River Information Services (RIS) are customised information services for inland waterway transport that make it possible to co-ordinate logistical processes with actual transport situations on a constant basis. RIS play a key role in making cargo transport and passenger services on waterways more efficient and ecologically sound while, at the same time, increasing traffic safety.
Since 1998 the two Flemish waterway managers, Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV and NV De Scheepvaart, came to a co-operation agreement that foresaw a number of initiatives concerning shipping control and automated water management in Flanders. These initiatives were the beginning of a continuous process to comply with the needs of the waterway users and to take into account the latest technological developments. Some basic RIS services are already available in Flanders or should be available on short notice (Inland Electronic Navigation Charts, Notices to Skippers, availability of AIS shore infrastructure...) but some crucial elements necessary to benefit from the full effect of RIS are still missing and there is also a growing demand from the logistics service providers to exchange RIS information.
The current project focuses on additional investments on WLAN, Fairway Information Services and extended applications. Some extra work are done on the internal systems of the waterway managers and port authorities, in order to offer a wider range of RIS services to skippers. Hence the basic building blocks for RIS in Flanders will be further complemented with specific applications.
Studies/works are presently carried out by the two Flemish inland waterway managers (Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV, NV De Scheepvaart), the Flemish Hydrography, and the Flemish sea ports of Antwerp and Gent in order to enhance the level of RIS services in Flanders. Some actions concerning communication are also performed by the Flemish promotion centre for inland navigation "Promotie Binnenvaart Vlaanderen".
State of progress on 31 December 2011:
The project is performing well and all activities should be finished as expected, despite some slight slippage due to administrative delays.
Total project cost covered by this Decision:
Percentage of EU support:
Download the Info Sheet about this project:
.pdf (549.6 KB)
This project was also the subject of a press release issued by the Agency. French/Dutch/German translations of the press release are also available: .doc (FR) / .doc (NL) / .doc (DE)
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Member States involved:
Start date: January 2010
End date: December 2012
Flemish Ministry of Mobility and Public Works
European Commission, DG MOVE