European dimension “Distribouw”

Realized in Belgium

European dimension “Distribouw”

In Europe, almost all palletized construction materials are transported by road. There was a need for a comprehensive flow analysis of this market, aimed at fully exploiting the existing potential of inland waterways.

The challenge

De Vlaamse Waterweg wanted to conduct follow-up research to “Distribouw,” to investigate the European dimension of that study’s findings. Rebel was asked to map the European market for palletized construction materials. The focus was on flows that were being transported by road but which had great potential for a modal shift to inland waterways.

The approach

Extensive desk research initially resulted in an overview of the leading construction manufacturers and traders active in the European market. Through a combination of desk research and discussions with relevant market parties, transport experts, and market experts, we gained insight into the potential for a modal shift per product category.

This approach also made it possible to identify the country in the North-West of Europe with the greatest potential for transporting palletized construction materials by inland waterways. Our conclusion? The total potential for a modal shift in the transportation of palletized construction materials to inland waterways in the North-West of Europe amounts to roughly 2 million tons.


We identified opportunities for a modal shift from the transportation of construction materials to inland shipping.