Waterway transportation emits three times less C02 than road transport. ST4W aims to convince shippers moving palletized freight to use water rather than road transport. These flows are often small and highly diversified volumes, loaded, transported and delivered mainly by SMEs, with complex distribution schemes. Pallet flows, loaded directly in barges or bundled in containers, need to be consolidated for shipment by water. Effective logistics engineering is essential to ensure cargo consolidation, requiring an accurate synchronisation between operators and a collaborative approach demanding organisational and behavioural change from logistics professionals. However, at the moment there are no dedicated tools for waterway transportation, and maritime systems are too expensive for SMEs. This is a critical issue, especially as 85 % of European river freight is concentrated in NWE territory.


Facilitating transport modal shift from road to waterway in NWE, and thus reducing GHG, with a particular focus on palletised freight, with small volumes needing bundling to use waterway, thanks to:

  • IT tools interconnection facilitating an effective synchronization between shippers, skippers, customs, inland ports via three pilots: Belgium, Germany and one transnational (FR-BE-NL).
  • a strong change in stand-alone organizational practices towards seamless cooperation in NWE inland waterway.


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, complementing the River Information Services, which localizes vessels. These tools will be tested, validated and rolled out during the project with the support of various partners (shippers, logistics operators, ship owners, ports and terminals, waterway administrations).