Economic Impacts of the Flemish Inland Waterways Masterplan

This paper describes how two waterway authorities are responsible for the management, operations and maintenance of the inland waterways: Waterwegen & Zeekanaal (W&Z) and NV de Scheepvaart (NVS) in Flanders. Both organizations have drafted a joint master plan that is aimed at improving the waterways network in order to enhance the use of inland shipping. This is of considerable importance to the Flemish and international economy due to its contribution as an environmental mode of transport. During the end of 2008 and especially in 2009 the inland shipping sector was hit hard by the global economic crisis. In Flanders, the volume of inland shipping declined by some 13% in 2009 and many companies faced financial difficulties. National governments throughout Europe, including in Belgium, took short term measures to try to stimulate growth or at least try to minimize decline. For the longer term, however, this gives the government the challenge of repairing its own financial position. This may have long term consequences for the waterways master plan, which involves plans covering over € 2 billion of investments planned for the period 2009 through 2014. A reduction or postponement of these investments may have an impact on several sectors. The impact will not be limited to the development of the inland shipping sector, but will also be noticed in the water construction sector. This paper presents the results of a review conducted on: (1) the economic impacts following the construction of the proposed investments: this covers e.g. the direct effect on labor impacts,and added value in the construction sector as well as indirect and deduced impacts in other sectors following intra-industry relations and consumption effects; Finally this section also calculates the revenues for government through taxes and social security contributions; (2) the consequences for inland shipping on the Flemish waterways: this covers e.g. the expected growth in waterway transport and the extra freight flows that may result from the investments; Also economic gains from efficiency improvements are addressed; (3) environmental impacts related to the investments: this covers e.g. the impacts on emissions from the transport sector (from modal shift and/or efficiency improvements) as well as impacts on other factors such as safety, and water management.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: European Transport Conference, 2010 Proceedings

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01350612
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2011 3:57PM