A transport system is represented by infrastructure, vehicles and operations. The waterborne transport system includes both the sea and inland waterways, including locks and bridges, and deep-sea and inland ports and terminals. The vehicles are sea, sea-river and inland vessels. Operations deal with the way the vessels are operated and the procedures set for this purpose including financing, legalities and policies. NOVIMAR will assess the viability of the vessel train in the total transport system by use of simulation.
In the simulation, all of the above parameters are included in a chain cost model. Also for the transport from the sea port to the hinterland, road and intermodal rail transport are incorporated. Therefore, this model will allow calculating the generalised transport chain costs for different transport chains, including modal competition from road and intermodal rail transport.
A transport chain is defined as a route from a hinterland region in the U.K. or even China to an EU hinterland area. This model will be extended with the vessel train characteristics and with other freight types such as the FMCG.