Inland Water Transport

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Inland Water Transport
The length of navigable waterways is 1,620 km, and an additional 530 km is suitable for small vessel navigation. Navigation on the Danube is expected to grow somewhat faster than the average typical to river transport, which may also be due to increased traffic after the opening of the Main-Danube canal.
In its present state, the river is not always adequate for unhindered navigation. The water is insufficiently deep at a few shoals in the Danube during low water, and the number of ports in proportion to the length of the river is rather low. (There is one port for every 100 km of fairway, while this figure in Europe is one port/30-40 km.)
Inland water transport presently accounts for less than 5% in freight transport output. Shipping space is 52% utilized in the Hungarian cargo vessel fleet, thus there is a capacity surplus in most of the national public ports, which are operated with outdated technology. At the same time, the distance between ports is several times that of the Western European average.
As a consequence of its technically outdated nature and because of a shortage in (self-propelled) vessels that are efficiently operated on Western canal systems, Hungarian inland water freight transport is presently unable to take advantage of both the Western European orientation of the Hungarian economy and the opportunities offered by the Danube-Rhine-Main system.
Out of about 200 vessels in the Hungarian inland water fleet suitable for freight transport, no more than seven can efficiently be used on the Rhine or for canal navigation.
The Hungarian inland water navigation system – considering capacity surplus and technical obsoleteness – cannot avoid restructuring according to the EU’s pattern.



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