In the second quarter, the growth of intermodal transport in Europe slowed down 01/08/22

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In the second quarter, the growth of intermodal transport in Europe slowed down



Despite the very high and growing demand of European industry, the results of intermodal transport in the second quarter of 2022 fell by 0.46%, the International Union of Combined Road and Rail Transport (UIRR) reported. This decline was due to disruptions in global supply chains and structural transport problems in Europe.


photo: Pixabay

According to UIRR, the main factors that currently inhibit the development of intermodal transport are: problems in global supply chains resulting from job blockages in Chinese factories and terminals, congestion in seaports, which was overlapped by operational problems in land transport, caused by restrictions on rail traffic, strikes in ports, or also influenced by factors such as fires and the effects of last year's floods in Western Europe. All this means that currently combined transport cannot meet the growing demand of the industry.

- The historic 11% record increase in combined transport in 2021 is unlikely to be repeated this year. The decisive market preferences have been well illustrated by the recently published unequivocal position of the German Industry Federation, BDI, calling for an increase in combined transport. ECTA, the European Chemical Transport Association, reaffirmed these expectations with a report that showed that the reverse modal shift in this very important market segment took place in 2021 - as some chemical shippers were forced to move loads back to their trucks, commented Ralf -Charley Schultze, president of UIRR.

As the organization indicates, the mere increase in investment expenditure on infrastructure and terminal investments will not significantly increase the volume of intermodal transport. It is necessary to reform rail traffic management in Europe, including the long-proposed harmonized train path allocation mechanism and improved network capacity management in crisis situations. Due to the extremely difficult situation on the main European trunk lines, UIRR calls for the development of a short-term solution to the problem of congestion in the transport network. Without it, it will be impossible to take over additional cargo flows, for example from Ukraine, which is trying to redirect its export goods to new routes.

Author: Lukas Kus