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Go with the flow – avoid being stuck in a jam

    Port Neuss, Germany, dock operation

    The ShortSeaShipping Inland Waterway Promotion Center Germany (SPC) is a public-private partnership aimed at making the waterway a larger part of the transportation chain. Three strategic focus areas support their goal of reduced emissions through intelligent utilization of the strengths from individual modes of transport.

    The EU aims to be climate neutral in 2050. To achieve this goal, the transport sector needs to become more environmentally friendly. More and more German freight forwarders are now demanding solutions from their service providers that are economical and environmentally friendly

    In the context of intermodal transport concepts, waterways and rail networks offer numerous ecological advantages. Alternative modes of transport can certainly score points for low noise generation, especially Waterways.

    Inland waterway transportation
    Photo: Hansi Brünglinghaus

    But the Modal Split is still appalling. In 2018 the Modal Split in the EU was around 52% for road transport, 30% for shortsea transport, 13% for rail transport, and only 4,1% for transport.

    The future is multimodal

    Multimodal transport is intelligent utilization of the strengths from individual modes of transport. Being for or against a specific transportation mode does not exist. The barrier for effective multimodal transports is transparent information on the different multimodal alternatives. To that end, SPC Germany provides information through its magazine, spc_Aktuell, and its weekly newsletter.

    No shift without professionals

    SPC-Germany trains specialists and imparts technical skills through education and training. With a solid commitment to the German academic environment, SPC-Germany informs students of maritime or logistics courses and vocational schools and companies.

    Good contacts = Good business

    The mission of the SPC is to develop multimodal transport solutions in dialogue with companies from industry, commerce, and transport.

    The SPC brings together experts familiar with short sea shipping, inland waterways, and rail transport at various public events. The next major event will be the ShortSeaShipping Days in Germany, Lübeck, on March 23-24, 2022.

    Port Neska port view
    Port Neska
    Photo: Michael Gaida

    The ShortSeaShipping Days is an anchor event that offers a mix of conference and trade shows, providing a place where companies can meet and discuss current issues.

    Intermodal know-how creates new perspectives

    Sustainability goals are a strong driver for multimodal transport management. Companies need to make savings, especially in CO2 emissions.

    There is still a lack of sufficient transparency in these environmentally friendly modes of transport. We are constantly working on this as part of our activities. We look forward to productive cooperation with our members and the other SPCs.
    Markus Nölke, Managing Director of the SPC-Germany

    The need to make CO2 savings calls for social responsibility towards the environment and society. Politicians and investors also want this. To this end, the SPC addresses shippers in so-called industry projects and advises them on their transports. Individual projects are also part of the SPC’s activities because a shift is only possible if the market becomes more transparent.

    ShortseaShipping & Inland waterways Promotion Center Germany

    The ShortSeaShipping Inland Waterway Promotion Center Germany (SPC) is a Public-Private-Partnership founded in 1991 in Hamburg by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, federal states, public authorities, chambers of commerce, and companies of the logistics sector. This year, the SPC celebrates its 20th anniversary.

    Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year

    Registration for the information magazine spc_Aktuell and the newsletter is free of charge. If you are interested, please register for spc_Aktuell at and the newsletter directly on the website The news is published mainly in German.

    Interested in more information on Shortsea shipping possibilities and activities sign up to our newsletter here.