Inland waterway transport of the futureInland waterway transport of the future
In Dialogue with Logistics

Inland waterway transport of the future


Hydrogen and electric battery in use on the Rhine

As a traditional transport industry, inland waterway transport faces many stereotypes. Developments in this field may not occur as rapidly as in the trucking or aviation sectors. However, even here, shipowners and freight forwarders are preparing for a leap into the future - with the help of promising hydrogen technology.

The recurring low water levels on the Rhine and other waterways in Europe have been the trigger for a sustainable shift in thinking within the industry. What was once considered a once-in-a-century event now affects navigation annually and extends well beyond the summer months, lasting until October or November. As a driver of innovation, inland waterway transport, after testing LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and finding it to be deemed unprofitable according to the World Bank, is now focusing on electric batteries and hydrogen as alternatives.

"In essence, it doesn't matter which propulsion system is ultimately used - the real innovation is the electrified motor and ship wave that will allow us to use other forms of propulsion in the future, such as methanol or HVO," explains Herbert Berger, Managing Director of Rhenus Schiffsmanagement, in the "Logistics People Talk" podcast. He and his colleague, Dirk Gemmer, Managing Director of Rhenus Transport, present the concept of Rhenus for three new inland vessels that utilise electric batteries as propulsion modules alongside the latest Stage VI diesel engines. Two of the ships also have hydrogen fuel cells. It's true pioneering work, as Rhenus had to apply for a new certification class for this propulsion concept.

However, this project is not just a pie in the sky. "We are building these ships for real use," says Dirk Gemmer. "By using the battery module and hydrogen fuel cell in actual ship operations, fuel costs can be reduced by up to 80 percent. At the same time, CO2 and NOx emissions can be reduced by up to 72 percent." However, as Herbert Berger emphasises, it is important to understand that each new ship construction is unique. Unlike other modes of transportation, ships are customised to meet the specific conditions of each waterway and navigation area.

Moreover, an inland vessel operates for a much longer period compared to a truck or even a railway wagon. "Our ships are typically in service for at least 50 years. Even when the engine or other components are replaced, the ship hull and barges can be used for up to 100 years. Consequently, the investments for new constructions or renovations are significant, reaching into the tens of millions," explains Dirk Gemmer.

To learn more about the new flagship vessels of the Rhenus fleet and the future strategy of inland waterway transport, tune in to the latest episode of Logistics People Talk.

Please note: This episode is only available in German. You can find the English transcript below.


Logistics People Talk | episode 19

This time on the podcast: How Dirk Gemmer and Herbert Berger, Managing Directors at Rhenus Transport and Rhenus Schiffsmanagement, respond to the extent of climate change and modernise a traditional mode of transportation to make it future-proof.

Transcript of our podcast episode


Andrea Goretzki: Hello, welcome to a new episode of Logistics People Talk, the official Rhenus podcast for all logistics fans. Today we’re clearing the air for you on alternative drives in inland shipping. Welcome from your hosts,


Gwen Dünner: Gwen Dünner.


Andrea Goretzki: and Andrea Goretzki.


Gwen Dünner: Nowhere is climate change felt as strongly as on inland waterways. Years of low water in the twentieth century have followed one another, and the hunger stones of the Middle Ages have recently reappeared. For inland waterway transportation, and not just starting this year, this has been a serious situation in need of a solution. In addition, there is the often voiced accusation that inland waterway vessels are too noisy, too dirty and too old-fashioned. An accusation we clearly deny here. But while all modes of transport are in a race to come up with the most innovative idea for alternative propulsion, the operational life of an inland waterway vessel is quite a bit longer. A ship on the Rhine, Elbe or Danube does not run for five to ten years, but for half a century or even a century. Nevertheless, the industry has woken up and is working on new concepts. What are these exactly? For this purpose, we have brought in reinforcements today from the most traditional unit in Rhenus because, after all, for us it all started with inland waterway transportation. Our guests today are Dirk Gemmer, Managing Director of Rhenus Transport, and Herbert Berger, Managing Director of Rhenus Schiffsmanagement (vessel management). Welcome and thank you very much for being with us today.


