The conference, carried out by UNECE in cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Maritime and Inland Navigation, provided a comprehensive overview of current projects to enhance the development of inland waterway transport in Africa, Asia and Europe. For example, China is following the extension of the canal, especially in the Yangtze River, is now more emphasis on increasing the quality and eco-friendliness, including through the establishment of emission-controlled areas from 2019. China relies entirely on LNG. Until 2017 270 LNG ships were built and furnished along the Yangtze LNG filling stations. The Polish government is also planning to return to inland shipping, especially on the Vistula and the Oder. A feasibility study commissioned by the Port of Gdansk in 2017 pointed to the positive effects of the Vistula. A modernization of the fleet and the 108 locks is imminent in the Russian Federation. The latter should be done with state funds, but also a user financing is discussed. In the Czech Republic, after lengthy consideration, the government has noted the overwhelming public interest in the construction of the low-water level and the lock downstream of the Decin harbor. This clears the way for further environmental compensatory measures and construction. As a result the port of Decin will become a part of the coffered Czech waterway network, which will considerably strengthen its function as a trimodal transshipment point especially for downstream lightering’s and payloads upstream. As a participant, Dr. Norbert Wagener sums up that inland waterway transport is strengthening in competitiveness and gaining market share in the above-mentioned regions profit of strong infrastructure investments, modern concepts such as digitization, multimodality, environmentally friendly propulsion technologies and environmental considerations (“Working with Nature”).
Inland Navigation Conference in Wroclaw on 18./19. April 2018 illustrated a worldwide trend towards the (re) vitalization of inland shipping