Inland Waterways

  • Inland waterway vessels are seen as the most ecological mode of transport. No other mode of transport is in a position to achieve the same transport-performance in such an environmentally-friendly way. The Port of Hamburg is the second largest inland port in Germany. In 2019 approximately 9,000 inland waterway vessels tied up at the some 100 berths especially designated for them and transported around 8.9 million tons of cargo. Cargo leaves Hamburg daily on the River Elbe and the canals into the hinterland. There are regular services on the middle and upper Elbe in the direction of Magdeburg, Aken, Torgau, Riesa, Dresden and even to the Czech Republic to Děčin, Ústí nad Labem and Lovosice. Along the Lower Elbe Brunsbüttel, Cuxhaven and Glückstadt, among others can be served. In the Elbe Lateral Canal the link to the Mittellandkanal is also the connection to Braunschweig, Haldensleben, Hanover and Minden as well as to the Ruhr region and the inland ports of the Rhein, Main, Mosel and Neckar. Cargo also finds it way to Berlin via the inland waterways.

New Concepts for Inland Waterway Shipping in Hamburg

  • Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for inland waterway shipping

    HPA is currently working on a scheme for developing an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) strategy for inland waterway shipping in Hamburg. This aims to optimize data interchange for inland waterway vessel services. Traffic data for all the players in the transport chain could in future flow into the system: Schedule and cargo data for inland waterway craft, terminal/lock/bridge availability, Elbe water levels and other current traffic data from the Harbourmaster’s Office and the Nautical Centre. “Our aim is to optimize availability of data for inland waterway shipping in the Port of Hamburg, to enhance the reliability and calculability of transport processes, and to boost the utilization and efficiency of transport infrastructure,” explains Saskia Zippel, responsible at HPA for its Inland Waterway Shipping Strategy. In addition, the ITS will reduce costs for users and improve traffic safety for inland waterway vessels. Data interchange between all players in the transport chain would be paperless, simplified and accelerated. Among other advantages, this will enable inland waterway skippers and terminals to react more flexibly to non-scheduled delays or changes. Connecting this system to the smartPORT logistics (SPL) project will make the entire transport chain more transparent and efficient, with inland waterway shipping incorporated too. A first pilot project to detect berth occupancy and inland waterway vessel arrivals in the Port of Hamburg will commence next year.

(c) HHM / Dietmar Hasenpusch

Overview of all berths for inland waterway craft in the Port of Hamburg

  • The Port of Hamburg provides 106 public berths for inland waterway craft. A map just published
    by Hamburg Port Authority shows where to find them: This also indicates the main features of berth equipment and is continually being extended and updated.

BiSchi Online

    (c) HHM / Dietmar Hasenpusch

    Inland ports in the Elbe river area

    News & further information

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