> Market mechanisms and transparency

The share of one-vessel-enterprises exceeds 70% in most countries. The fragmented structure (and the lack of transparency) within the inland waterway transport business are not only a barrier to technological innovations but also to further supply chain integration and market success. The a-typical SME character of the inland navigation sector (small and medium-sized enterprises combined with partly inhibitive investment costs) hampers the necessary continuous innovation process, not only regarding fleet innovations, but also related to market innovations. The many individual companies and the lack of transparency in the sector complicate the identification of business partners that can offer door-to-door solutions and make the sector economically more vulnerable, especially in economic crisis years. 

In recent years, various studies have been published to better understand the market position of inland waterway transport. A major outcome of most studies was that more market transparency could lead to an increase in market share and innovation levels. 

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