Inland navigation is a specific mode of transport that is perfectly suitable for bulk transport and container transport, especially on medium and long distances (more than 100 km). In particular, the large rivers in Europe and the canals, which for the large part were built in the nineteenth century, are perfectly fitted for this mode of transport. In Figure 7.1 the freight volumes in European Union (EU) member countries in 2009 are indicated by country of origin, demonstrating that the vast majority of inland navigation in Europe takes place in four countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. This picture shows that the Rhine Scheldt estuary is especially popular for inland navigation. Almost 30 per cent of the containers and the majority of coal and ore that is shipped from Rotterdam to the hinterland use this mode of transport.
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