Smart Track 4 Waterway

Project Summary

ST4W proposes a management solution for shipment by inland waterway transport, providing to small stakeholders a simpler and cheaper access to secure data, and enabling them to share a hierarchical track & trace service of shipment at logistics unit level : what pallet in what vessel ?

ST4W solution will provide an end to end seamless visibility to supply chain stakeholders :

  • Automatic update of logistics unit status (pallet, container …)
  • Real-time update of ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) of each logistics unit, throughout the multimodal supply chain
  • Automatic alert in the case of delay or loading the wrong logistics unit
  • Electronic proof of delivery at each step:

This cloud-oriented platform is based on GS1 standards, where everyone is master of his own data and shares it only with chosen partners

A sustainable and closer cooperation between waterway actors and their supply chain partners will enable more clients to make use of waterway transportation (from mental shift to modal shift), and consequently to reduce CO2 emissions of their logistics operations.


Main advantages of Inland Waterway Transportation (IWT):

IWT predominantly used by large companies for bulk & big volumes:

  • Used to a small extend by SMEs
  • Used to a very small extend for palletized freight


Palletized freight is generally carried in small volumes directly from point A to point B


Modal shift from road to waterway needs:

  • additional transhipment operations
  • bundling of several small volumes
  • more complex logistics engineering
  • more administrative burden

ST4W proposes an unified data exchange platform …

  •  fed with hierarchical tracking data at logistics unit level (pallet, container)
  • proposing transversal services:
    • real time update of cargo Estimated Time of Arrival
    • electronic proof of delivery

... tackling modal shift brakes

  •  seamless synchronisation between logistics and IWT actors
  •  end-to-end follow-up of shipment:
    • in multimodal environment
    • with reduced administrative burden

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Multitel 2 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie
Name Contact Name Email Country
CRITT T&L Claire Bouvier France
Logistics in Wallonia Bernard Piette Belgium
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Tom Van Woensel Netherlands
Stichting Bureau Telematica Binnenvaart Henk van Laar Netherlands
Institut du droit international des transports Ludovic Couturier France
Stichting Projecten Binnenvaart Khalid Tachi Netherlands
Port Autonome du Centre et de l'Ouest Catherine Maheux Belgium
Port de Bruxelles - Haven van Brussel Désirée Simonetti Belgium
Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE) Bernd Noche Germany
Blue Line Logistics nv Antoon Van Coillie Belgium
Inlecom System Ltd Yash Chadha United Kingdom


Webinar about the electrification of inland waterways (“Vert le fluvial” #3)

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We participated in the webinar organized on June 28th, 2021 by VNF together with the Union française de l'électricité. This webinar addressed the short and medium term objectives, challenges and opportunities concerning the electrification of both the quays and the propulsion for small barges. The need of charging infrastructures interoperable across the quays at a national and EU level has been discussed. At an urban level, it has been stressed that the quays should be adapted for city logistics i.e. with parking lots equipped with electric infrastructures for last-mile vehicles and transshipment equipment. Read More

European Barge Union Event: IWT key to the Green Deal and to the Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy

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On June 21st, ST4W attended the event organized in Brussels by the EBU. Keynote speakers and panelists discussed how inland waterway transport is key to deliver the European Green Deal and contribute to the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. The NAIADES III action plan was introduced ahead of its official release. The combination of both the physical and digital connections of IWT with the urban logistics ecosystem, which is the primary focus of a dedicated work package of ST4W, has been cited as an enabler to increase the modal share of IWT. Other important aspects discussed are the needs of harmonisation and standardisation, decarbonised propulsion, funding specific to SMEs, sufficient water levels and improvement of existing infrastructures, several of which are also addressed by ST4W. Read More

8th International Physical Internet Conference

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On 15 & 16th June, IDIT will be at the 8th International Physical Internet Conference. Topics include Logistics Nodes, Logistics Networks, System of Logistic Networks, Access and Adoption and Governance, making this meeting a unique opportunity to learn, network and discuss the latest results and challenges about interconnected logistics. IDIT will present the regulatory impacts on data collection/storage/sharing on tracking IWT multimodal freight transport for the ST4W INTERREG project. Read More

Webinar organised by Shippeo

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On June 10th, 2021, ST4W participated in the webinar organised by Shippeo that highlighted the importance to provide the supply chain with an end-to-end visibility platform interoperable with the IT solutions available at the shippers, carriers and receivers. At ST4W, we link tracking data from fragmented sources and make use of the GS1 standards to share standardised and secured information between relevant actors. Read More

"Via Palletto" project

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Together with several partners, including Shipit and Blue Line Logistics, waterway operator De Vlaamse Waterweg is setting up a pilot project to stimulate pallet transport by inland waterway. "Via Palletto" project proposes to test a multi-stop river shuttle, with fixed routes, for pallets of building materials. ST4W team is glad to collaborate with this initiative, for good coordination and efficiency. Read More

Final conference IWTS2.0 “Modal shift is a mindshift”

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On April 22nd, ST4W attended the final conference of the Interreg North Sea Region project IWTS2.0 where speakers have presented how the electric barge GreenWave can ensure accessibility of IWT to the city of Ghent and improve the quality of life. The results of the project include also training courses for young professionals and students to teach efficient and safe navigation on small waterways, using both theory and practice on a simulator. Read More

The unlocked potential of inland navigation to green the Rhine-Alpine Corridor

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On April 16th, 2021, the “Rhine-Alpine Talks” #8 took place online and addressed strategies, agendas and projects on smart and green inland waterway transport and gathered speakers and panelists from European and regional institutions and interest groups. Further digitalisation and RIS have been pinpointed has key to foster a better integration of IWT in the supply chain with other transport modes, to make the IWT more competitive and safer and to help achieving more CO2 reduction. The tool developed and tested in ST4W for better collaboration and real-time multimodal visibility is therefore highly relevant to all stakeholders. Read More

Webinar about the digitalization of the construction sector

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We followed this webinar, which was about the digitalization of the construction sector. In the Seine River valley, the French ST4W pilot aims at a better connection between inland waterway transport and multimodal logistics solution to deliver wooden construction elements in the Paris area construction sites. ST4W will make it easier by providing digital tools and an innovative container for inland waterway transport: FlexiMalle concept designed by Sogestran. FlexiMalle is tracked step by step, from end to end in the multimodal waterborne transport thanks to the ST4W tracking system. Read More

GS1 GLN Industry Webinar

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Modern business needs are making details related to "who" and "where" more critical than ever. Over the last year, GS1 has taken a holistic approach to address the industry’s needs in terms of identification of party and location throughout the world. A webinar took place on 14 April 2021 to provide an overview of current activities and what will happen in the future in terms of industry needs, standards, and Global Location Number (GLN) registries. Members of ST4W team participated to this event, with great interest. Read More


Mid-term event

, Hôtel Sofitel L'Échiquier Opéra Paris

On 13 June 2019, the mid-term event of SmartTrack4Waterway took place in Paris. The topic of the day was: modal shift to waterway fostered by hierarchical tracking. This event brought together 43 people. We were happy to talk with you about the challenge of modal shift to waterway. In particular, we presented the first demonstration of the hierarchical tracking solution developed by the project. A special thank you to all the speakers: Lorenzo Bassani, Nicolas Bour, Claire Dantec, Yves de Blic, Kevin Janin, Perrine Lavelle, Didier Léandri, Vincent Morel, Nicolas Pauvre, Franck Rousseau and Jérôme Wernert.
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