Handbook_Edition_2022.jpgTwo editions of the Danube Ports Handbook were elaborated and published in the frame of DIONYSUS with the support of the Danube Ports Network. The first edition was published in December 2021, whereas the second edition was finalized and published in October 2022.

The Danube Ports Handbook is based on the results of 2 surveys that were carried out among the ports of the Danube Region to collect information on port traffic in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic covering the years 2019, 2020, and 2021. While Danube shipping is closely correlated with developments in the regional and global economy, the average number of port calls as well as the number of handled products and traffic passenger transport generated useful insights into the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Danube navigation. The survey furthermore touched upon topics linked to procedural restrictions that may have impaired a smooth transport flow.

15 ports participated in the survey and are portrayed in the Danube Ports Handbook.

Both editions of the Danube Ports Handbook are available for download here.  


Screenshot 121Continuing the well-established practice initiated by the DAPhNE project, the 2022 edition of the Danube Ports Day event was successfully organised in the frame of the DIONYSUS project by Pro Danube Management (PDM) and the Maritime Ports Administration Constanța (MPAC) with the support of the Danube Ports Network (DPN). By bringing together numerous experts from the Danube Region and beyond, the event set the scene to discuss hot topics related to i) the Ukrainian goods exported from Danube ports and the new logistics chains, ii) transport of goods on the Lower Danube – reflecting on infrastructure conditions, opportunities, and challenges, iii) digitalization trends and intermodal logistics in the Danube Region.

Keynote interventions were delivered by Mrs. Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and Mr. Alain Baron, Adviser to the Rhine-Danube Corridor Coordinator. Both interventions highlighted that despite the challenges caused both by the conflict in Ukraine as well as by the immediate consequences of climate change – ports must maintain their forefront role in the international distribution of goods.

Two interactive sessions – on intermodality and logistic chains moderated by the Danube Commission as well as on digitalisation in the Danube Region moderated by Pro Danube Management – brought together experts and stakeholders to discuss these vital aspects of Danube transportation. While the first session aimed at identifying adequate solutions to the most common hurdles that still need to be overcome – both in terms of proper fairway maintenance as well as considering the difficulties caused by the conflict in Ukraine, the second session, on digitalisation, discussed the future of IWT in the digital age, providing concrete examples of good practices from Western, Central and Eastern Europe. It was concluded that proper navigability conditions need to be adequately ensured and maintained continuously in order to enable the functioning of reliable logistic services, whereas digitalisation is an indispensable prerequisite for the implementation of the ambitious climate goals enshrined in the European Green Deal. 

We would like to use this opportunity to thank our speakers for sharing insights into their various fields of activities and, at the same time, to kindly invite you to make use of the Smart Port Barometer.

The presentations are available for download here:

Interactive session on intermodality & logistics chains

Mr. Djordje Krkljus_COMVEX_Keeping Ukrainian goods moving - Danube and the new logistic chains

Mr. Romeo Soare_AFDJ Romania_Navigability conditions, opportunities and challenges on the Lower Danube

Mr. Herfried Leitner_TTS_Keeping Upper and Middle Danube goods moving - consequences of the crisis (Ukraine and low water levels)

Session on digitalisation in the Danube Region

Mr. Werner Auer_Ennshafen Port_Danube Port Digitization - Strategy & Action Plan

Mr. Gergely Mező_RSOE_Integrated Port Information System in Hungary - KIR

Capt. Abhishek Nair_PortXchange_Port digitalisation in Rotterdam and connected ports

Dr. Valentin Cârlan_University of Antwerp_Synchro-modal logistics supported by digitalisation

Mr. Mihai Niculescu_ITS Romania_Initiatives and developments for linking multi-modal voyage planning services for passenger transport in the Danube Region


Methodological-Limitations-of-Survey-Research2.pngElaborated in the framework of the DIONYSUS project, the second edition of the “Survey on Port Statistics and COVID-19 Impact” was recently launched. Ports of the Danube Region are kindly invited to dedicate 20 minutes of their valuable time to support the successful completion of this research activity which is carried out for the benefit of the entire IWT industry.

