Population growth increases the demand for food, energy and water, which will lead to an increase in the demand for water transport, renewable energy and water-based food production.
Water transport will remain the most economical means of transporting raw materials, finished goods, fuel, food and water globally. Infrastructure and links with all other modes of transport will grow and adapt in response. Maritime transport, including inland waterways, will also become an integral part of an efficient multimodal long-distance supply chain.
The growth of global trade and water transport activities will create significant new opportunities for the European maritime industry, which has a track record of providing sophisticated and innovative products and services with high added value.
Communication with all other modes of transport will be uninterrupted. Smart vessels will communicate with smart ports to limit congestion, waiting times and therefore costs, and automatically adapt their sailing speed to match the slots in the harbor.
Concerns about climate change have led to the adoption of legislation that sets limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
. This will require reducing the energy consumption of water transport through measures such as the use of cleaner fuels such as LNG, electrification of ships, renewable energies and fuel cells.
Monitoring of ship emissions is also required if coastal states comply with regulatory requirements. Climate change will increase the number of extreme weather events, and melting polar ice caps will affect all water sectors. This will require more durable ships and offshore structures to handle these harsher weather conditions.