Dirk Gemmer: I would also like to thank you very much for inviting us. We are very happy about it and we hope that we can use this podcast to make ourselves known to the public a little bit.


Herbert Berger: Yes, I agree with that and would like to reject a first impression that has probably been created: Inland waterway transportation is not noisy. Inland waterway transportation is the mode of transport that floats quietly across green landscapes.


Andrea Goretzki: Very nice, a great picture to start with. Yes, let’s start with the topic. Mr Gemmer, let’s first clear up the rumours and false accusations. How sustainable is inland waterway transportation compared to other modes of transport such as by rail and truck, and how do you deal with the issue of low water?


Dirk Gemmer: Yes, these are two questions that have little to do with each other. Let’s start with sustainability. There are a lot of statistics and it is always very difficult to find exact figures. If we start from a pure CO₂ perspective, inland waterway transportation is just behind the railways. But we also have to ask ourselves whether all the figures are always correct. Especially in the case of the railways, because people often pretend that only green electricity or a coal mix is used. People tend to forget that diesel traction is often used on the last mile, as well as in mainline travel. So things actually look quite good for us and we are officially in second place after lorries and ahead of the railways. Today, everyone only talks about CO₂. The environmental impact also goes in the direction of nitrogen oxides and NOx and there, I believe, we are still quite strongly in the lead in terms of tonne-kilometres. Even if the statistics attribute considerably more advantages to the railways. But I don’t want to compete with other modes of transport. I believe that, with 0.01 particles, we are in a very good position, and I can only reject by a long shot what was recently on television about dirty church organs or closed car tunnels in Düsseldorf. Let us now turn to the subject of low water. This is a phenomenon that is actually affecting us more and more often. Looking back, just a few years ago, I was also one of the ones talking about once-in-a-century of low water levels. Then reality caught up with us. Reality actually proved us wrong. The phases of low water are shorter in duration. If we now consider: how can we still offer the customer reasonable service? How do we as inland waterway transportation deal with this? We are planning and implementing new ship designs, for example, where we have shallower-draught ships. But there is still a long way to go before such a fleet of 8,000 ships in Europe is converted. We won’t be able to do that so quickly. But we at Rhenus naturally have an inconceivable network of ports that we are always happy to offer for warehousing and interim solutions. We are already partly implementing this for customers here in the Lower Rhine region, but if I go up the Rhine and take the Mannheim region, we are also represented there. We also work very intensively with our colleagues so that at least when we can foresee that another low-water wave is rolling towards us ... Or rather, that is the wrong expression. If another wave of low water is imminent, we naturally want to set up a clear, secure transport chain immediately in terms of warehousing and with the other modes of transport that Rhenus has to offer.


Herbert Berger: A few words on the subject of low water: in inland waterway transportation, we actually speak of low water when an inland vessel has to unload to suit the water level in order to reach its destination. There are, of course, extremely low water levels, like the ones we had in 2018 and last year in Kaub, where we were at 27 and 30 centimetres, respectively. You can then add a metre to that to determine the loaded draught. But that was only on individual days. In 2018, we had a longer phase of low water. You can talk about six to seven months where we had to unload to suit the water level. That is low water for us. Looking to the future, we have to assume that these phases of low water will increase every year. The length or duration is then uncertain. It depends on the weather. Today it is raining. That is very good for us.


Dirk Gemmer: To pick up again where Mr Berger left off: yes, climate change is making itself known. The glaciers, which served as a permanent water reservoir and water inflow and kept the Rhine at acceptable levels in terms of run-off, are breaking away, and we are actually developing more and more into a rain river. We are already familiar with this on the Elbe. Now it has also happened with the Rhine, and even if we look out today, we have decent water levels. But if I go back to the other side of the Alps, for example, where Lake Garda is half-full right now and France is also moaning about drought, I can’t imagine that it won’t hit us again this year. We will have to rethink all the concepts within Rhenus and adapt them accordingly.