Deadline: 29 April 2022


danube ports logo curbeOrganised on 9 March, the second meeting of the Danube Commission’s Expert Group on Ports and Port Operations brought together more than 50 European experts ranging from the Coordinator of the Rhine-Danube Corridor, representatives of the European Commission, CINEA, as well as Pro Danube’s fellow branch organisations.

Both the DIONYSUS project, its achieved milestones for the benefit of Danube Region ports as well as the Danube Ports Network’s (DPN) ongoing activities as a knowledge facilitator and project initiator were high on the agenda. One of these recent initiatives is E4Danube – On Shore Power Supply in Danube Region Ports. While an initial presentation reflecting its early stages was delivered in the frame of the first meeting of DC’s Expert Group on Ports and Port Operations in September 2021, this week’s event provided the scene to present and discuss a more matured proposal.

Representing the DPN Technical Secretariat, Mr. Robert Rafael highlighted the advantages and challenges of on-shore power supply (OPS) in the greening process of Danube ports considering the ambitious legislation adopted by the European Union in terms of climate neutrality. The aim of the project is to investigate the economic viability of on-shore power supply in ports, including the applicable sourcing options as well as the uptake by vessels and potential other users in the Danube Region. The presentation highlighted that several aspects such as environmental, technical, legal, and infrastructural requirements need to be considered along specific “port location types”: ports in cities, ports in industrial areas, and remote ports, whereas lessons learned from already implemented solutions have to be considered.

Given that the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy clearly states that “Inland and sea ports have a great potential to become new clean energy hubs for integrated electricity systems (…)”, best case solutions and applicable pathways for the deployment of OPS as well as for energy storage facilities shall be investigated. The relevance of this initiative is furthermore grounded by the NAIADES III action plan and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Considering the ongoing revision of the TEN-T Regulation, keeping a sharp eye on its revised legal requirements is essential. The presentation furthermore touched upon another vital aspect – funding opportunities.

DPN’s intervention initiated a fruitful discussion among experts from the Danube-riparian countries in view of applicability, economic viability, and environmental impact. It was concluded that OPS indeed has the capacity to play an essential role in the greening transition of Danube inland and sea ports. The successful greening transition of Danube ports must be tackled as a joint transnational effort having the corridor approach as a priority, for which the DPN is ready to provide its full support.

The presentation is available for download here.

Digitalisation.jpgOn 23 November, more than 100 stakeholders from the public and the private sector participated in the transnational workshop on digitalization in Inland Waterway Transportation (IWT). The workshop was a joint initiative of the European projects Platina 3, Masterplan DIWA, RIS COMEX and DIONYSUS and the sector organizations Pro Danube Management, EICB and the IWT Platform with the support of the DPN.

The workshop focused on how digital transformation can support business activities and reporting formalities in the upcoming years. Participants provided valuable inputs regarding further requirements on synchromodality, ICT infrastructure, River Information Services and Smart Shipping, data sharing & integration, cybersecurity and compliance.

During the plenary part of the workshop, the 4 projects were introduced by short interviews moderated by the Master of Ceremony Henk van Laar. The workshop perfectly fitted into the timelines of each project, as currently project partners of PLATINA3, Dionysus and the masterplan DIWA are working on collecting input for their dedicated studies, yet at the same time giving them the chance to share intermediate results with a wide range of experts. The RIS COMEX project will launch its European fairway information portal ‘EuRIS’ in the course of 2022.

Four themes
After the break, the participants joined either one of the four break-out rooms to go into more detail and moreover to share opportunities, requirements and discuss how relevant authorities together with the industry representatives can support a successful digital transformation in IWT.

The themes of the four break out rooms were:

  • Smart Shipping
  • Synchro modality
  • River Information Services
  • Sea and inland ports

This thematic approach resulted in lively discussions and new expert inputs relevant for all of the European projects. During the final plenary part, the results of the discussions in the break-out rooms were shared with all the participants. Representatives from European Commission’s DG MOVE congratulated the initiative and highlighted the need for similar future cooperation activities of the IWT sector in Europe.

