Modern Ship Technology

Shallow Draught Ships for the Danube

New construction technologies that fit the ships to the river - and meet economical and ecological requirements - already exist.
Using ships designed to operate under shallow(-er) and/or variable water levels can be a more sustainable alternative to promoting inland navigation, as opposed to implementing “hard, no return” river infrastructures and excessive dredging practices in the name of achieving a certain water depth.

Over the past years, WWF has been lobbying and campaigning to “fit the ships to the river, not the river to the ships”. In 2009, WWF commissioned the study “Environmentally Friendly Inland Waterway Ship Design for the Danube River” to gain expert knowledge on innovative ship design, and to inform interested parties on technically and economically-feasible alternative navigation concepts and technologies.

This study visualizes what a “Danube”-designed ship would look like, and what sorts of modern technologies such ships should have. The study can also be used as a guide to show what types of alternative technologies WWF supports and can advocate to the EU/national countries.

Two concept ship designs for the Danube River were developed:
  • a shallow draught pushboat for a partly loaded barge train and transport of relatively large quantities of bulk cargo, and
  • a shallow draught self-propelled vessel for transport of containers.

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