90 percent of world trade is handled by shipping. In the age of globalization, it ensures an economically and ecologically efficient transport of goods
The international division of labour is essential for of our prosperity. Sea and inland ports are the gateways to the world and thus an indispensable part of the German economy. Through our seaports we export our products to the world and import preliminary products for our production. Sea and inland waterway vessels are also environmentally friendly means of transport, without which transport and economic development cannot be sustained.
Our services to strengthen ports and shipping essentially cover the following areas:
Transport forecasts are the basis for assessing considered investments in transport infrastructure. PLANCO has developed comprehensive procedures for the preparation of freight traffic forecasts and has databases that are hardly accessible elsewhere, as well as software solutions for linking various data sources that are not always uniformly defined. Forecasts for individual seaports or inland ports include expected changes in competitive strength (e.g. seaports – future deepening of seaward access; inland ports – potential for developing additional logistics services). Future changes in the competitiveness of the various modes of transport are also taken into account, also under the influence of transport and environmental policy measures in favour of sustainable transport solutions.
PLANCO bases forecasts for investment measures on inland waterways on future changes in regional economic power, where possible, also incorporating existing forecasts from other institutes. For the interregional matrix of freight transport volumes, PLANCO develops estimates of the volume shares of inland navigation. These estimates are made for the comparative situations 'with' and 'without' the infrastructure investments considered. Accordingly, PLANCO calculates the investment-related modal shift to inland navigation. The resulting quantities are allocated to the inland waterways network. The different capacities of the different inland waterways are taken into account as well as expected (partly also investment-related) changes in the size structure of the inland vessels used. PLANCO thus provides the quantity structure to be used for the evaluation of expansion measures on the waterways and their locks.
Similarly, PLANCO prepares forecasts for the fleet structures of the seagoing vessels calling at the respective seaports, with or without the investment measure under consideration, for measures to adapt sea waterways to growing ship sizes (especially in container traffic). Since this measure can also lead to traffic shifts between seaports, the regional and modal structure of the respective seaport hinterland traffic is also relevant for the assessment. This essentially determines the valuation-relevant changes of seaport-related transport costs in the hinterland, including environmental and other external costs.
Evaluation of investment projects
For maritime and inland waterway transport, PLANCO prepares cost-benefit assessments of expansion and maintenance investments (fairway adjustments, lock expansion). It is based on comprehensive databases, forecasting tools and self-developed software packages as well as an evaluation methodology that has been continuously further developed in dialogue, especially with the German federal government. The business, regional and economic evaluation levels can be differentiated.
The evaluation methodology is continuously adapted to new scientific findings, in particular with regard to environmental and other external costs and benefits.
Preparation of funding applications for combined transport
The German federal government provides extensive funds for the promotion of combined transport. Applicants (inland ports) must submit funding applications that prove their eligibility. PLANCO prepares these applications based on our knowledge of the funding requirements and our knowledge of the market. A wide range of contacts with key players in the port, transport and logistics industries allow a sound and rapid assessment of the potentials that can be tapped through the investments to be supported.
PLANCO prepares SWOT analyses for individual inland ports or seaports as well as for inland navigation companies in order to identify fields of action for the long-term development of the respective company. This is based on well-founded market analyses and forecasts (definition of the relevant market, demand and turnover forecasts), competitive assessments from both an expert and a customer perspective. The market segments are being identified for which the proposed investment is expected to generate particular impact. The focus is on general cargo and container handling and the associated logistics with particular intervention fields such as marketing, cooperation, infrastructure and land development.
References in the area Port Development | Maritime and Inland Shipping.