Gwen Dünner: Just a heads-up: I now have a question for both of you. Our topic today is alternative drives. In the truck sector, electric drives have a head start. But what about inland waterway transportation? Which types of drive are being tested here or have perhaps already proven themselves?


Dirk Gemmer: Today, inland waterway transportation still has machines that are 40 or 50 years old due to their longevity. We definitely have to do something about that. It can’t go on like this. When we talk about modern machines today, as they were in part promoted by the legislature last year, when we talk about CCNR2, this ultimately corresponds to stage two, which we know from lorries or cars. The lorry is now already at level six. This shows that we definitely have to develop further. That is what we want to do. Now it’s about to get quite technical, so I’ll hand over to our colleague. I’m just the merchant who has to pay for everything. But we have been working on this for a long time now. We have new legislation from the EU, the MNR regulation, which says that we are on a very short leash with all the exhaust values. I have to say that this is really new technology because, of course, we also work with exhaust gas filters. Otherwise, the technology is definitely moving towards an electric drive. But now I’ll pass on to my colleague because it’s getting technical now and I’m staying out of it for the time being.


Herbert Berger: In 1937, the first inland vessel was equipped with a diesel engine. That was 86 years ago, and over the years the engine itself has, of course, developed much more efficiently. In inland waterway transportation, we also had the emissions stage in 2003, where we had to reduce emissions of NOx, CO₂ and particulate matter. The second stage came in 2007 with stage two, and in 2022 we then moved to stage five. If an inland vessel’s engine or an auxiliary engine has to be replaced now, stage five applies. However, as Mr Gemmer has already explained, there are already further developments regarding stage six. In the meantime, marinised truck engines have also found uses in inland waterway transportation so that we have a status here that is comparable with road transport. In this respect, a lot has happened in these years, especially in the last few years. When talking about alternative types of propulsion, it must also be mentioned that gas engines have also found their way into inland waterway transportation. They are powered by LNG and the first ships entered service here in 2017. LNG engines have not been able to establish themselves in inland waterway transportation because the bunker network is lacking and, moreover, the conversion or equipping of ships with this technology is very expensive. Maintenance is not exactly cheap either.


Andrea Goretzki: Mr Gemmer, now we have some pilot projects at Rhenus regarding alternative drives. I have heard that you are also planning something. Why don’t you tell me about it?


Dirk Gemmer: Yes, we are planning on several fronts. First up, we have set ourselves the goal of implementing Rhenus DNA, which we all carry within us, of becoming more environmentally friendly and climate neutral, in that we are really putting new engines into existing shipping space. We spent a lot of money last year on these stage five engines with exhaust gas technology. Four ships already meet this standard. We are, of course, in the process of building three new ships together with our sister Contargo, whereby one ship, admittedly, is still in the tendering process. Two ships are already under construction. We have already had the new ship design worked out in cooperation with the University of Duisburg and the DSD, the Schifffahrtsversuchsanstalt (nautical shipping research centre). We are already in a position to have gained 20 centimetres, if things go well even 25 centimetres, more draught. Everything that is available in terms of the latest technology is being built in here. That means we have electric propulsion, we have marinised truck engines. It sounds so simple, but it’s not that simple. The truck engine itself has a licence. But it is not allowed to be installed on ships with this approval because there are special legal regulations. But there are partners who have really invested a lot of time, energy and know-how in order to make such a marinised engine. We work partly with fuel cells. We work with battery packs. But here, too, I must say, I am happy to pass on to my colleague. My colleague Berger was very instrumental in the development. But I also it remember well when we sat down together for the first time three years ago and worked according to the motto: ‘On Lake Constance, ships also run on battery power. Why can’t we actually do that?’ I believe that after long discussions and very intense arguments, some of which we had internally between commercially-minded people and technically-minded people, something really great came out of it.


