The Watertruck project concluded with several important results. Important advances permitted organisations to optimise road haulage, as the barges could remain in place for days at a time. This advantage was seen in city centres and seaports where road traffic often faced heavy congestion, which was now reduced due to using waterways for freight transport.
They also were able to successfully show that this new system optimises transportation time and reduces GHG emissions. In fact, it was found that a pusher combined with a 1000-tonne capacity barge replaces 50 to 60 trucks (standard truck/trailer).
Finally, after successfully demonstrating the economic feasibility of the Watertruck concept through pilots in France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, the project partners were able to successfully develop a business case for a large European fleet of vessels.
To bring this to fruition, they developed a follow-up project called ‘Watertruck+’, which is supported and financed by the TEN-T/Connecting Europe Facility. As a first step in Watertruck+, a small fleet of watertrucks made of pushers, push barges, and self-propelled barges, will be built between 2016 and 2018.