EUTP II, Thematic Network on Freight Transfer Points and Terminals: Clustering Review Report, Deliverable 3.1

Antti Permala

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The main objectives of EUTP are to run a dynamic network, to enhance exchange of in-formation, and to create synergy in the European research effort related to intermodal freight transfer points. The aim is to form a European RTD strategy to enhance and de-velop the intermodal transport sector through a more efficient use of intermodal transfer points. The network comprises researchers, industry representatives, policy makers, transport operators, and transport consultants. Three clusters were created and each cluster consisted of members from the consortium and 6–8 experts selected from the research sector, the public administration and the transport industry. The goal of each cluster has been to define results and recommenda-tions from research projects and from pilot and demonstration activities. Furthermore, each cluster will make recommendations for policy initiatives. The three cluster defined are: Policy, organisational aspects and network integration, Infrastructure, transport equipment and transfer means, Information and communication systems. This EUTP deliverable 3.1 presents the main conclusions from the clustering meetings held. The cluster approach is employed to enhance the co-operation between national and European RTD on freight transfer points and to discuss research and policy issues with all relevant stakeholders. Elementary knowledge on intermodal terminal network on European level is lacking. There is no common view of financing of intermodal terminals at the European level. Every country has different financing systems. Earning potential for investors is not clear. An innovative use of inland waterways besides road-rail intermodal transport is needed to meet the challenges of the future. The terminal should be considered as just one element of the complete door-to-door in-termodal chain, and therefore terminal issues, especially as far as costs are concerned, should be evaluated within the general framework of the complete integrated transport chain. Overview of previous EC research on intermodal transport and terminals gives the result that most of last decade’s research has focussed on the terminal and transhipment technologies which does not appear to be the main problem. The economic and efficient performance of the facility as part of the overall logistics chain is key for competitive terminals operating at a high quality service level and integrated within the transport net-work. Standardisation is important mean to reach interoperability between modes, infrastruc-ture, equipment, involved partners etc, to liberalize the procurement of services and prod-ucts and to reach high quality services. One of the main issues in information and communication systems is the relation between requirements arising from the chain management perspective and solutions provided by nodes such as freight transfer points which is the scope of EUTP. Key elements are har-monisation of procedures and IT interfaces for clients, i.e. the users of transport services, in order to ease the way of generating and retrieving information, integration of systems instead of replacement and use of EDI and web-based technology. Participation in the EUTP has been wide including four different terminal networks that have been actively involved: Federation of European Private Port Operators (FEPORT), The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), International Union of Combined Road-Rail transport companies (UIRR) and Europlatforms via Interporto Bologna.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages51
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


  • logistics
  • supply chain management


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