In 2022, the inland waterway transport sector experienced a significant drop in activity, reaching its lowest level in a decade. 

According to the latest data from Eurostat, inland waterway transport performance decreased by 10% in 2022 compared with 2021, while the volume of goods transported fell by 5%. This downward trend affected almost all EU countries with inland waterways, except for Lithuania and Finland, which recorded modest increases.

The statistics showed that Netherlands and Germany remained the dominant players in the EU inland waterway transport market, accounting for 73% of the total transport performance in 2022. However, both countries also suffered losses compared with 2021, with Germany registering the highest decrease in absolute terms. 

The data also showed that more than half of the freight transport on EU inland waterways was conducted by vessels registered in the Netherlands (51%), followed by Germany (16%) and Belgium (9%). Dutch vessels were the most active in several countries, including Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

For more information and detailed statistics on inland waterway transport in the EU, please visit the Eurostat website.