On 8th October 2013, DTG participated in the forum Europäische Binnenschifffahrt on the issue “challenge and perspectives”. The meeting was held for the first time and jointly hosted by the three leading journals Binnenschifffahrt, Schifffahrt und Technik, and Schuttevaer. Interested industry experts were invited into the Museum der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt (German Inland Waterways Museum) in Duisburg-Ruhrort. In four workshops, around 120 experts from industry and commerce, from banks, insurance companies and shippers, as well as from associations and institutions discussed current developments in inland navigation and future challenges of the branch. A wide range of contents broached issues such as the role of inland waterways in the transport chain, general development of waterways, new technical innovations, more stringent environmental regulations, cargo markets, and (ship) financing. Above all, the current market crisis that has been persisting for years was at the centre of varied analyses answering the question of “why” and making approaches for ways out.

In this context, DTG director Roberto Spranzi demanded investments urgently needed in the inland waterway infrastructure during the panel discussion of the workshop “Verkehrsweg Wasserstraße – Netzausbau versus Priorisierung” (“transport route waterway – network expansion versus prioritization”). “Current shortcomings, such as lack of reliability and overcapacity, could largely be remedied by simply repairing the existing infrastructure. Like that, lost quantities will find their way back to waterways”, Spranzi concluded his appeal to the political authorities to provide the necessary funds.