Herbert Berger: Yes, the project planning for these ships took several years. We have been working on them for at least five years. What can we implement in a modern, efficient way? Three keywords were the basis. Firstly, low water, which has already been mentioned. As usual, energy efficiency. Can we save even more fuel somewhere, like our competitors? Ultimately, this is also due to the current topic of climate change, which demands emission reductions. How low-water capable are these ships? We can sail with these vessels down to a minimum draught of 1.20 metres. This was achieved by reducing the thickness of the materials. The deck height has been optimised. The transverse bracing was brought into the hold to increase stability. Ballast cells were dispensed with. In this respect, we arrive at a hull weight which is not usual in inland waterway transportation. Energy efficiency was achieved through the folding tunnel, which was also used for the first time by Rhenus in the past, and, as has already been said several times, more efficient engines, which are now also being used here. Of course, emissions are ultimately reduced by the exhaust gas aftertreatment system and, as in the case of the two vehicles Rhenus Mannheim and Rhenus Ludwigshafen, by the use of hydrogen, which produces the energy for the fuel cell.


Dirk Gemmer: May I add something here once again?


Andrea Goretzki: Sure, go ahead.


Dirk Gemmer: Energy efficiency is always such a big word. I would like to put this into practice. We want to use the ships, or rather our sister Contargo, wants to use the ships to travel between Rotterdam and Mannheim. There are actually calculated figures that correspond to some extent with reality. At least that’s what we can say about the conventional shipping space. We need about 16,000 litres of diesel for one round trip. That’s a lot! Car drivers who need their 5 litres per 100 kilometres can’t really imagine that. As you know, we first convert one ship to diesel-electric propulsion with the battery pack, and the second ship gets the fuel cell. But just so you understand something about this modern engine technology: we are able to save 5 to 6,000 litres in one rotation. That means about 30 per cent less fuel per round trip, just for diesel-electric, and if we calculate that again with the fuel cell, we will only need 2,500 litres of diesel, which is 84 per cent less. It has to be said that with the conventional new building alone, that’s what I call it, that’s about 30 tonnes less CO₂ per rotation.


Andrea Goretzki: Awesome. That is already a lot.


Gwen Dünner: This is, of course, very good news. At the same time, one cannot help but think: all right. Three new ships, but the Rhenus fleet is significantly larger and overall you don’t often hear about such new construction projects. But, Mr Berger, why are new constructions, conversions or renewals of inland vessels so rare?


Herbert Berger: Every ship is basically unique. When planning new ships, there are differences due to the area of operation, the power requirements, i.e. where the ship will be used, in the route or canal, the route conditions and the sizes that have to be taken into account, length, width, draught and, last but not least, the fixed point of each vehicle so that it can also pass through the bridge. In this respect, every ship is basically more or less unique and is not actually built in series. The area of operation and the cargo situation simply do not allow for that. The ships that have been talked about here this whole time were also designed specifically for the Rhine. This means that we have a current on the Rhine which we have to sail against. Then we need great power. We want large convoys in small water. That means we want to move widths of 22.90 metres and a length of 193 metres from Rotterdam to Wörth. We need a lot of power for that. All this has to be taken into account and flexibility plays a big role here. That’s why there are actually very few new constructions. This is also due to the fact that an inland vessel lasts 50 years. In this respect, conversion plays more of a role. An inland waterway vessel that is 50 years old very rarely still has the original engine in it. This is actually a technology that is replaced in about half of the ageing inland vessels. An old engine is replaced by a current, efficient engine and then starts to run through the second phase of its life again.


Dirk Gemmer: If I may interject, we must not forget that we are talking about investments of millions that are also geared to precisely such durations, as my colleague has just said. We are talking very quickly about an amount in the tens of millions.


Herbert Berger: Most recently, we reached stage five starting in 2022. This means that engines in inland waterway vessels may only be replaced if they are to be replaced by stage five engines. These are usually engines with exhaust gas aftertreatment and to that extent we will also significantly reduce emissions and pollutants here. Of course, this takes time because a ship’s engine is also very long-lasting.


