Creating visibility and transparency

Inland Barging

We are the first inland barge brokering business in Europe.  Riverlake has the leadership position in this marketplace

Based in Rotterdam, Riverlake provides to its customers services for the marine transportation on inland waterways.

Inland water transportation

Not only do we work with the world’s largest companies in this field, but we also collaborate with smaller companies and operators. With our clients we arrange for the transport of renewable, organic and bio products, such as used cooking oil, other wastes, vegetable oils and fame. We also handle mineral oils and chemicals products.

Our mission is to create visibility and transparency in the inland water market. We provide unbiased and independent market information. We deliver information to drive smart business decisions. We unleash valuable resources for our customers who have direct access to our barge expertise. We do nothing at Riverlake without an overriding consideration for people and nature, which lies central to everything we specialise in. European sustainability regulations are only a bare minimum to us.

European inland navigation supports and tackles traffic congestion in urban centres as well as the challenges of today’s environment. Riverlake primarily focuses on the European inland waterways and beyond. River Rhine, Elbe, Danube, Seine, Rhone, canals and other inland waters are our areas of predilection. Waterway transport is a key component in international trade as river transport activity is essentially cross-border. Riverlake inland transport team is well versed in all the ins and outs of the sector. We can cope with the complexities of the ever-changing domestic market by providing up-to-date market information and supporting customers in expanding their lines of business. As brokers, our mission is to follow the contract throughout its entire lifespan, starting with the identification of barges, followed by monitoring the performance and subsequent follow-through. With the greatest care to our customers’ interests, be they ship owners or charterers, we add value to the transaction process. We aim to provide both owners and charterers with enhanced value.

Our customers choose us because we have unrivalled experience in the world of barge transport and the volume of business daily achieved enables Riverlake teams to understand all that is going on in the market for the ultimate benefit of ship owners and charterers. Our teams make us a leading player in the highly professional and regulated world of barge transport, especially in Northern Europe.

We cover all aspects of fixing spot cargoes, time charters and contracts of affreightment. We perform initial market research for our clients’ requirements, collect suitable offers, negotiate under charterers’ authority, confirm to all parties concerned the agreed terms and details, take care of all operational matters, check freight invoices, evaluate demurrage calculations and advise on claims.

Riverlake publishes two indices recognized by the industry as the most credible and referential daily publications, the Riverlake Barging Index – ARA (RBI-ARA®) and the Riverlake Barging Index Rhine (RBI-RHINE®). You can find them here!

Sustainable barging

Inland waterway transport is a highly cost-effective alternative to trucking and rail transport. It notably offers an ecological alternative both in terms of energy consumption and noise emissions. Its energy consumption per km/ton of transported goods is about 17% of that of road transport and 50% of that of rail transport. River transport ensures a high level of safety, particularly with regard to the transport of hazardous commodities. It equally contributes to relieving congestion on overloaded road infrastructures in densely populated areas.

We work with our customers in carrying renewable, organic and bio products, such as feedstocks, vegetable oils, other wastes and FAME and particularly Used Cooking Oil (UCO).

Alternative and renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, clean and environmentally friendly, derived from vegetable oils and animal fats, are one of the answers to pollution problems. Biodiesel reduces CO2 emissions by more than 80% compared to fossil fuels. Used cooking oil is cheaper than pure vegetable oils and is regarded as a suitable substitute. The use of UCO as a second feedstock presents the additional advantage of alleviating disposal challenges. The quantity of cooking oil produced each year is massive and, when converted, can meet a large share of the world’s biodiesel demand. Once refined, this leads to Used Cooking Oil Methyl Ester (UCOME) or Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to name a couple. The reduction of the greenhouse gas emission ranges between 80 and 95% compared to standard biofuels. However, a significant hurdle to the commercialization of biodiesel production from vegetable oil is the high manufacturing cost and high value of the feedstock.

In 2020, barge owners have adjusted their fleets to the ever-increasing demand for UCO through the conversion or rebuilding of chemical and vegetable oil barges. For a trouble-free voyage, the barge must have on-board heating and automatic cleaning to avoid the additional costs of a cleaning facility after unloading. The owners of barges, in order to transport UCO, must be in possession of a waste certificate in conformity with the legislation.

Our clients are provided with ongoing advice on water levels which can significantly impact freight rates. Indeed, global warming has a major impact on river transport and the main European rivers can be alarmingly low during certain periods of the year.

If 50% of the inland maritime volumes Riverlake transports are renewable bio products, we have a strategic target to reach 70% of renewables by 2023 through significant growth of customers connected to the sustainability products segment. Riverlake’s drive for greener business is on-going.
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