The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport
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The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport

Operations, Design and Policy

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.
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Chapter 1: The Future of Intermodal Freight Transport: An Overview

Rob Konings, Hugo Priemus and Peter Nijkamp


Rob Konings, Hugo Priemus and Peter Nijkamp INTRODUCTION 1.1 Generally speaking, freight is transported from door to door: sometimes it is taken from the place where the raw materials are found (mines, for example) to the processing plants, and sometimes from these plants to factories where the various raw materials and components are combined into industrial end products, which are then transported to the wholesalers, distribution centres and eventually to the final consumer in the shape of a company, an organization or a household. It is often impossible to arrange just one modality for freight transport, making two or even three modalities necessary: intermodal freight transport. The market share of intermodal freight transport is relatively low and is not showing a spectacular increase. The share of road transport is very high in most countries. This may contribute to the flexibility of freight transport, but emissions (soot) and road congestion (where passenger and freight traffic use the same roads) are causing a growing problem. A larger share for inland shipping, short-sea shipping and rail transport would be an advantage, particularly where there are intense flows of goods. Many countries will need to modernize their rail transport rigorously and ensure the proper coordination of passenger and goods transport on the railway network. Dedicated freight rail links could be the solution in some cases. Air transport and maritime transport are two fairly well-defined market segments in the international goods transport sector. Both supply chains must be properly connected to inland freight...

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