Danube Shipping: 350 km of the navigable section of the River Danube (Kehlheim- Sulina, 2,415 km) lie on Austrian territory. As high and low waters as well as ice formations occasionally impede navigation the capacity of transport of goods on the Danube has steadily decreased and stagnated between 1970 and 1990 with a transport volume of 7.5 and 8.1 million tons of freight. Since then Danube transport in Austria has increased through the combined transportation of cargo, the Rhine-Main-Danube-Canal, which forms a connection to ports on the North Sea, and from the transport of bulk goods, semi-finished products and hazardous cargo. From 1997 to 1998 traffic volume on the Danube rose from 9.2 million tons to 10.2 million tons of freight. ( Danube Ports, Donau-Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft, Erste, DDSG).