Dutch private barge owners have ordered about 200 new vessels, which will require a total investment of about $638 million, the Dutch inland shipping office said. The ships will be delivered between this year and 2002. The parts are mainly being built in eastern Europe and Asia and will be put together on Dutch shipyards.
Currently, about 54 percent of container transport to and from Rotterdam is done by barges. That share is expected to rise to 60 percent, the inland shipping bureau said.