Inland ports and waterways offer safer, more efficient, and more sustainable transportation of goods, containers and bulk, with larger cargo capacities, reduced fuel consumption, quick loading/unloading, and lower carbon emissions than many other modes of transport. Combining waterways with road, rail, and air transport, or pipelines, creates sustainable multimodal logistics. Regional governments and cities aim to integrate inland waterways with other transport modes into multimodal logistics platforms to enhance connectivity, efficiency, and reliability, and for greener transport.

The PIANC-WG 216 study examines inland ports and multimodal logistics platforms in Europe and Brazil, focusing on strategies employed by port owners and stakeholders. This comparative case study explores practices in nine locations. Challenges and solutions include space limitations addressed by efficient container transportation, cross-docking warehouses, multiple site coordination, and modal flow optimization. Energy production and consumption concerns can be met with multi-energy stations, renewable energy sources, and the introduction of cleaner energy options.

Governance types for ports and platforms vary based on their original objectives, including public facilities with multiple stakeholders, publicly owned but privately operated, or privately owned and governed by a single concession holder.

Every situation is unique and the design of multimodal logistics platforms needs to take into account a range of interrelated factors. The report therefore uses a unique approach, and is intended to stimulate a strategic approach to the design or expansion of multimodal logistics platforms on inland waterways.

In summary, the report offers valuable and inspiring insights for public and private stakeholders involved in creating, designing, transforming, or extending inland ports and multimodal logistics platforms.