Watertruck+ is a Connecting Europe Facility Transport (CEF Call 2014) project. The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) has signed a contract (Grant Agreement) with the Flemish government, who in turn appointed three implementing bodies: Waterwegen & Zeekanaal (W&Z) nv (lead partner, currently merged with De Vlaamse Waterweg nv), nv De Scheepvaart (currently transformed into De Vlaamse Waterweg nv) and the Vlaams Instituut voor Mobiliteit (VIM) vzw (currently taken over through fusion with Antwerp Management School). These public parties were authorised by the Flemish government to create Watertruck+ bvba for the execution of the project. The private operators involved in the project have now joined the bvba (ltd., company with limited liability), as stipulated in the articles of association.
Watertruck+ is complementary to the classic inland navigation and mainly focuses on new flows and a modal shift from the road to the water.
ITB data reveal that the number of registered class I and II vessels in Belgium, in the dry cargo segment, decreased from 620 to 210 units (-66%) between 2000 and 2015, which is a structural decrease of 27 units per year. In the pilot phase (2018-2019), the Watertruck+ project aims to bring around 30 vessels into business in this segment. Therefore, market disruption is definitely not an issue here.