Navigable waterways are an important feature for many regions in North Western Europe and make an important contribution to the economy and the environment, for example as transport routes for recreation and cargo, biodiversity and housing.
With the increasing pressure on the use of inland waterways, there is a need for the development of innovative models, for example for communication, safety, administrative processing, bottlenecks and maintenance. ICT and e-services are already used in some places with positive results. They offer a considerable potential for improving efﬁciency and are important for strengthening the competitiveness and an opportunity for the economic development of the waterways , as well as the rural and urban areas. Other factors include the demand for communication and interactive services for pleasure craft, etourism tools and management of the waterways.
In the Berzob study done by Rijkswaterstaat in 2004 it is proposed to improve the waterway transport from Veghel to Eindhoven by upgrading the canals (Zuid-Willemsvaart, Wilhelmina Canal en Beatrix Canal). In the near future ships up to 110m length will therefore be allowed on the canals. The waterbounded companies in Eindhoven expect an increase in cargo throughput in tonnage from around 100.000 tons to 600.000 tons. Also they foresee an additional shift from trucks to ships.
The City of Eindhoven manages the Beatrix Canal and requires a secure, safe waterway for it’s users and proper administrative processing. The Beatrix Canal, with a length of 8.4 km and a width of 21 meters, is used by freight ships, recreation ships, a canoe club and scouting.