News articles

Logistics for Europe's Rivers

Supporting EU Strategy for the Danube Region: New FP 7 – project “NEWS” launched

Some European inland waterways are presently utilized way below their theoretical carrying capacity. Inland waterway transport is more and more losing its significance, especially in Central Europe: Cargo transported on the Danube is only 10-20% of that transported on the Rhine. Supporting the EU Strategy for the Danube Region’s target "To improve mobility and intermodality of inland waterways", NEWS (Development of a Next generation European Inland Waterway Ship and logistics system) main objective is to increase transport flows on inland waterways (especially container transport on the Danube) by developing a Next generation European Inland Waterway Ship and logistics system to make IWT more cost-, time- and ecologically efficient. Customers will be convinced to invest into NEWS with the help of a preliminary approval, logistics concept, port preparation, a finance and business plan and the demonstration of usability and performance.

NEWS combines technical and logistical innovations to assist cross-border European challenges for an optimized inland waterway transport and the integration of waterborne transport into the intermodal logistics chain. Its most decisive innovative features are:

  • An increase of transport efficiency (up to +100% TEU) by re-designing a container-specified hull
  • A patented central ballast tank enabling the ship to vary draught and air draught might increase the days of navigability 
  • An increase of resource efficiency (up to 30%) by installing an adjustable LNG-electric energy- and propulsion system
  • A special-designed logistics system for the respective demands of the targeted markets
  • New river ports infrastructure concepts
  • The possibility to adapt NEWS for UN-classes III and IV to make secondary waterways in Europe accessible for effective container transport

NEWS is coordinated by Vienna University of Technology (Austria). The international and well-balanced consortium consists of four universities and research institutes, five SMEs and one enterprise from five different EU Member States and associated countries:

  • Ziviltechnikerkanzlei DI Anzböck / Austria
  • First-DDSG Logistics Holding GmbH / Austria
  • Regional Development Agency of the West Region Romania / Romania
  • Lindenau Maritime Engineering and Projecting / Germany
  • University of Duisburg Essen, Department of Economic Geography, esp. Traffic and Transport Logistics / Germany
  • TU Dortmund University, Institute of Transport Logistics / Germany
  • University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences / Serbia
  • Intermodal Concepts & Management AG / Switzerland
  • / Austria

The project started in March 2013 and will end in August 2015. If you are interested in further information and/or current results, please contact The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under the agreement SCP2-GA-2012-314005.

Project Website

Further information:
Dr. Sandra Stein
Institute of Management Science
Vienna University of Technology
Theresianumgasse 27, 1040 Vienna
T: 0043-676-88861627