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WP1 | Markets


Inland navigation has definitely outgrown the status of a bulk mover and successfully established itself in higher-value markets. Despite these successes, some other market developments have clearly fallen short of expectations, e.g. the container transport in Central and Eastern Europe. Because the information that target groups have about inland waterway transport is not always complete, correct or communicated, PLATINA aims at raising knowledge and thus indirectly changing behaviour.

Several difficulties need to be overcome so that inland navigation can achieve a higher share in growing transport markets. Apart from the difficulty to access capital for the establishment of new services, existing good practices in inland waterway transport are not disseminated on a large scale. This results in a limited awareness of its real opportunities for potential customers.

Furthermore, administrative and regulatory barriers may complicate or even hinder the establishment of new services and market initiatives. Administrative procedures must be assessed to consider simplification or removal and to establish a level playing field between Member States and between modes of transport.

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Work Package leader biography

Simon Hartl is project manager at via donau. Since 2011 he is work package leader in the PLATINA project. Simon holds a master degree from Vienna University of Technology in spatial planning and has experience in transport economics and infrastructure policy. In the last four years at via donau, he gained expertise in the development and implementation of inland navigation policy at European as well as at national level. Simon coordinated and implemented a project which supports the promotion of business locations along the Austrian Danube to the logistics and forwarding industry. He is a native speaker of German; fluent in English and has a good knowledge of Polish.


3 questions to Simon Hartl

  • What do you like most about your work?
    The great thing about our work is that most of our initiatives and plans generally do not end up in a drawer but usually get implemented. It's most rewarding to see that our work actually makes a difference.
  • If you could have one wish for inland navigation, what would it be?
    There are number of barriers, which currently prevent inland waterway transport from taking up a more prominent role in the European transport system. I think with NAIADES and the PLATINA we have identified many important issues.
  • What does PLATINA do for you?
    In the end it is very rewarding to see that many of the activities set up years ago, have meanwhile materialised and have been taken up by others.