Andrea Goretzki: You have both just mentioned some of the new technologies that are being installed in such ships. I can imagine that this will also result in changed safety requirements. I’m thinking here again of burning lithium-ion batteries or exploding hydrogen tanks. Are such images realistic or am I overreacting?


Dirk Gemmer: No, let’s put our feet back on the ground. I have never heard of a hydrogen tank exploding. I’m not familiar with that, unfortunately.


Andrea Goretzki: It always works in films and on TV.


Dirk Gemmer: Yes, it works in films and on TV.


Gwen Dünner: The Hindenburg?


Dirk Gemmer: I think batteries are safer than their reputation. Of course, you will always see great videos on YouTube channels. But we are quite sure, because we go through a very robust approval procedure, that we are really well and safely positioned. Again, I have to hand over to the technician. But I can say one thing: the battery room is designed so that even if something happens, it remains controllable, and the hydrogen containers are also installed or set up in such a way that we have nothing to fear. But here, as I said, I have to defer to my colleague, who has dealt with this very intensively. We must not forget that, firstly, the crew and, secondly, the environment are dear to us, and we do not want to experience something like this in the first place.


Herbert Berger: Yes, the accident figures actually speak for inland waterway transportation. We have almost no accidents at all, if there are collisions, but not because of engine or machinery failure, which would then have led to an emergency or an average. According to building regulations, it is still common to use engines with a flash point above 55 degrees. That is why there is low risk here. That is still the common practice and that is diesel fuel. We have also known about LNG in inland waterway transportation since 2017. LNG has a flash point below 55 degrees. There are special regulations here. Here there is the measure that there must be a risk assessment in order to obtain an approval. This is a condition and, in these risk assessments, which are carried out together with the classification society, all risks are considered. For example, that nothing happens when driving through a bridge if someone should drop a cigarette which is still smouldering. So that the tank and the technology are installed in such a way that, in the event of an accident, it cannot be a direct cause of something exploding, which has not been the case. What is new, and we also have to deal with this, is the special approval. We are saying that we have to get a recommendation for the operation of hydrogen on these new ships. This is new territory in inland waterway transportation. There are very few projects. Rhenus has one project. Here the first documents have been submitted. We had to do a risk assessment here as well. This has now also been carried out again with the classification society. Now the approval authority, the CCNR in Strasbourg, is decisive in granting us permission to store and use hydrogen on board our ships to supply the fuel cell and generate energy.


Dirk Gemmer: This process takes about a year. This shows that nothing is left to chance. That’s why we can look to the future with confidence.


Herbert Berger: That’s not entirely without its problems either. It also has to do with considerable costs. The entire approval of this recommendation is in the not inconsiderable ballpark of a six-digit figure.


Gwen Dünner: This is madness! I’ve never thought about the fact that, of course, a cigarette can fall off a bridge. Normally, when you think about shipwrecks, you think about the ship itself having some kind of damage or malfunction. But, of course, it also travels in the public space. That was not so clear to me until now.


Dirk Gemmer: We were aware of that. Not only because of safety.


Gwen Dünner: That’s good.


Dirk Gemmer: No, not only because of safety. But, of course, we also have products that we have to keep covered during transport so that there is no contamination from above. The danger from bridges or other sources is also always present.


Gwen Dünner: That makes sense in any case. Now we have already gone through a few types of propulsion: LNG, electric motor, hydrogen. So a lot has happened in the last few years in terms of alternative propulsion. But where do we go next? Where do you see the future of alternative propulsion in inland waterway transportation? Is there anything else? Is there anything else new?


