility of a wider implementation across Europe.

Achievements January-May 2011

At the beginning of April 2011 the PLATINA team launched the European Good Practices Database for Inland Waterway Transport (www.naiades.info/good-practices). For the first time, good practices and benchmarks in inland waterway transport are shared via a single website, thereby facilitating know-how transfer and networking across Europe. The Good Practices Database is aimed at inland navigation operators and users as well as at inland navigation experts and political stakeholders. It is an easy-to-use online tool providing a comprehensive overview on innovative ideas and successful projects in European inland navigation.

Targeted search requests guide to basic information on good practices and to contact addresses for more detailed information. A latest release section presents updates and new entries. The design of the online good practices portal is similar to the one of the European Funding Database for Inland Waterway Transport (www.naiades.info/funding).

In parallel, the final edition of the PLATINA Good Practices Report was published (www.naiades.info/downloads). The PLATINA team updated the information on good practices included in the first and second version of the PLATINA Good Practices Report and added various new good practices to the existing set. Furthermore, a detailed in-depth analysis of successful cases was carried out (see Annex I). For the selection of these cases the existence or possibility of implementation in many EU countries was an important criterion. More data has been collected and analyses carried out regarding organisational matters, the roles of the stakeholders involved, communication aspects, etc. The objective is to learn more of selected good practices and to search for key factors in order to implement similar cases elsewhere. Additionally, the design of the report was geared towards external target groups in order to facilitate the dissemination of successful projects and initiatives.

In addition to the Good Practices Database and the Good Practices Report an information flyer will help to disseminate information on European good practices and benchmarks at project meetings, conferences and other events.

Sub-Work Package leader biography

Johan Gille is senior consultant at ECORYS. He has 9 years of professional experience in the area of freight transport, inland waterways and ports. Johan is currently involved in a study on the competitiveness of the European Shipbuilding Industry and a study on the impact of Emission trading on shipping. He is leading a workpackage under the FP7 project BE LOGIC concerning inland terminals. In Platina, he coordinates SWP1.3 on best practices.

3 questions to Johan Gille

  • What do you like most about your work?
    What I like most is to work in teams where we can brainstorm and together develop solutions for societal problems. Especially working in a mixed team of economists, engineers, operational experts gives me a lot of pleasure.
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    There is a lot to be desired for inland shipping in each of the five NAIADES themes, but one thing that offers potential in my view is fair and efficient pricing. At ECORYS we have been studying this topic for all transport modes and I really believe that waterway transport can benefit, especially in areas suffering road congestion. Furthermore great challenges for the future will be the accessibility of sea ports. The plans in Rotterdam to develop a hub outside the main port area is just one example of the increasingly important role that inland shipping can get.
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    It helps me in gaining knowledge on topics outside my usual working areas (country wise as well as topic wise - for example the matter of labour and knowledge) that I can benefit from in other work. Furthermore it is a great opportunity to work with experts from around Europe and exchange experiences, and to help others to develop concepts feasible in various countries.