Freight transport volume on the Danube river increased again in 2017

Despite restrictions due to ice on the Danube earlier this year, the transport volume increased by 6 per cent

Freight transport volume on the Danube river increased again in 2017

In 2017, a total of 9.6 million tonnes of goods was transported on the Austrian section of the Danube, as Statistics Austria reports. Compared to 2016, this represents an increase of 0.5 million t (+6.0%).

In the first quarter of 2017, the blockades of the Danube for several days due to ice caused a significant slump in transport (-39.7% to 1.6 million tonnes), but this decline was compensated for in subsequent quarters. For the second quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 26.3 percent to 2.7 million tonnes was recorded; in the third quarter the increase was 24 per cent (2.9 million t) and in the fourth quarter 23.4 per cent (2.5 million t). 

The total transport performance (i.e. the product of transport volume and distance travelled) amounted to 9.7 billion tonne-kilometres (tkm) and thus was by 0.4 million tkm (+4.8%) higher than in 2016. Around 2.0 billion tkm (+3.0%) of this transport performance was provided in Austria. The number of laden journeys increased from 8,448 to 8,932 (+5.7%). 

The individual transport sectors developed differently throughout 2017. For international goods receipt, a growth by 12.1 per cent to 4.8 million tonnes was reported and the international goods dispatch increased by 20.5 per cent to 2.4 million tonnes. In contrast, transit through Austria decreased by 7.3 per cent to 2 million tonnes. For inland transport, a drop of 36.1 per cent to 0.4 million tonnes was reported in the reference year.

In terms of freight types, goods of the “iron ore” group were most frequently transported in 2017 with a share of 26.6 percent (2.6 million t) of the total transport volume. In second place was the product group “liquid petroleum products” (share: 14.2%, 1.4 million t), followed by “pig iron and steel, ferroalloys” (share: 11.8%, 1.1 million t) and “nitrogen compounds and fertilizers” (share: 9.2%, 0.9 million tonnes).