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Bucharest – Danube Logistic Area

January 9, 2012

Sooner or later, the construction of Bucharest-Danube Canal will be completed. Arranged along the rivers Arges and Dambovitza, the canal will be a waterway connecting Bucharest to the Danube. Like any large-scale work, the canal will restart the debate on the pros and cons, but one must not forget that this is a strategic objective with long term service, producing effects across many generations of users. This will change the balance in the modal-split of traffic flows in the zone of ​​influence and will polarize the socio-economic and logistic activities. In this context, the potential traffic divertible to the Bucharest-Danube Canal has the following favourable premises as a strategic support:

1. The traffic generated by the Canal will have the following major traffic sources:

a. Opportunity traffic generated by the mere existence of the Canal.

b. Intermodal traffic, attracted by inter-, multi-, and co-modalities of the inland waterway transport on the Bucharest – Danube Canal in relation, on direct competition or on cooperation, to other modes of transport. Strategic requirements for achieving the Bucharest – Danube Canal occur: efficient inter-, multi- and co-modal technologies and infrastructures; connecting the canal infrastructure to the other transport networks, primarily to the road network.

c. Traffic generated by value-added services: logistic services, services for concentration / consolidation of traffic, industrial zones, free zones etc. For example, several road trains can bring containers and other intermodal units onto the intermodal platforms in the canal area. They are consolidated in large batches to be sent further on the Danube. Regional and urban distribution platforms can be set up.

2. The Bucharest – Danube Canal is located in the most powerful region in term of socio – economic growth (Bucharest – Ilfov) which is also the best equipped with logistic services and networks. For this reason we call it Bucharest Logistic Pole (or Bucharest – Ilfov).

3. The freight traffic in the current river transport shows by its stability that this market is now “frozen” in terms of structure and dynamics. The canal, coupling the logistic pole Bucharest to the Danube, could “break” that logistic deadlock.

4. The Bucharest – Danube Canal has a route along which sophisticated logistics skills can be developed in the long run, which makes us call its corridor the Bucharest Danube Logistic Area.

5. Policies and strategies with a direct impact on Bucharest – Danube Canal, originating from local, regional, national, European and global levels must be considered.

6. Intermodal competition generated and supported by Bucharest – Danube Canal should be considered as a strategic objective, especially in relation to the road transport. According to the current strategies and to those expected on the medium and long run, it is required the modal shift of the traffic flows from road to the IWT (inland waterway transport), rail and SSS (Short Sea Transport). Consequently, the divertible road traffic to the Canal is the most relevant point for the transport policy.

7. The Logistic Pole Bucharest will determine the traffic structure in the future Canal, at least in the following directions:

a. Development and diversification of the distribution/ collection system of traffic flows on the outer circular crown of the Bucharest metropolitan area.

b. Stimulation of industry, construction and services in its zone of influence.

c. Development of new socio – economic and logistic structures in the canal area.

8. Since a major source of traffic on Bucharest – Danube Canal is the cooperation of the inland waterway transport with other transport modes, the technological design strategy of equipping the Bucharest – Danube Canal is the use of intermodal technologies: containers, swap-bodies, trailers, Ro – Ro etc.

9. There are traffic sources that can be exploited in the long run based on sophisticated logistics scenarios. These sources of potential traffic are represented by the Black Sea Area, TRACECA corridor, Short Sea Shipping in the Black Sea with direct access of motor ships up to the Bucharest – Danube Canal, express delivery / collection service using fast ships, tourism and leisure, nautical sports etc.

The river traffic actually achievable on the Bucharest – Danube Canal is only a fraction of the potentially divertible traffic and will depend on the quality of the strategic management of the institutions, as well as on the operational management of logistics companies to be active in the future. The reference scenarios for the Bucharest-Danube Canal are built starting from the abovementioned premises. Thus, it is obtained the traffic forecast, whose actual implementation is restricted by the capacity to achieve the infrastructure related to the canal and to its zone of influence.

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