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Inland waterways transport organizer

In a port such as Le Havre, goods come and go aboard ships. To forward them to the port or to clients in France, inland waterways are more and more favored.

In Le Havre, several operators are specialized in the transport of goods by barge: more and more of these convoys full of containers or bulk (building material, raw materials or waste) can be seen running down canals, the Seine river and anchor in port terminals. Very precise logistics, requiring a high level of organizational skills, hide behind each of these barges.

Regardless of the goods handled, one must indeed anticipate all the steps that will take those goods to the barge but also to their destination: either marine ships if they are exported or a river port (and beyond that a client) if it came by sea.

Relations and contact with bargemen or clients is common in the profession of inland waterways transport organizer: order taking, receipt of goods, transshipment operations monitoring, barge booking, lock schedules checks, etc. All these operations must allow the client to receive his goods as fast as possible and if needs be while managing and coordinating other forwarding means such as road transport.

The Grenelle environmental summit defined that, by 2020, 20% of goods carried in France would have to be transported by other means than by road. In such a prospect inland waterways have an important role to play. In Le Havre, important investments have currently been made to meet these requirements, especially thanks to the creation of a multimodal terminal.

With ever more goods on the river and operators to handle them, employment prospects are positive for those who can boast the right profile. Bachelor degree holders in transport and logistics or inland waterways specialists (ISNI BTS) are welcome.

In Le Havre, close to 400 directs jobs are related to inland waterways and this fast-developing profession will continue to recruit.


Sébastien, an inland waterways operations agent for a maritime company graduated from Institut supérieur de la navigation intérieure (ISNI) in Elbeuf.

After working for five months as an intern (inland waterways crew on a pusher boat along the Seine River) he graduated with a BTS (bachelor degree). “I chose a profession that has different aspects thanks to daily contact and which allows to travel down the Seine river. Thanks to this trade I developed autonomy, thoroughness and good communicational and organizational skills”.

Source: multiple Internet sources, specialized literature, testimonials (Pratic-Export, Pôle-emploi cards, Wikipedia, Onisep, CNRTL, Umep à la Page…)