River Cargo Transportation


At present, a world trend in distribution of cargo traffic is limiting car transport. For example, in accordance with the program of inner waterway transport development in European Union countries, published by Inland Navigation in Europe — INE, by 2030 it is planned to transfer a third of cargo traffic done by car transport to distances of over 300 km to railroad and water transport, while by 2050 this index, in accordance with the program, should reach a half. Besides, by 2030, in case of car transport restrictions, СО2 emissions are expected to reduce by 30%.

In Russia emphasis should be made on transferring a part of cargo from car and railroad transport to inland waterways. Our equivalent of the above mentioned document is “Strategy of inland waterway transport development for the period of up to 2030” (draft), the stipulated measures of which will cause transfer of cargo traffic from car transport to inland waterway transport in the volume of 8.7 million tons, while that from railroad — 14 million tons.

However, modern condition of inland waterway cargo transportation in Russia is characterized with low competitiveness of water transport comparing to other kinds of transport and distinctive dependence on the main consumer of river transport services, i.e. building organizations. For example, according to Rosstat, the share of river transportation in the structure of cargo transportation by all other kinds of transport (including pipelines) makes up about 1–2%, while the share of railroad transport — about 40%. In the meantime, now we face limitations of railroad capacity and rising tariffs for railroad transportation. On the opposite, inland waterways have available capacity, while tariffs for inland waterway transportation are 25–30% lower than railroad ones. That is why, according to market experts, a part of inexpensive cargo, for example, non-metallic materials, should be transferred from railroad to river.

However, it should be stated that inland waterway transportation has a number of objective restrictions: limited navigation period (on average, 5–7 months), and meridional river current, which does not allow transporting cargo from west to east and vice versa.

For more information, please, see Market of Inland Waterway Cargo Transportation. Current Situation and Forecast” by Intesco Research Group.

The given figures were calculated by analysts of Intesco Research Group based on official statistics.