Dirk Gemmer: I think that first of all we can assume that, when we talk about drives, we are talking about the electric drive. We always have to differentiate because everyone talks about LNG and about other types of propulsion, but it will actually be the electric motor, which then doesn’t care where it gets the electricity from. Now we can really go into depth technically. I can’t do that, I’m just the commerce guy, but my colleague can. Of course, at some point we may also get injectors that directly inject methane or whatever. At the moment, we are gearing our fleet to electric propulsion in new builds with stage five engines when they are converted or refurbished. Apart from that, we are currently focusing on the hydrogen issue, without even knowing whether this is the future. We know ourselves that a lot of hydrogen will be needed in the near future. I don’t know if there will be anything left for inland waterway transportation. Then we will have to re-equip. For us, it was important to do something, and to do it according to the status we had a year ago. We must not forget that there is also a certain lead time. If hydrogen becomes established, we can of course always replace our gensets, i.e. the power generators, with new fuel cells. If hydrogen doesn’t become established, we’ll definitely have the most modern truck engines installed, and development in that area is rapid. This development is going much further, which means that we can then pick right back up again and will be able to operate the machines. But now things are getting so technical again that I’d like to hand over to you. I hope I haven’t taken the wind out of your sails, Mr Berger.


Herbert Berger: No, absolutely not, let me just add to that. In inland waterway transportation, it is actually still common that, in 99 per cent of all European inland vessels, the classic combustion engine is still directly connected to the propeller shaft and drives the propeller shaft. That is the difference that Mr Gemmer highlighted. We are moving towards replacing this combustion engine with an electric motor on the propeller shaft, and we have already done this in the past on individual ships in order to be independent of whoever will be supplying the energy for this engine in the future. It may be an efficient diesel engine, or a combustion engine that runs on hydrogen, methanol or ammonia. Then you only have to replace the engine, but not tackle the drive. Of course, this saves considerable development and conversion costs, insofar as one can react more flexibly to any circumstances. I agree with Mr Gemmer that we still have to wait and see whether hydrogen will become established in inland waterway transportation. Yes, as a result of the performance it can deliver, it is suitable for providing power in inland waterway transportation or power for what such an inland vessel needs. That’s why we have to see where this goes. In terms of size, we are scalable with fuel cells, which will vary depending on the power that an inland waterway vessel needs. We can also retrofit here, and time will tell, and this will also depend to a large extent on the price of the individual energy sources.


Dirk Gemmer: To go back to your initial question, or a question from earlier, why is so little being done to modernise ships’ holds? If you listen to what has to happen, and we are talking about old ships’ holds, where people used to be happy and satisfied with having a diesel engine in them. Now they need a diesel engine, they need an exhaust system, they need the tank for AdBlue and often there is not enough space in these ships to put all that in. That’s why we always assume that we will be running on diesel for many years to come. Not us at Rhenus. We really want to do something about it. We also have the strength to say that we will rebuild and also change the ship design so that we can accommodate everything. But I think the industry itself will continue to run on diesel for a long time. There will be very few pioneers. But you all know that our market is participant-driven. What does that mean? It is flooded with micro-enterprises and that is actually a good thing. In a commercial sense, this has proven itself. But, of course, there is often no room to manoeuvre when millions are at stake. There is various funding available, some of which we also draw on. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive this funding twice now. That’s why this conversion is completely at our expense. The way there is also very difficult. It is therefore also hardly feasible for one or two small private entrepreneurs. The only thig I can do is to use this podcast to appeal to the relevant parts of the government to increase funding and make it the way there a lot easier. If you think about it, we actually have dedicated law firms and a technology department of three people ... We have more people in technology, but it took three people from there and lawyers to just write funding applications. Then you can imagine how it is for a small private entrepreneur who is on board together with his wife. This still makes up a large portion of the whole inland waterway transportation sector in the Netherlands, here where we are and in Belgium.


