The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport

The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport

Operations, Design and Policy

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Edited by Rob Konings, Hugo Priemus and Peter Nijkamp

This book explores the great challenge of increasing the scope of intermodal freight transport. In view of the current dominant role of road transport and the increasing difficulties in coping with a growing number of vehicles in an efficient and sustainable way, intermodal freight transport could be considered a viable alternative. However, the book makes recognition of the fact that there is still a need to improve the performance of the intermodal transport system.

Chapter 12: Critical Success Factors: Interconnectivity and Interoperability

Bryan Stone

Subjects: economics and finance, transport, environment, transport, urban and regional studies, transport

Extract

Bryan Stone INTRODUCTION 12.1 Barriers to Intermodal Intermodal transportation challenges each of the conventional transport modes to consider how it does what it does. Suddenly, every mode has to compete for its place in an intermodal service. Some rise to the challenge; others fail. Some embrace intermodal opportunities, and change their operations fundamentally. Others have regarded intermodal as disruptive, making little change, and that only reluctantly. Barriers emerge and remain. This chapter looks at particular barriers to efficient intermodal. These are interconnectivity between the modes, and interoperability within the modes. In Europe, these barriers are frequent, reflecting national and local thinking. They are no longer tolerable. They lower efficiency and limit choice. They demand attention. They are often critical. Some improvement has come from within the modes themselves; we will see examples. In other cases, notably with European rail, this has failed. Since rail is fundamentally important to on-land intermodal, and features in policy, we will look in more detail at why this is so, and what, especially in the EU, is being done about it. We will learn that if the cost of failure is high, so is the cost of restoration; this has serious ongoing consequences for inland intermodal. How we Choose Creating an intermodal freight service has to be better, for a given demand, and in ways to be defined, than using a single mode. That is obvious; but let us think it through. A homely example demonstrates how choices are made, and...

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