The Danube inland waterway transport and its role in Serbia’s economic development

J. Milanković, D. Pavić, J. Đorđević, A. Dragin, S. Đukičin Vučković, M. Mészáros


The Danube river waterway, i.e. the Pan-European Corridor VII, is considered as one of the most significant transport corridors in Europe. It runs through ten countries, including Serbia (the Serbian part of the river is 588 km long), which is why it is one of Serbia’s priorities to develop inland water transport. The system of waterways provides a viable alternative to roads and rail systems. Moreover, it is crucial for regional development. The Danube River offers excellent opportunities for freight, passenger and tourist inland water transportation. However, the navigability potential of the Danube River still remains largely underrealized in Serbia: despite the high quality of waterways, inland water transport accounts for only 4.7 % of the total transport.
This paper deals with the advantages of inland navigation and the major characteristics of the Danube waterway in Serbia. In Serbia, the Danube is mainly used for freight and passenger transportation and for the development of nautical tourism. There are a number of important projects that are currently being implemented in Serbia, such as the construction of new port facilities and marinas. The paper also discusses the negative factors impeding regional development in the sphere of waterways and water transport in Serbia, primarily the lack of funding for maintenance and improvement of the river’s navigability.


Danube; inland waterway; Serbia; transport; sustainable regional development; tourism

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