Gwen Dünner: All the more important then to continue with the resolution: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


Dirk Gemmer: We are not experimenting with the pudding, let me make that quite clear. We don’t have pilot projects either, but we are moving in the direction of actually using our units in tough everyday use, and we are already doing this with the truck. Experimenting would be something like this: we have a look and take a research vessel. That vessel already exists. It’s called Elektra and it sails up in Berlin. That’s experimenting, but it’s almost only state-funded. We have really gathered the know-how to be able to use a great, finished new ship afterwards. We have to add that the individual parts of this ship are also not rocket science. The big issue is the interaction of the components. We have diesel generators in it that we don’t actually want to use; we have a fuel cell and batteries in it. That’s new. That’s the test we’re running now, although we’re pretty sure it will work. How can these three components be electronically coordinated so that it all works? Where is the advantage? The advantage of the diesel units is that, contrary to the old technology, they always run at the optimal rev range. That means that if I need more power, a second machine simply jumps in. If I produce too much power, I don’t shut it down slowly; instead the power goes into the battery until the battery has stored so much power that a genset can go out again. That is unexplored. But the individual parts, I think, Mr Berger, correct me if I’m wrong, are state of the art and it works. As far as management is concerned, I will hand over to my colleague.


Herbert Berger: Yes, that exactly how to put it, Mr Gemmer! We have not yet talked about a technology that we have also installed. With these ships, which are now under construction and will be put into service next year, all operating data will of course be constantly recorded. That means we can call up the current status, the as-is status. But we can also combine the collected data in order to learn from it how the (ship’s) captain can operate his vehicle even more efficiently. Is the speed optimal for the entire consumption? In other words, we use the operational data to deploy ships even more efficiently and also to design them for the future. With these ships we don’t stop building, it’s basically like a computer. When the computer is purchased and switched on, the next generation starts. It’s the same with us. Then you will see what you implement.


Andrea Goretzki: We are super excited about it. What we definitely take away from this podcast episode today: there will be at least one ship’s christening at Rhenus this year.


Dirk Gemmer: I’m afraid I have to correct you there.


Andrea Goretzki: Two?


Dirk Gemmer: No, not two either, there will probably be one, but not until the beginning of the year. A ship’s christening like this is something special because so many ships are no longer built in Germany. Our idea today is actually to christen both ships at the same time. That’s why it may probably happen in the first quarter of next year.


Andrea Goretzki: Good, we have now updated the calendars. Next year there will be a ship’s christening, a particularly big one because it involves two ships. Not that we want to invite ourselves, but Mr Gemmer, now that you have discovered your love of podcasts, we can use this opportunity to record a sequel.


Dirk Gemmer: Now you’ve caught me out again. I actually didn’t want to invite Marketing to the ship’s christening to make sure they wouldn’t get the idea of doing another podcast.


Andrea Goretzki: You see, we beat you to it.


Dirk Gemmer: But as long as I have active support from the technical department ... No, really, I’d be happy to do it again and again. No troubles!


Andrea Goretzki: Mr Gemmer, Mr Berger, thank you very much for being our guests today with a status quo on sustainable inland waterway transportation. It was fun talking to both of you!


Dirk Gemmer: Yes, we’d also like to say thank you, and we hope that many colleagues listen to this and gain insight into inland waterway transportation operators. We also hope that many competitors in the market listen to this and are envious. But we would like it even more if the customers listen to this so that they know that things are happening here. Every customer should know that if they transport their goods with us, they will soon also be able to save CO₂.


Herbert Berger: There is nothing more for me to add. Mr Gemmer always has the right words.


Gwen Dünner: Then it only remains to add that we are also pushing the issue internally. You know that the topic is in good hands here, that we are always very happy to continue working on it. We’ll be there for the ship’s christening. Did you hear that, Andrea? With that, we would also like to thank our listeners very much and say: Have a safe journey and always a hand’s breadth of water under your keel! Don’t forget: please rate, share and comment on Logistics People Talk on Spotify, Google and Apple Podcasts, as well as on our expert blog. We hope you’ll be on board again next time. Greetings from your dreamboat captains


Andrea Goretzki: Andrea Goretzki.


Gwen Dünner: and Gwen Dünner.


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