This paper focuses on a potential, sustainable, intermodal transport option in the EU connecting two geographical areas: the Nordic and Southeast European countries. The different parties included in this potential corridor constitute a complex, intermodal transport corridor network. In this paper our aim is not to focus on the infrastructure itself; rather, it is to discuss potential business models for this corridor based on a combination of three modes of transport: road, sea and rail. In this study the potential corridor is referred to as the 3ModeCorridor, and the study examines potential business models for this type of corridor. We use four business model options from the literature for intermodal transport and describe their content. Then, based on the case study findings, we describe which of the business models are realistic and which can exist at the same time. We also analyze the starting model with the most potential and the possible evolution of the business models in a 5-year time frame. For the analysis we use results from in-depth interviews conducted in 51 companies from Norway, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. The interviewed companies represent potential service buyers and transport service operators for the potential corridor. Based on the results, most of the interviewees believe a balanced model (the Operator-3PL Model) will be the starting business model with the most potential. In this model, the logistics service providers (LSPs) and operators have a rather equal relationship and there are few customers using the service. Concerning evolution, the results indicate that the models with the most potential will be those that cater for the needs of different clients. As a consequence, the role of LSP would seem to grow over time. It seems that in this type of business model the operators (rail, shipping and trucking companies) will increasingly focus on their basic function, transport.
- Business model
- intermodal transport