Waterway transport is best alternative to trucks
During the second quarter of 2018, waterways have been used to transport more than 52 million tons of freight. For the whole year of 2017, that amount is up to 201 million tons. This, according to real estate group Ceusters, proves that waterway transport is the solution for a cheaper, more economical and more efficient form of transport. Plus, road congestion isn’t an issue.
“Our country has all assets in hands to make more use of this alternative network. Belgium counts 1.076 km of waterways, located at the heart of the 25.000 km long European network. It connects all the main industrial and maritime centers”, declares Ingrid Ceusters, CEO of the real estate group Ceusters.
201 million tons
Back in 2017, Belgian barges have managed to transport no less than 36.808 containers or some 201 million tons. During the year, they have traveled more than 11 billion kilometers. For the second quarter of 2018 alone, 52 million tons were transported using waterways.
This trend seems likely to continue in the long term, given the investments made on the transnational European network. “This mode of transport is cheaper, more economical and more punctual than using trucks. Thus, it’s one of the most obvious solutions to the congestion problem on our roads”, continues Mrs. Ceusters.
Wallonia lagging behind
In spite of investments, Wallonia’s waterways are still lagging behind. According to the March 2019 numbers from the regional administration (Iweps), the tonnage hasn’t increased since 2000. Today still, only 42 million tons are transported on the 451 km long Walloon network.
Things are bound to evolve, especially after the 500 million euro investment program launched in 2017 by Maxime Prévot (cdH) starts this year. Moreover, the newly opened Perex 4.0 traffic control centre will help manage the eventual waterway traffic increase.