Several variants of the new river logistics are proposed, with the elimination of empty runs of river tow caravans by their rapid transportation to the place of loading in standard forty-foot containers or carriages.
The aim of the NRL project is a significant reduction (2-3 times) of investment and operating costs for river bulk cargo transportation through the use of water caravans from strong five-layer reinforced elastic materials and special "container" tugs.
The NRL system are based on technical solutions protected by three patents (two for inflatable vessels and one for a soft container with 7-ton carrying capacity).
The main advantages of the project are the delivery of goods with reduced fuel consumption and the rapid return of the caravan for a new loading by rail or motor transport in a compact state (folded into 25 approximately), for 1 day up to 1000 km, as well as the development of navigation on small rivers with a depth of the fairway from 0.9 meters.
The term for the return of investment in the construction of one caravan can be from 7 to 12 months. For standard caravans with tugboats this term is 5-15 years.
The high ecological compatibility of our concept of transportation of bulk cargoes by water transport is achieved by reducing fuel consumption by 3-5 times, due to the important decrease of the volume of excavation of the soil on the rivers to support the depths of the fairways, as well as the decrease of moving force and mass of containers.
A variant of an inflatable barge (a 23-ton floating module for a caravan for 1-2 thousand tons of grain) meets the navigation requirements of two EU countries.
To date, the swimming module (vessel VN 62) has been pre-calculated for strength and agreed in principle with the Shipping Register of Ukraine. An approval of an expert from Lloyd's Eastern European Division has been received. A soft returnable container with a carrying capacity of 7 t has been successfully developed and tested.
Production of inflatable barges for soft seven-ton containers can be set up in Ukraine for 2-3 months in Kharkiv.
An example (a scheme) of one of the variants of a caravan for the VN 62 float module is shown on the figure.