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 4: Intermodal Freight Transport in Urban Areas in Japan

Eiichi Taniguchi and Toshinori Nemoto


Eiichi Taniguchi and Toshinori Nemoto INTRODUCTION 4.1 Intermodal transport indicates the use of at least two different modes of transport in an integrated manner in a door-to-door transport chain (OECD 2002). Intermodal transport is similar to multimodal transport but puts more emphasis on connectivity of different transport modes. For domestic freight transport in Japan, intermodal transport has often been discussed in relation to the use of railways and roads as well as coastal shipping and roads. Using aeroplanes for freight transport is not a dominant phenomenon in Japan. Table 4.1 shows the modal split in terms of ton-kilometre for Japanese domestic freight transport. Roads and coastal shipping were major freight transport modes in the 1980s and 1990s. Railways used to be dominant for inland freight transport in the 1950s and 1960s and declined to only 4 per cent in 1999. The main reason for the decline of the railways is that the road network including motorways has been dramatically improved and trucking companies have provided faster and better services with lower costs than railways. Specifically, trucks are used for urban pickup and delivery of goods. Intermodal transport using railways and coastal shipping for intercity goods movement is normally connected with urban distribution using pickup and delivery trucks. Therefore, ‘road and rail’ or ‘road and ship’ are of major concern in intermodal transport in Japan. As production and consumption points – the starting and arrival points of freight transport – are mainly located in urban areas, the supply chain of...

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