This month, the Contargo Group will add the first of two 500 TEU inland vessels to its fleet. The first of this kind of ship, called the ‘Jowi’, was introduced in 1998, and since then, another three sister vessels have been added. The 135-metre long units, with a draught of 3.60 metres, transport containers in a maximum of 5 layers and with a maximum loading weight of 5,200 tonnes. The vessels sail between the western North Sea ports and the Rhine ports up to Wörth.
The largest pushboat/barge combinations have an even greater capacity, but are not as fast and use more fuel than the one-piece engine-driven ships, say Contargo. Regardless of the configuration, larger units favour handling speed at sea terminals, and therefore increase inland shipping’s competitive edge.
(Source: Deutsche Verkehrs Zeitung, 25 October 2008)