|Abstract:||Three private partners (University of Antwerp, Schipco BV and Research Small Barges BV) are participating in the INLANAV-platform with a view of developing new vessel designs and facilitating market take-up. The concepts range from push barges powered by electric engines to the realization of an automatically guided barge with a greater hold; using new technologies and materials like for example composites.
The University of Antwerp is examining a two stage tug and barge concept. In the first stage, the tug and barge concept sails on large waterways with several barges pushed by a single tug from seaports to the small inland waterways.
In the second stage, at the entrance of a small inland waterway, the convoy is uncoupled and the small barges continue autonomously. The main focus of the concept is to combine economies of scale on large rivers (i.e. tugs and barges together) while the individual barges are small and economically feasible to sail on small waterways. This way the convoy can compete with its main competitor: road transport.-