The barge industry is often perceived as a traditional sector, but almost silently revolutionary changes take shape on different fronts.
River Information Services
RIS are modern traffic management systems in full deployment across Europe enhancing a swift electronic data transfer between water and shore through in-advance and real-time exchange of information. Integrated with other intelligent transport systems, it will contribute to a single window environment for administrative procedures and operations.
Diesel-electric and a dual fuel engine running on natural gas already prove to be a very effective way to significantly cut emissions for new-built vessels in the short term.
Electric ships – In Amsterdam and Utrecht, full-electric freight boats supply the city center emitting zero emissions.
The first passenger vessels on solar power and hydrogen are sailing. Hydrogen and batteries are technically interesting carriers for freight ships too. Cost-effective production and distribution will prove crucial for massive take off.
Energy use and carbon can be reduced with a combination of lightweight hull parts and optimised vessel design. Vessels could be lighter by as much as 50% and have an empty draught of only 30cm. The use of friction reducing coatings and different propeller types can also reduce the levels.