Shipping containers waiting to be loaded onto a ship
Image Source: PLANCO / Gunnar Platz

Green Inland Ports pave the way to sustainable European transport

The European Green Deal aims to reduce transport emissions by 90% by 2050. The Green Inland Ports Study, launched by the European Commission in 2023, aims to contribute to reducing those emissions.

Inland ports are an essential part of the EU’s transport infrastructure network and therefore play a key role in achieving the EU Green Deal’s targets. The study will explore how this key role can be further expanded by showcasing good practices on environmental performance, presenting innovative ideas for urban and short-range inland waterway transport and providing solutions to further optimise the use of digital services. All these elements will be combined into an environmental and sustainability tool that will help inland ports to measure their environmental performance, now and in the future.

Why are inland ports important?

The EU has more than 250 inland ports. The 60 largest inland ports together handled IWT cargo flows of more than 600 million tonnes in 2020. Not only are inland ports crucial for handling cargo they also create jobs (both direct and indirect), levy taxes and generate income in the port regions and beyond. The inland ports enable companies to transport goods at favourable rates and thus give them a competitive advantage over other companies.

When it comes to sustainability, ports allow the industry to use environmentally friendly modes of transport and use green transport as an argument to choose the IWT option. To this end, inland ports as eco-friendly multimodal nodes play a key role. Using the full potential of the inland waterway transport sector will ensure European competitiveness in logistics and mobility services, and decrease climate and environmental impact of supply chains.

In this context, the Green Inland Ports Study will identify and evaluate the factors affecting the sustainable development of inland ports, and propose solutions for the implementation of green objectives.

Stay tuned for more news and events relating to inland ports.

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