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Concepts to reduce environmental impact and attain optimal transport performance by inland navigation (CREATING)

Final Report Summary - CREATING (Concepts to Reduce Environmental impact and Attain optimal Transport performance by Inland NaviGation)

The project 'Concepts To Reduce Environmental Impact And Attain Optimal Transport Performance By Inland Navigation' (CREATING) aimed at stimulating the transport via inland waterways by identifying land-based cargo flows that can be maritimised as well as shippers interested in shifting their cargo to inland waterways and providing the optimal logistic and technical conditions to make this modal shift a success.
Maritime cargo is already to a large extent transported onward from seaports via water, but continental cargo is still for almost 100% transported via road. Still there is a strong and increasing demand to accommodate transport via water as much as possible because the increasing transport flows via roads lead to a strong decrease of mobility and severely contribute to the exhaust of harmful gasses and materials. The aim of CREATING was to reach the goal: 'stimulating the transport via water' by strengthening the position in the transport market of the entrepreneur of inland navigation.

To achieve this goal a strong team was required, and that was indeed the case. The project team comprised 27 partners from 9 countries and includes research institutes, governmental organisations, universities, shipyards and branch organisations of shippers, ship owners and shipbuilders.

The project was structured into work packages, as follows:
WP 2: Logistics and economics
WP 3: Ship Design
WP 4: Performance Assessment
WP 5: Ship Hydrodynamics
WP 6: Environmental impact
WP 7: Demonstrators
WP 8: Safety Calculations
WP 9: Safety improvements
WP 10: Dissemination of results

The transport of continental cargo flows takes place almost completely by road. Some of these flows can (and should) be maritimised. Finding feasible cargo flows in that respect is the prime mission of work package (WP) 2. Of course, for the considerations of WP 2 besides the logistics, the economics are of the utmost importance. To be able to detect these flows, out of a database encompassing the major continental cargo flows of Europe, criteria were developed to support and speed up the identification process. Logistics also includes the handling of cargo: The costs of cargo handling are often prohibitive for transport by ships and in order to optimise the processes involved, detailed studies with respect to loading and unloading equipment are carried out.

The processes in WP 2 lead to the formulation of 4 feasible cases. In the selection of cases for elaboration, CREATING required that commercial parties expressed their interest and (if necessary) cooperate in these cases. This was also carried out this way. All cases were directly supported by business partners. Subsequently the cases were handed over to the team of WP 3: Design of innovative vessel concepts. In order to be able to produce first global designs intermediate input was required from the other more technical oriented work packages: WP 5, 6, 8 and 9.
First input was required from the ship hydrodynamics, WP 5. WP 5 aims at reducing the resistance of the ship and improving the efficiency of the propulsors. They ended up with the generation of a propulsion tool box on basis of which first designs of hull and propulsion systems were carried out. However, when required in the course of CREATING, specific assistance to the prevailing cases which are designed in WP 3, was given.

Reduction of exhaust gasses and particles, which can strengthen the position of inland navigation can not only be achieved by optimising hull and propulsor to minimise fuel consumption but can also be achieved by the application of modern engines and various techniques to reduce the exhaust of gasses and particles. First of all benefits can be obtained by introducing speed control equipment (economisers) and also by the application of after treatment techniques. These are the subjects of study in WP 6. These aspects are of special interest for the 'green' transport by inland navigation and may significantly contribute to a cleaner world.

Another very important issue is safety. Transport (especially in case of dangerous goods) must take place on basis of a (as high as possible) safety level for people on board, the environment (both part of the internals system) as well as for citizens living near by the transport corridors (the external system). This can be done by reducing the probability of an accident as well as the effects of an accident. In WP 8 (defining risk calculation methods) and WP 9 (the safety measures that can be taken, including a quantification of their positive effects) both were subject to this research. Apart from actually increasing the safety of inland ships, CREATING also aimed at defining and proposing standards for the calculation of external risk and the methods to monitor and evaluate accidents that occur. Also within the framework of CREATING a proposal was set forth to introduce Nautical Risk as a better instrument than External Risk.

Logistic requirements as well as the desire to reduce the emissions and improve safety of inland navigation lead to the global design of new vessel concepts. These were worked out in WP 3. In this WP the economics also play an important role. Of course, transport should be as favorable as possible for the environment, but the economic benefits should outweigh the costs, otherwise the transport is not considered to be feasible.

The performances of the new designs were assessed in WP 4. Also in this WP a comparison with the other modalities was determined on basis of logistics, economics, environmental impact and safety. The performance should at least meet the economic and logistic requirements set forth by the chain approach as worked out in WP 2.

There are already a lot of existing possibilities to reduce the energy consumption and the exhaust of harmful particles. A number of these was demonstrated (WP 7) in course of CREATING, showing the positive effect as well as the cost benefits. Type and number of the Demonstrators were determined during the second year of CREATING. The results were:
- A logistical demonstrator, given at three exhibitions
- A ship design demonstrator, organised and given at the CCR,
- The Cleanest Ship demonstrator, given at Rotterdam and Brussels.
The last two demonstrators could not be organised within the formal time schedule of CREATING. Therefore it was asked that the project could extend up to February 29th 2008. This request was sustained.

Finally in WP 10, the dissemination of results was taken care of. The results include recommendations on existing rules and regulations and recommendations to adopt proposed standards. However, also during the process of CREATING, the intermediate results were released.

More information on this project is available via the internet. The project has its own website with both a public part and a restricted area for project participants. It is accessible via