INWAPO - Upgrading of Inland Waterway and Sea Ports

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INWAPO - Upgrading of Inland Waterway and Sea Ports

Posted by , Monday, 11th September 2017 @ 1:36 pm

Basic  project  data 

Project ID: PA1A060

Need  and  added  value  for  the  Danube  Region  Strategy

Central Europe’s inland waterways offer economical and environmentally friendly freight transport, but this potential is not sufficiently exploited. Major reason for the unsatisfactory role inland navigation plays in coping with the ever growing freight volumes in Central Europe is the lack of functional integration of the ports with their potential hinterland and also with other ports and an underdeveloped function of tri-modality. The main aim of the INWAPO project was to activate the unexploited potential of waterborne transport in Central Europe and to develop the ports’ infrastructure and new waterway services.

The conducted INWAPO project was in line with the objectives of the European Union’s Danube Region Strategy and contributed to the preparation of investments in multimodal port infrastructure and to the promotion of new transport services in close cooperation with the logistics sector. The further development of the Danube ports plays an important role in increasing the competitiveness of inland waterway transport and multimodality in Central Europe.

Comprising a team of 13 partners from 7 countries, the INWAPO project focused on three different waterway systems: the Danube river, the Northern Adriatic range as well as the Czech and Polish waterways.


The general objective of the project was to provide support to the implementation of the investments in intermodal infrastructures and the activation of new intermodal transport services. The specific objectives that the project intended to achieve were the following:

  • promoting better connections of Central European (CE) ports with their hinterland as well as between other ports, with focus on the relations between inland ports and maritime ports;
  • promoting better integration of different transport modes in the CE area, with specific attention on investments in inter-modal solutions and ICT applications for inland and sea ports;
  • ensuring the development of trimodal transport hubs of the CE area and the balanced development of road, rail, maritime and inland waterway transport;
  • supporting the activation of new transport services along the Danube river.                                                                      

Conducted  project  activities

The cooperation within INWAPO, aiming to foster freight traffic on Central European waterways, has concentrated on the followings topics:

  • Analysis of the potential waterborne transport volume, coordinated by Public Ports JSC (SK)
  • Needs assessments, coordinated by Mazovia Development Agency (PL)
  • Feasibility of new links, coordinated by Port of Vienna (AT)
  • Pilot Actions, coordinated by Freeport of Budapest (HU)

Specifically, the common actions taken were:       

  • identification of a common approach to the definition of the hinterland and of the waterborne potential for maritime and river ports;
  • identification of the weaknesses and potentials of the solutions for waterborne transportation;
  • analysis on the existing waterborne and tri-modal transport services and potentials;
  • definition of common benchmarks for inland and sea ports, in order to assess the needs of the involved ports in terms of infrastructures and links/services to improve the tri-modality;
  • analysis on investment needs, elaboration of investment plans and business needs;
  • feasibility studies on new transport services;
  • support to the investment preparation and testing of new services;
  • environmental analysis focused on the potential impact of increased transport volumes on the river and maritime environment and elaboration of recommendations to improve the environmental impacts of the planned investments.

Transboundary  impact

The project covered Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

In line with the objectives of the project, ports on three different waterway systems (the Danube river, the waterways of the Northern Adriatic range as well as the Czech and Polish waterways) have been developed.

INWAPO has promoted a better coordination among decision makers and stakeholders involved within the logistics multimodal field, allowing for a growth in competitiveness of the alternatives to road transportation. In this perspective, the initiative has supported better and more sustainable connections in Central Europe in order to lead port authorities, national, regional and local institutions to identify best policies promoting more environment friendly ways of transportation.

Project  beneficiaries  /  target  groups

  • Inland and maritime ports
  • Infrastructure users and customers
  • National authorities

status  and  timeframe

Start date: 10/2011
End date: 09/2014
The project is already concluded.


Total budget: 3,808,299 EUR
EU funds: 3,047,282 EUR were funded by the Central Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme 2007 - 2013 (ERDF) (area of intervention: 2.2 Developing Multimodal Logistics’ Cooperation)
National funds: 624,185 EUR
Private funds: 136,832 EUR (CE partners)

Project  team

Project leader: Venice Port Authority / Italy

Contact person: Martina Prettenhofer (Port of Vienna; website:
Address: Seitenhafenstraße 15, 1023 Wien / Austria
Contact data:; +43 1 727 16 607

Project partner(s):

  • via donau – Austrian Waterway Management Company / Austria
  • Port of Vienna / Austria
  • Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic / Czech Republic
  • Regional Development Agency of Usti Region, PLC / Czech Republic
  • Central Directorate for Water and Environment / Hungary
  • Freeport of Budapest Logistics Ltd. / Hungary
  • Trieste Port Authority / Italy
  • E.I.N.E. North Eastern Industrialization bodies / Italy
  • Mazovia Development Agency Plc / Poland
  • Slovak Shipping and Ports JSC / Slovakia
  • Public Ports JSC / Slovakia
  • Luka Koper, port and logistics system d.d. / Slovenia

Project  environment

Project  cross - reference

"To develop container transport on the Danube" (project example in EUSDR Action Plan). This project example was realized within the project INWAPO.

Strategic  reference

  • European Action Programme for Inland Waterways Transport (NAIADES)
  • EU2020 Strategy
  • Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)

Eusdr  embedding


eusdr  compliance

Meta  data

Data provided by: Martina Prettenhofer (Port of Vienna, Austria) - 11.01.2012
Last update by: viadonau, Austria (according to INWAPO's final report/action plan published by Port of Venice) - 11.09.2017

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