REWWay- Research and Education in Inland Waterway Logistics in Austria

Context of Transport Climate Action

Road transport – which induces the highest external costs in terms of safety, noise, congestion and emissions – is used for around 75% of the volume of freight transported in Europe. One approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport is to foster the use of more environmentally friendly transport modes, especially of inland navigation and rail. Hence, the European Union supports more environmentally friendly modes of transport, such as inland waterway transport (IWT).

An important measure to reduce emissions is to raise awareness of, and educate people on the subject of sustainable transport. Nonetheless, it is challenging to increase the modal share of inland waterway transport when logistics companies are not familiar with this transport mode while they fully understand the modes that they use on a daily basis, (road transport). As logistics students are tomorrow´s decision makers, it is of particular importance, to start raising awareness about this environmentally friendly transport mode already within logistics education. In Austria, this is done via the REWWay initiative.


The goal of REWWay is to provide information on inland navigation and multimodal transport and to integrate the topic into Austrian and international logistics education and training in order to raise acceptance of the Danube as environmentally friendly way of transport. This is done by:

a) the provision of high quality and up-to-date teaching materials

  • wide variety of options (PowerPoints, scripts, short films, exercises/solutions, case studies, serious games,…);
  • user-friendly approach (easy to use, target group oriented);
  • individually adaptable, open access and easy to update (Creative Common Licenses, no copyright); and
  • international (German and English versions, adaptable to country-specifics).

b) (Inter)-national networking activities between educational institutions, business actors and research via:

  • organization and arrangement of excursions;
  • guest lectures;
  • joint projects;
  • case studies; and
  • best practice examples.

To disseminate and share the tools developed and to organize networking activities, a web-based information platform ( has been developed and introduced. Interested persons (such as educational institutes and government representatives) are able to download all the materials and to book different workshops and guest lectures as well as having access with industry stakeholders to obtain first hand insights on how inland waterway transport is used in practice. Educational materials are available both in German and English.


Section of the REWWay-information platform (


Due to the lack of education on sustainable transport, there was both a lack of teaching materials available as well as a low level of teachers´ knowledge about inland waterway transport. To overcome these shortcomings, an information platform was developed and “train-the-trainer” workshops with teachers from relevant educational institutions take place to long time ensure that an independent integration of the topic into logistics education was possible.

Furthermore, workshops with students from relevant educational institutions are organized. To date the workshops took place mainly at the Austrian Inland port of Enns, in order to get a practical insight and to create common interfaces with industry stakeholders.

In 2015 workshops attended by more than 400 students from different Austrian educational institutions (vocational schools, business schools, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria) were organized.

Connections and funding within other cross-border projects (e.g EU funded projects HINT, PROMINENT) were additionally used to ensure international visibility and to integrate inland waterway transport knowledge into neighboring countries. This helps to ensure the sustainability and long term understanding of using this mode.


Workshop example: Interactive workshop on inland navigation with logistics trainees at the port of Enns


The EU White Paper of Transport (2011) recognizes inland navigation as an energy-efficient transport mode and encourages the raising of its share in the modal split.

CO2 emissions of IWT are, in comparison to other modes of transport, especially low. To raise awareness on inland waterway transport and to foster a modal shift from road to inland navigation will contribute to the achievement of European Union climate goals.

The main contributions of the REWWay initiative towards this goals are:

  • Education about the contribution of inland navigation to logistics students;
  • Making all educational material freely available on a multilingual (German and English) website;

Integration between knowledge institutes and the logistics industry.

Potential for scaling up

Currently the main effort of REWWay is to foster the integration of inland navigation into Austrian logistics education and training. Within the next few years this will extend to raising awareness at cross- border on an international level – especially across the whole of Europe. Therefore, dissemination, workshops and train-the-trainer events will be organized in other countries. The, close cooperation with important stakeholders from other countries, as already initiated within other projects (such as via the HORIZON 2020 project: PROMINENT), is essential to be able to attract the right target audience. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are necessary for the long-term success of the integration of IWT in logistics education.

Selected references



Rhine Main Danube Corridor , starting from Austria




December 2018


Austria, Mitigation, Freight, inland shipping, Partnerships, Awareness


University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria viadonau


Lisa-Maria Putz Research Project Manager Project Leader

"The goal of REWWay is to raise awareness for inland waterway transport as part of the transport chain. Due to a high level of effort, in REWWay and other funding projects, we successfully built up a logistics competence center for IWT transport. The key success factors are based on the connection between industry, education and R&D."
-Prof. Dr. Oliver Schauer, co-founder of REWWay)