Welcome to Rivers of the World

The International centre of expertise for the Inland waterway and shipping sector

Rivers of the world is a new and strong initiative for an International Expertise Centre for the Inland waterway and shipping sector.

The starting point has been the Rivers of the World Forum, on December 8-9-10 2010 in Rotterdam by invitation of The Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, The Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and their partners NEA, EICB and Marin.

The secretariat is situated at the offices of the Netherlands Expertise and Innovation Centre Barging (EICB)in the heartland of inland shipping in Europe: The Rotterdam area in The Netherlands

Our intention is to make use of the extensive knowledge of the many specialized bureaus, universities, organizations and enterprises etc. in and around the Inland waterway and shipping sector. With this network we can stimulate and help initiatives to develop and strengthen the use of inland waterways and shipping for economical strong transportsystem in a sustainable way.

With our help we can help you to get a more extensive knowledge of the transport by inland waterways, its possibilities and its challenges.

We can also help you to find suitable and specialized project partners and products.

Our goal is that this website will grow to an interactive website for interested (international) parties so we can also give their and may be your information and possible solutions and products.

You want more information about us and what we can do to help you, don't hesitate to contact us!

The Rivers of the world team


Why inland waterways?

Many countries in the world are blessed with rich resources in inland waterways, and inland shipping is widely acknowledged as the cleanest, safest, most energy friendly mode of transport, at the same time offering logistic and cost advantages compared with other modes of transport. For this reason the development of inland shipping receives strong support from governments, the shipping and transport industry, and international financing institutes.

Inland shipping at the same time has a huge untapped potential, and governments are struggling on how to develop a sound and sustainable system of inland waterways transport. Lessons learned in one country can be used in another and the exchange of best practices and examples will strongly support the development of the inland shipping industry around the world.

As The Netherlands is strategically located at Europe's Rhine-Scheldt delta it has traditionally been an international node of transport. Freight transport over water is an essential part of the logistic system. Inland shipping accounts for half of all the freight transport in The Netherlands. With 5,000 modern and innovative ships the Netherlands has the biggest inland shipping fleet of Europe. The infrastructure consists of 1,400 kilometres of waterways which continually are being improved. Public and private inland shipping partners cooperate to continuously improve the preconditions.

The inland shipping sector in the Netherlands is therefore an essential part of the logistical system and an important factor of sustainable economic growth. This strength also determines the success of other sectors of the economy: from agriculture to services, from industry to telecoms and energy.

Rivers of the World

The Netherlands, as a country heavily depending on its inland waterways and the inland shipping industry for developing the ports, hinterland traffic and modern logistics, has taken the initiative for 'Rivers of the World', so as to share its knowledge and experiences in inland waterways transport with other countries.

The Rivers of the World project have consisted and consists of the following elements:

  1. The Rivers of the World Forum, 8-10 December in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  2. The publication of an Inland of an atlas on inland waterways transport (December 8, 2011)
  3. The introduction of an International Expertise Centre in Inland shipping "Rivers of the World". (December 8, 2011)
  4. Waterways Toolkit, containing a link to best practices of all areas of inland shipping (January 2011)