2The 2021 Danube Ports Day was successfully organised in the frame of the DIONYSUS project by the teams of Pro Danube Management and the Port Authority Vukovar, with the support of the Danube Ports Network.

The event brought together more than 70 experts from the Danube Region and beyond, interested in topics related to (i) the potential of inland ports in urban mobility, (ii) fleet electrification as well as (iii) sustainable port logistics solutions. General information on the DIONYSUS project was presented by Mr Silviu Meterna of Pro Danube Romania, the lead partner of the DIONYSUS project. The audience received detailed information on funding opportunities, such as the new Interreg Danube Transnational Programme as well as on Connecting Europe Facility 2. 

Good practice examples in the field of Danube vessel fleet electrification, as well as sustainable logistics and port solutions in urban areas, were presented by highly experienced stakeholders.  Mr. Tomislav Uroda representing iCAT, a Croatian company specialised in innovative ship design and shipbuilding gave an insight into their solar-powered passenger vessel concept. Mr. Edwin van Hassel from the University of Antwerp introduced the “Smart Waterway Project”, a concept developed in order to demonstrate the benefits of using waterways for the distribution of freight in the urban area of Ghent. Mr. Robert Rafael on behalf of the DPN introduced notable examples of sustainable practices collected from several logistics service providers operating in the urban area of Budapest. Moving further downstream towards the Port of Constanta, Mr. Alexandru Craciun representing DP World Constanta shared very interesting insights on DP world’s innovative initiatives to be rolled out in the Danube Region.

We would like to use this opportunity to give special thanks to all our speakers, including Ms. Katharina Lenz of EU Danube Strategy Point, Mr. Horst Schindler of DTP Joint Secretariat, Mr. Turi Fiorito of EFIP, Mr. Danijel Bilušković of Port of Vukovar Ltd and to the moderators Ms. Iva Horvat, Ms. Ruxandra Matzalik Florescu and Mr. Miroslav Madarac.

List of presentations:

01_2021_11_23_PDR_Silviu Meterna

02_2021_11_23_EU Strategy Point_Katharina Lenz


04_2021_11_23_JS_Horst Schindler

05_2021_11_23_EFIP_Turi Fiorito

06_2021_11_23_Port of Vukovar_Danijel Biluskovic

07_2021_11_23_iCat_Tomislav Uroda_Electric Vessels

08_2021_11_23_University of Antwerp_Edwin van Hassel


10_2021_11_23_DP World_Alexandru Craciun

Rolled oistockphoto 1140113570 612x612ut in the framework of the DIONYSUS project, the Danube Ports Day 2021 event is meant to continue the well-established practice in the DAPHNE project by holding events dedicated to port affairs providing insights into the policy framework and concrete examples of development works and projects as well as to trigger future key actions meant to place Danube Region ports as ideal locations for setting up businesses relying on waterborne infrastructure. 

The 2021 edition is organised by the Port Authority Vukovar in close cooperation with Pro Danube Management and shall facilitate a structured discussion on port development opportunities touching on topics such as (a) (urban) mobility, (b) electrification and (c) port logistics.  

Date & time: 23 November 2021 / 10:00 – 12:30 (CET)

Location: online (Teams) based on prior registration

Agenda: here

Following the Danube Ports Day event, a digitalisation workshop entitled "Opportunities & requirements for the digitalisation of Inland Waterway Transport" initiated by Platina3DIWARIS COMEXDIONYSUS, and the sector representatives Pro DanubeEICB, and the IWT Platform, will be organised. The workshop focuses on how digital transformation can support business activities and reporting formalities in the upcoming years. To this end, it will collect valuable inputs regarding further requirements on synchromodality, ICT infrastructure, River Information Services and Smart Shipping, data sharing & integration, cybersecurity and compliance. The event is structured along four break-out rooms which focus on i) smart shipping, ii) synchromodality, iii) RIS and iv) sea and inland ports (supported by the Danube Ports Network), complemented by a plenary session. 
The aim of the workshop is to bring together a wide range of expertise and professional insights from shippers, barge owners, and operators, logistics service providers, representatives of ports and terminal operators as well as technology providers and authorities interested in the latest developments in the field of digital transformation, automation and data sharing in IWT. 

Date and time: 23 November 2021 / 13:30 – 16:30 (CET)

Location: online, based on prior registration

Agenda: here

Further information and registration are available here.

danube ports logo curbeDuring the meeting, the role of the Danube Ports Network (DPN) as a knowledge facilitator and project initiator was highlighted. Launched in the framework of the DAPhNE project, the DPN is an initiative that has emerged in response to a real need to address and reduce the development and innovation gap between the ports situated on the Rhine-Danube Corridor, aiming towards cooperation strengthening between inland and maritime ports in the Danube Region.

DPN brings together public and private sea & inland ports and terminal operators from the Danube Region willing to engage in a long-term, active, and coordinated cooperation process benefiting the port industry and regional economy at large. Moreover, DPN emphasizes the importance of sharing knowledge and networking to keep the Danube ports at the forefront of global innovation and as such to adapt them to the needs and requirements of a future-oriented European transport system. One of these recent initiatives refers to E4Danube - On-Shore Power Supply in Danube Region Ports. In light of Europe's ambitious target to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, E4Danube aims to provide solutions for the transition towards a zero-emission transport mode. The project furthermore aims to comply with the corridor approach in order to reflect the possibilities for a harmonised financing, invoicing, and payment framework. 

The presentation is available for download here

participants online surveysDeveloped within the DIONYSUS project with the support of the Danube Ports Network (DPN), the aim of the "Survey on Port Statistics and COVID-19 Impact" is to collect information on port traffic in the midst of the pandemic covering the year 2020. While Danube shipping is closely correlated with developments in the global and regional economy, the average number of port calls, as well as the amount of the handled products and traffic in passenger transport, could generate useful insights into the actual impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Danube IWT. The survey furthermore touches upon topics linked to any kind of procedural restrictions that might have impaired a smooth transport flow. 

The survey has been elaborated by the teams of Pro Danube Management (AT) in cooperation with Public Ports (SK), Ennshafen Port (AT), the Hungarian Federation of Danube Ports (HU), Constanta Maritime Ports Administration (RO), and the Port Governance Agency (RS).

The survey is open from end-June 2021 until 15 September 2021.


DPN MeetingOrganised online on 27 April, the core objective of the Danube Ports Network (DPN) Advisory Board Meeting was to undertake a thorough review of the activities carried out by the Technical Secretariat in order to determine how it could best support the needs of Danube ports. High on the agenda were the milestones reached since the start of the DIONYSUS project, such as the launch of a new, interactive website with a multitude of updated features. These new functionalities include the Port Knowledge Center and the Digital Initiatives Observatory. Both serve as instruments for knowledge creation and facilitation and are periodically being updated with relevant information.

It was unanimously agreed that the activities of the DPN shall continue in representing the interest of the network and its partners in national and transnational port-related initiatives and projects, emphasizing its importance in keeping Danube ports at the forefront of innovation, thus facilitating their adaptation to the needs and requirements of a modern, future-oriented transport system. Moreover, the DPN will continue to actively support diverse forms of cooperation and partnerships between Danube ports leading to synergies and higher efficiency. 

Jointly initiated Push4Danubeby Pro Danube International and Pro Danube Austria, the aim of Push4Danube is to bundle the investment needs of the sector in order to facilitate the adequate financing of IWT related projects. Challenged by an unprecedented crisis, the active involvement of the sector is a key prerequisite to successfully adapt the IWT industry to the latest environmental EU policy framework. Pro Danube International urges the businesses operating on the Danube to participate in the online survey using the following link.

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