ENERGY BARGE • Danube Transnational Programme


The Danube region is not only characterized by its strong biomass potential. Connecting 10 riparian countries, the Danube functions as a high-performance logistics axis, offering a natural infrastructure for inland waterway transport with specific relevance for the transport of bulk cargo.

Already today, agricultural and forestry products account for around 25 % of the total volume of goods (approx. 40 Mio. tons/year) transported along the logistical axis of the Danube. Ports and transhipment sites along the river function as hubs for handling, storage and processing. With the biobased economy gaining momentum all over Europe, another growth market opens up for both the Danube region’s biomass industry as well as for the Danube logistics sector. Especially for biobased raw materials with the majority being categorized as bulk cargo in transport terms, Danube logistics can offer a broad set of facilities and services.

Therefore, encouraging a modal shift of biomass raw materials and products of the bioeconomy towards inland waterway transport and establishing Danube ports as prime hubs for the energetic and chemical-material use and trade of biomass were major goals of the ENERGY BARGE project. Such a modal shift at the same time contributes to the goal to increase transport on inland waterways by 20 % until 2020 as stated in the EU's Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). Therefore, on this modal shift platform practical and first-hand information about logistics service providers and Danube ports facilitating biomass transport and handling is given. The online service gives insight into the most relevant framework conditions for transport, handling and storage of bio-based cargo, and enables cargo owners to inform themselves about the available logistics services along the Danube.

Bioenergy meets Danube logistics - Handbook for a modal shift towards inland waterway transport

In order to better tap both the biomass and the logistics potentials of the Danube region in a sustainable manner, a set of tools that inform private and public actors along the potential supply chains and across country borders, give them practical guidance for business development and bring them together was developed. Eventually, the entire Danube region shall profit from the more widespread and sustainable utilization of its transnational, yet domestic biomass. This handbook is one of these tools. It is designed for actors along the biomass and bioenergy supply and value chains which would like to have a “first peak” into the world of Danube navigation and what it has to offer.

Danube logistics have relevance for all these actors, from biomass suppliers, processing entities such as saw mills, traders of bio-based raw materials and bioenergy products, as well as end users. Based on expert discussions with relevant shipping companies, port operators and logistics service providers from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, the following chapters provide practical information for cargo owners. The focus lies on technical and administrative framework conditions for waterway transport, handling and storage of different types of bio-based cargo.

Inventory of Danube logistics services for transport, handling & storage of biomass

In order to be able to plan transports on the Danube, potential users from the biomass and bioenergy markets need reliable information about the services offered by Danube logistics actors. Therefore, ENERGY BARGE has filed a comprehensive inventory list of Danube logistics service providers that are specialised on logistics requirements of the biomass and bioenergy industry.

The overall objective of this list, which is a project deliverable, is to enable an easy access to information on appropriate port and terminal operators as well as on shipping companies and ship brokers. By providing the contact data of suitable service providers the effort for potential customers of Danube logistics is kept on a minimum. The deliverable is available here:

Logistics requirements of raw materials, intermediates and end products for the bioenergy industry

Logistics service providers and ports need to be aware of special cargo characteristics such as proneness to mechanical devices, moisture or other quality-reducing hazards. To provide a holistic overview, a broad set of interviews was conducted and an overall assessment of logistics requirements for the transport of raw materials, intermediates and end products within bioenergy supply chains was designed. Based on the results, existing potentials and investment needs in the involved ports were defined. The respective assessment document can be accessed here: