Icon info
Research Ecosystems
Creating smart ecosystems
Research projects

Creating smart ecosystems


Watertruck is an innovative means of transportation for freight transport over small waterways, which uses small, self-driven or non-driven, standardized pushed barges. Combined with small or large ecofriendly push tugs, used in convoys, the concept ensures maximum flexibility for the activities, while keeping a maximum regional accessibility by connecting the small waterways with the TEN-T network.

Type project freight transport
Project partners De Vlaamse Waterweg
Duration January 01, 2014 - December 31, 2019
Contact person Sara Bastiaensens, PhD

This research project was established with the support of the European Union.


Everywhere in Europe the road network is saturated. At the same time, transport possibilities on small waterways are underexploited or even in decline. Even worse: the number of independent inland waterway entrepreneurs goes down every year.

Beeld 2 nieuw square 1024x814

Project development

Watertruck+ aims to support the market with business cases for a large European fleet of vessels. The project consists of the following work packages:

  • Market approach: development of business cases that engage shipping agents.
  • Sign agreements with logistic operators – selection and development of business cases.
  • Preparation of the operational program – development of planning models and monitoring tools, decisions on the necessary equipment (pushed barges, push tugs, pontoons), creation of a trading company (a Special Purpose Vehicle).
  • Design of the vessel.
  • Building of Watertruck+ push tugs and pushed barges.
  • Testing of Watertruck+ in real circumstances.
  • Development of the masterplan to move Watertruck+ to a larger scale.
  • Communication and distribution.
  • Project coordination.


Watertruck+ offers several advantages for different target groups: banks and financial decision makers, shippers and operators, bargemen, regional and national policymakers.


The results of this project are expected in 2020.

More information on http://www.watertruckplus.eu/

This project had the financial support of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Register for our newsletter

Receive updates for the topic of your choice.

Learn More
Sara bastiaensens phd

A question about this project?

Function Senior researcher at the expertise center “Next Generation Work”
Sara bastiaensens phd

A question about this project?