Newsletter February 2021
We would like to update you on the activities carried out by our association since our last mailing in January 2021. Interested persons are invited to subscribe to our newsletter via the website of Pro Danube International.

In order to interact more efficiently with the industry and to provide information in real time, Pro Danube International has launched new interactive communication channels via social media. We cordially invite you to like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin by clicking on the icons below.
Ten years ago, Mr. Alexandru Capatu and Mr. Manfred Seitz together with highly committed founding members have given the Danube community a common voice to address key challenges confronting the Danube inland navigation sector. On this occasion, we would like to thank all our members, partners and colleagues for their dedication and support to engage in a long-term, active, and coordinated cooperation process benefiting the IWT sector and regional economy at large.

Since its establishment, Pro Danube International continuously continued to grow, developing into a network of more than 180 companies that have a strategic interest in securing better infrastructure conditions and a higher rate of public investments in the Danube transport and logistics system.
With the Danube being regarded as the economical backbone of a transnational region par excellence, characterized by different levels of socioeconomic development, Pro Danube International successfully managed to bring together public and private representatives of the Danube Region in order to have a lasting impact on the overall situation of IWT.

This year's General Assembly is set to celebrate a decade of commitment to the well-being of the Danube IWT sector and to intensify cooperation with related branch organisations. We therefore cordially invite our partners to join the open session of our General Assembly to take part in the discussions with highly distinguished experts of the IWT sector. 
1. Restart the Danube: Austrian roundtable on the development of IWT in 2021
A large online-roundtable meeting attended by representatives of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the Austrian Economic Chambers, viadonau, and sector representatives, was organised to discuss the future of IWT in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The impact of the pandemic on the IWT sector - both cargo and passenger - is expected to be felt long after the health crisis comes to an end. The intensity of the overall financial losses mainly depends on the length and intensity of the crisis, with passenger transport being the most affected one. Hence, several scenarios were discussed to adequately support the recovery of the IWT sector. Predictability, as well as strong and immediate financial support measures, should be key elements of any strategic recovery plan. 

Pro Danube International, in its capacity as the voice of the IWT industry, was represented by its Chairman, Mr. Herfried Leitner, and its General Secretary, Mr. Robert Rafael.
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2. Updates from the PhysICAL project

Acknowledging the challenges arising from the current digital transformation and also being an active partner in the Danube Region when it comes to the digitalisation of the overall IWT sector, Pro Danube is proud to report on the progress of PhysICAL, a leading research project dealing with the concept of Physical Internet for the logistics sector in Austria.

Work in the framework of PhysICAL has significantly progressed during the last months. Any of you interested in the outcomes of the project, its milestones reached so far as well as the expected results and events, is kindly invited to regularly visit the project's website: and to subscribe to the project's newsletter here.

Bringing together the efforts of companies such as A1Digital, bitsfabrik, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Fraunhofer, 4PL Intermodal, Steiermarkbahn, Doppler, Pro Danube, TU Graz, Schrack, Wiener Lokalbahn Cargo, Prime Mobility, Stranzinger Gruppe, Niceshops, Variocube and others, the project is currently dealing with the planning, organisation and initial rollout of dedicated pilot deployments, such as i) development of a transport unit prototype for the transport of forestry products, ii) open transport management platform, iii) the first real trading company in the virtual world in e-Commerce 3.0 and iv) cooperative CEP delivery with PI boxes. Consultations with sector representatives have contributed to the definition of specifications, reflecting the needs of the industry.

In terms of the Digital Twin activity, requirements were collected with the support of sector representatives, data is being integrated and the graphical user interface is being defined.

We would also kindly like to invite you to follow the latest developments in the PhysICAL project on social media by clicking on the icons below:

3. Push4Danube: new initiative to boost the Danube IWT sector
Jointly initiated by Pro Danube International and Pro Danube Austria, the aim of Push4Danube is to bundle the investment needs of the sector in order to facilitate the adequate financing of IWT related projects. Challenged by an unprecedented crisis, the active involvement of the sector is a key prerequisite to successfully adapt the IWT industry to the latest environmental EU policy framework. Pro Danube International urges the businesses operating on the Danube to participate in the online survey using the following link.
4. PIANC: Updating the RIS Guidelines to support digitalisation in waterborne transport
Acknowledging that digitalisation is indispensable for the future of IWT, for its efficient and enduring integration in the transnational transport and logistics system as well as for its degree of competitiveness, Pro Danube is actively involved in the PIANC Working Group RIS Guidelines.

The PIANC RIS Guidelines describe the principles and general requirements for River Information Services and provide recommendations and considerations for planning and implementing RIS and related systems. It has become more and more clear that operation of River Information Services requires international cooperation from the initial planning phase of RIS services and systems. Only by engaging in coordination as early as possible can harmonised and effective information services on an international network or corridor level be guaranteed. Internationally applicable guidelines on planning and implementation of River Information Services are needed to guarantee the harmonised operation and use of these services and systems.  

PIANC is the global organisation providing guidance and technical advice for a sustainable waterborne transport infrastructure to ports, marinas and waterways.
5. Pro Danube at the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the DTLF

The Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF) is a commission expert group, a consultative platform set up in 2015, which can influence the EU’s policy on transport. The group of experts brings together stakeholders from various transport and logistics communities, from both the private and the public sectors, with a view to building a common vision and road map for digital transport and logistics.

DTLF’s overarching objective is to improve digital interoperability in logistics and freight transport across Europe.

Pro Danube International is since 2018 a member of the DTLF.

6. Pro Danube at a conference about the current situation of IWT on the Hungarian section of the Danube
The conference brought together representatives of the private and public sectors to evaluate and discuss the current situation of IWT on the Hungarian section of the Danube. Discussed in the context of the ongoing pandemic and the expected subsequent economic crisis, the agenda touched upon topics linked to transported volumes on the Danube and the development status of multimodality.
7. Final Event of  Watertruck+ 
The innovative project Watertruck+ offers a solution for the transport on small waterways. Through the development of small, self-propelled or unpropelled, standardised barges, Watertruck+ connect the smaller waterways to the TEN-T network. The result? A reduction of no less than 6,000 truck journeys in 2020. The project went through several stages, from research in 2014 until roll-out in 2020.

Pro Danube took part at the online final event.
8. Upcoming events
9. Useful links
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