On May 16, the Belgian Presidency organized a pivotal Smart Shipping Conference focused on Inland Waterway Transport (IWT). The event aimed to explore the integration of IWT into the broader logistics chain, highlighting the sector’s potential and future needs.

Theresia Hacksteiner, representing the IWT Platform and the European Barge Union (EBU), participated as a member of the first panel. She underscored the significant role of IWT in achieving the EU’s mobility and sustainability goals. As IWT is poised to increase its modal share significantly, digitalization emerges as a crucial tool to support this growth.

The conference also spotlighted the recent submission of the Inland Water Transport Digitalisation Vision by the NAIADES 3 Expert Group on Digitalisation. This vision anticipates that by 2035, smart shipping will be fully realized, encompassing various elements such as administration, vessels, data sharing, and infrastructure.

In her address, Hacksteiner emphasized the critical importance of River Information Services (RIS) and their full implementation, as well as the connectivity of RIS to other IT platforms to ensure seamless integration into the logistics chain. She praised the Belgian Presidency’s efforts in negotiating and advancing the proposed RIS revision, which achieved a general consensus during their mandate.