Inland navigation is safe, efficient, productive, cost-effective and contributes to decarbonisation. Therefore, Austria is open to new ideas in line with its EU Presidency and will continue to develop targeted passenger and freight traffic on the Danube, emphasised Transport Minister Norbert Hofer in his speech at the 2018 Danube Business Talks, which are held in Vienna on 10th and 11th October.
To develop environmentally friendly transport, the Minister stressed the need for close cooperation between Danube riparians in implementing measures to modernise inland ports and for better navigability of the waterway. In addition, digitalisation programs in inland navigation need to be further promoted.
“On the Danube, about 40 million tonnes of goods were transported in 2017 and there are some ports handling more than one million tonnes of cargo per year.” But there was still enormous potential for more freight and passenger transport, according to Désirée Oen, Policy Coordinator for the Rhine-Danube Corridor, European Commission.
She named good navigability on the Danube for inland shipping as the most important task for the future. For this, the hurdles in Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria need to be eliminated. The aim is to create a high-performance and highly efficient Rhine-Main Danube corridor.
The third edition of the “Danube Business Talks”, designed as a B2B platform for innovative transport and logistics solutions on the Danube, will be attended by around 200 people from the international business community, experts and people interested in the transport industry. This time, the focus will be on new markets for Danube logistics in the European bioenergy and biomass sector. In addition to the opportunities and perspectives for freight shipping in this promising sector, trends and potentials for passenger shipping on the Danube will be discussed there for the first time.
The event provides an opportunity for private and public sector networking and exchange on recent developments, impulses and innovations in the field of Danube navigation. The Austrian EU Presidency provides the framework for the development of cross-border solutions to strengthen the Danube as a transport corridor in the European transport network.