The future of inland navigation

Discover the future of inland navigation with Watertuck+. This innovative concept makes it possible for self- or unpropelled barges to transport bulk goods, containers and pallets on small waterways.

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Innovative, sustainable and an asset for new logistics concepts on small waterways! Thank you to all our partners for the success we achieved with this project: Europe – CEF, De Vlaamse Waterweg, Antwerp Management School, Group De Cloedt, Andre Celis, Shipbuilding Solutions and Concordia Damen.

Here are some results of the Watertruck+ project.

  • Eighteen watertrucks were built. Ten of them are meant for use on small waterways (CEMT Class I) whereas the remaining eight are fitted out for CEMT Class II waterways.
  • The vessels can be deployed in Flanders and northern France.
  • Group De Cloedt invested in 16 barges. These are mainly operated between Diksmuide and Ostend and mostly used for the transport of soil. Four of them are equipped with smart technology allowing them to sail independently.
  • Two barges are used for the transport of palletized building materials of the André Celis Group on the Leuven-Dijle Canal. Also on this route tests are currently conducted to enable the watertrucks to operate independently.
  • In the regions of West Flanders (Flanders) and Kempen (Kempen, Flanders), the watertrucks’ potential is in excess of 3,000,000 tons
  • In 2021, Watertruck+ managed to transport 250,000 tons.This meant a reduction of 10,000 lorries on our roads.
  • Watertruck+ barges can sail both on small and larger waterways, either individually or coupled with other vessels.
  • Watertruck+ barges can carry bulk goods as well as containers and pallets.
  • The total budget amounted to 13,515,703.00 euros, of which Group De Cloedt and André Celis Group together invested 4,816,573.00 euros. De Vlaamse Waterweg nv contributed 2,000,000 Euros and the project was supported by Europe for a total amount of 6,757,852.00 euros.

What is watertruck+?

Watertruck+ is a European project that introduces an innovative concept for the transport of goods on small waterways (CEMT I-IV). By using small, self-propelled or unpropelled, standardized barges, combined with large or small environmentally friendly push boats, used for pushing the convoys, the concept ensures maximum flexibility of operations while simultaneously maintaining maximum regional coverage by connecting small inland waterways with the TEN-T network. In making the small waterways available for cargo transport, Watertruck+ unlocks the economic potential of multiple regions.

Check out our animation movie to see how it works.

What is watertruck+ ?


  • Reactivation of small inland waterways
  • Enhanced interconnectivity and interoperability between the TEN-T core network and smaller inland waterways.
  • Barges can sail individually and in convoys
  • Fast and flexible coupling and decoupling
  • Universal standard design that can be modified
  • Low emissions
  • Possible implementation of eight-hour work schedule for operators


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