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 14: Development Strategies for Intermodal Transport in Europe

Dimitrios Tsamboulas

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


Dimitrios Tsamboulas INTRODUCTION 14.1 The current share of intermodal transport in Europe is low, as is its supply quality, despite continuous efforts for its promotion. This has to be viewed in the context of the highly competitive and congested freight transport market environment, characterized by generally low costs. Congestion on the road network and access to intermodal nodes is a critical issue, especially in urban areas and at critical natural geographic barriers, such as the Alps and the English Channel. Many motorways experience large delays, especially within and near urban centres. Ports, airports and rail terminals are particularly prone to peak congestion periods. In part, the unsatisfactory current status of intermodal transport quality and use is mainly caused by a poor infrastructural inheritance, poor levels of interoperability, fragmentation of operational control, separation of operational control from responsibility, and institutional arrangements that are unclear and continuously changing due to their transitional nature. However, the intermodal transport environment is currently undergoing a restructuring phase at a European level. Certain segments of the market present strong trends for new actors to emerge and for diffusion of actors in different sectors of transport activity. Within the above-presented context, the present chapter investigates ways and possible strategies to develop intermodal transport further in Europe and increase its modal share. In most cases, freight transport traffic must share facilities with passenger traffic. As an example, passenger rail services, which provide frequent services between most European cities, receive priority treatment on many...

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