Intermodal Transport warrants for an EU Initiative - Dir 92/106 23/05/16

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Intermodal/Combined Transport  joins together at least two modes of transport to perform a transport operation.  The cargo is packed into an Intermodal Loading Unit (ILU), which may be a container, swap-body or (craneable) semi-trailer.  The ILU is passed from one mode to another at specialised handling locations geared to the efficient facilitation of this exchange, i.e. sea- and inland ports, as well as CT terminals (dry-ports).

Intermodal/Combined Transport is more complex than its main alternative: unimodal road transport, where goods are loaded onto a truck at the point of origin, to be hauled directly to their final destination.

Compensating for the added complexity, Combined Transport delivers numerous sustainable advantages, which ultimately make it better performing over typically long(er) distance transport/chains in a variety of ways:

  • Speed: average speed comparable or better than long-distance road haulage,
  • Energy: 40% better pro-rata energy efficiency (per tonne-kilometre),
  • CO2: 60-70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions,
  • Inhabited areas: much lower local air pollution and noise levels,
  • Accidents: safety performance far superior to road (25-30 times better!),
  • Infrastructure: reduced road congestion and road infrastructure degradation,
  • Self-reliance: contributes to reducing Europe's dependency on imported oil.

The efficient collaboration of several economic actors to perform a common effort within different Member States can be considerably supported through a uniform regulatory environment.  These rules are ideally agreed upon by the industry stakeholders, enacted in the form of law, implemented by the proper Member State authorities and finally controlled on the field by law enforcement authorities.

Intermodal- and Combined Transport-chains have the potential - through their superior technological properties and capabilities - to offer highly desirable advantages to society.  This alone should be sufficient to attract the policymakers' interest and involvement in encouraging the development and further proliferation of intermodality. (Download the position paper)

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Position Paper - 92-106.position.paper_May 2016 EN
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