Including inland waterway transport in the supply chain is not more difficult. It requires a different planning which helps you to save costs and carbon emissions.
Multi-modal door-to-door involves more market parties than uni-modal door-to-door: ship operator, charterer, transshipment terminal, road haulier. There are however an increasing number of door-to-door logistics companies which take care of everything and logistics consultants who help to bring partners together for an efficient and seamless transport organisation. Ask your contact point.
Transport by waterway by itself is cheap, it is transshipment as well as pre/post haulage which make waterway transport more expensive. Therefore, the exact location of origin and destination for your goods will be determining. The closer your company is located to the waterways, the easier it becomes to use it for transport.
Besides transshipment, the possibility of backhaul cargo determines the cost. Ask your contact point about possible solutions. He/she may also be able to help you with bundling freight volumes if you do not generate enough cargo yourself to use inland waterways.