The NOVIMAR project is well on track in finding solutions to expand and optimize the shortsea and inland waterborne transport chain by means of the vessel train.
The first periodic meeting of NOVIMAR was held in Brussels on the 14 February 2019. During this meeting the EC project officer discussed NOVIMAR’s progress with the Steering Committee members. The first period covers month 1 – 18 of the project. All aspects of the project were addressed. After wrapping up the presentations on project progress, risk management, financial aspects and content it was concluded that NOVIMAR is well on track in finding solutions to expand and optimize the shortsea and inland waterborne transport chain by means of the vessel train
At the beginning of the project, NOVIMAR’s scope was fine-tuned by assessing vessel train variants taking into account speed, size, class, numbers and crew sizes. Next special manoeuvres such as passing locks and bridges were considered
Real world data was collected to design the NOVIMAR transport system model in support of the business economic evaluation of the vessel train. In this model different roles are defined such as vessel owner, vessel train organizer and cargo owner.
Data from the transport system model was fed into the overarching decision analysis model resulting in an initial assessment of vessel train waterborne transport costs, cargo related costs and welfare, benchmarked against present road and rail transport.
Much attention was given to the wellbeing of skippers and crew members operating the vessel train. To navigate and manoeuvre the vessel train an innovative control system was designed. To ensure the safety of the vessel train, NOVIMAR will enrich existing electronic river charts with information on actual water depth. This information is equally valuable for optimization of the amount of cargo each vessel can carry. Finally information on optimal spacing between ships when underway in the vessel train will become available.
Relating to this, hazard studies were carried out with focus on operational and natural hazards, equipment failure, emergencies, and human factor.
Recommendations have been defined to increase the stowage density on cargo vessels and to improve cargo handling systems. Furthermore a concept for RORO cross transfer platforms as interface between shortsea ships, inland waterway vessels and road transport vehicles is under investigation.
Finally, by telling the NOVIMAR story to a variety of stakeholders and interested parties NOVIMAR helps them to shape their minds for developments that are just beyond the horizon.
At the end of the meeting, the EC project officer complimented the Steering Committee for the presentations and results up to now. In the coming period some details will be take care of to finalize this Periodic Review.