DBS Gateway Region

Regional and transport development in the Danube-Black Sea Region towards a transnational cross-port gateway region.

The “Danube-Black Sea (DBS) Gateway Region” project is aimed at supporting the development of the Danube-Black Sea region as a gateway for sustainable and eco-friendly goods transport between Central Europe and the Black Sea, the Caspian region, and the Far East. Through the overlapping cooperation between ports and their hinterland regions, as well as responsible ministries, authorities, and economic agencies, joint aspirations, objectives, and opportunities for implementation are being sounded out.


This joint access should improve the reachability of the regions and increase the interoperability between deep sea and inland waterways, as well as the connection with the hinterland regions. Together with the increase in awareness of intermodal transport options, this will lead to existing and new cargo flows being replaced by eco-friendly transport systems.


Currently, the potential of waterways is limited by existing infrastructure, as well as opaquely and inefficiently used options. In addition to well-known infrastructural bottlenecks, the project seeks out innovative solutions which facilitate a better use of the transport system through an intensified exchange of information, as well as by improving communication between key players at the intermodal interfaces.


Cooperation alone will not lead to the desired result. A solid foundation of information (potential analysis, road map), preparation (project list and promotion guidelines), focus (joint vision, cooperation strategy), and support (cooperation platform exceeding the project duration) are also required.


The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To create a cooperative basis where relevant stakeholders can work towards developing the DBS Gateway Region together;
  • To create a foundation upon which the region can assume and continue the envisioned role as the DBS Gateway Region through the increased appeal of inland water transport;
  • To strengthen cooperation between relevant players through an institutional platform, so that the DBS Gateway Region can continue development even after the end of the project.


The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.


01/2017 - 06/2019


Amt der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung (project lead)

Public Ports, Slovakia

Freeport of Budapest Logistics, Hungary

Port Authority Vukovar, Croatia

Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company, Bulgaria

Municipality of Burgas, Bulgaria

Municipality of Varna, Bulgaria

Municipality of Galati, Romania

University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Serbia