GIS for integrated waterways

GIS for integrated waterways

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The Brazilian national agency for waterway transport has utilised GIS solutions to integrate all waterways in the country for smooth maritime navigation and trade activities

The National Agency for Water way Transportation (ANTAQ) in Brazil is a special agency which regulates, supervises and oversees the economic activities related to water transportation. It has the responsibility of look ing after the entire water way infrastructure, port facilities and water transport services in the country.

In 2010, ANTAQ tied up with the Laboratory of Transportation, Federal University of Santa Catarina (LabTrans / UFSC) to launch the National Plan for Integrated Waterway (PNIH), which also had the task of additional delimiting areas for waterway terminals. A georeferenced database and simulator logistics based on GIS were needed for this purpose.

The project
With ANTAQ’s help, LabTrans/UFSC developed a geographic database for water way transportation (inland, long haul and cabotage) and for the port facilities. Vector maps of water transport routes were prepared w ith the help of satellite images obtained from different sources. Other vector files, usually in Esri model format, were obtained from other public institutions. Water way routes from other countries, bordering Brazil, were also added as they facilitate the simulation in sections of in-land international routes, which usually happens in the tributaries of the Solimões River in Peru and Colombia, and the Paraguay River in Argentina and Paraguay. For port facilities, besides the cadastre of available ports in the database, ANTAQ also added ports in other countries, a procedure that facilitates the simulation in international sections. The georeferenced water way database is now open to all users and available on the website of the agency.

Further, the water way net work was added onto the highway net work and railway terminals to provide a complete a transportation network, available for use in future simulations.

Areas of influence were defined for the major water way passage and the flow of goods was identified from the matrix of origin and destination developed by the National Plan Transport Logistics (PNLT) of the Ministry of Transport. The flows were projected for the years 2015, 2020, 2025 and 2030. Additionally, the impedances of transportation were identified by the estimated investments and operating costs of each project.

The methodological steps culminated in logistical simulations with the identification of the flows through port facilities and water way passages planned for the horizons defined. The analysis of the simulations also resulted in the appointment of new areas for the installation of water way terminals, promoting the expansion of water way net and its penetration in domestic markets, unexplored until this moment, which can generate new productive rearrangement in Brazil.

A total of six watersheds in Brazilian territory were studied: Amazon, TocantinsAraguaia, São Francisco, Paraguay, Parana and South Study. The results are segregated into 14 volumes, t wo for each watershed, subdivided into technical report and executive, where it is possible to identify the flows of port facilities and water way passages. Altogether, the study indicated 41 potential areas and a projected demand of 458 million tonne cargo to the water ways by 2030.

The result
In addition to the use of geographic database for defining the potential use of new terminals and sections of water ways, the project also helped other agency activities like, the analysis of logistics competition bet ween national agencies and private companies in the navigation sector. ANTAQ’s current challenge is to follow the economic and social dynamics imposed by the evolving market and society, translating these inputs for their actions and for the relevance of its database.

In addition to the regulatory aspects associated with the ANTAQ work, the geospatial information used to design the National Plan for Integration Waterway can also help in research and development of water transportation in Brazil.