Sensibilities and vulnerabilities of small and medium enterprises in the Upper Rhine Region

Frodig elv

The case study focusses on the Rhine as a "river infrastructure", and how the consequences of climate change pose new risks to river transport such as drought, diminishing the water level.

Case 9

Status report, October 2021


Case content

Threats include increased costs for shippers and carriers and the use of land-based transport, which is more expensive (increased costs) and less environmentally sustainable. As the Rhine is an international region, the arenas form for discussion and decision-making are cross-border.

Research Innovations

  • Gathering information from a sample of actors representing the problem
  • The identification of evaluation parameters (PE) and action parameters (PA) allowing respectively to locate the problems on an intensity scale (severity) and the possible solutions to remedy them
  • The construction of a graph of contradictions arising from the evaluation and action parameters
  • Improved methods for analysing cascading impacts of climate-related hazards
  • Improved assessment of economic and environmental consequences

Study areas

Upper Rhine ports; Strasbourg, Kehl and Basel.

Stakeholders involved

Relationship established with:

  • The Port of Strasbourg (Port Autonome de Strasbourg - PAS)
  • Waterways of France (Voies Navigables de France - VNF)

Intended: Shippers, Transport operators, Infrastructure managers, etc.

Summary data collection

Mix of existing data, freely available data to be acquired (climate, forecasts, economic data), local data of stakeholders (might be - and remain - private)

Expected results

  1. Added value for stakeholders: better understanding of the risk of extended periods of low water of major European / German inland waterways on the supply chains based on the Sea Port Hamburg and inland harbours on the Rhine
  2. Methodological improvements: improved consequence analysis, improved cascading effects analysis
  3. Good practices in stakeholder training, co-production of knowledge, and presentation of results

Case study responsible

Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Strasbourg (INSA)