The Antwerp Inland Shipping School, two years apart

When I applied for my PhD within AUTOBarge, I knew I wanted to grow and build a career in the field of transport law. Coming from a country with almost no navigable inland waterways, I had little knowledge about inland shipping. So right after the start, my supervisors encouraged me to enroll in the second edition of the Antwerp Inland Shipping School. At the time, I had the opportunity to join the school thanks to the generosity of the Dennie Lockefeer chair.

The school provided a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in a sector that has much to teach, with a rich history and numerous opportunities ahead. Lectures from industry professionals and academics not only helped me to understand the sector but also provided invaluable insights and information to inform my research. From understanding market structures to exploring pilot projects supporting technological and green transitions, from analyzing CCNR statistical data to learning about the operational requirements of shippers and logistics operators, the information I gained shaped my understanding of inland waterways transport in Europe.

Fast forward two years, and I found myself on the other side—as a presenter at the third edition of the same school. There, I had the chance to share with the AINS 2024 cohort my research so far and the implications of legal liability for autonomous inland shipping. Preceded by esteemed legal scholars and experts featured in the program who introduced legal aspects of inland shipping, I found the students to be well-prepared to discuss the problems linked with my research.

Joining AINS 2024 signified not just personal growth, but also a responsibility to give back to the community that had nurtured my academic development. Although AUTOBarge will be over, I cannot wait for AINS 2026. I am sure the organizers will once again create an amazing learning experience for those who want to deepen their understanding or learn everything about inland shipping!

Picture courtesy of Dr. Edwin Verberght.

An article by Camilla Domenighini.

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