EUTP II, Thematic Network on Freight Transfer Points and Terminals, Recommendations for Policy and Research Activities: Phase II, Deliverable 4.1

Antti Permala

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The main objectives of EUTP are to run a dynamic network, to enhance exchange of information, 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 develop 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. This deliverable provides a concise summary and analysis of the work established in WP2 Inventory and carried out in WP3 Clustering Activities. The goal is to identify interrelated RTD activities with a view to presenting future policy and research requirements. In this respect, bottlenecks in the field of intermodal freight transport and in particular those related to intermodal terminals are identified. The following priority topics for improving the productivity of intermodal freight transport are identified and then described in terms of their definition and detailed tasks required for their elaboration. Initiatives that can assist in policy making process for public and private investment strategies, in organisational aspects, and in new strategies for network integration deal with inland waterways, Trans-European transport corridors, logistics integration of the entire chain, interoperability issues between NAS and EU, funding mechanisms for financing terminals, and planning principles for developing a terminal. From the infrastructure, transport equipment and transfer means standpoint, successful technology development and innovation is key from a broad technological, economic and social perspective. Standardisation of loading units and as a tool for interoperability is another critical means to promote more efficient transport. In terms of information and communication systems, better integration of existing and future systems is needed. This should be based on internationally agreed process and message standards. In certain areas also collaboration and often centralised systems (or a one-stop shop) are required. Futhermore logistics management tools are required to cover the whole transport chain and the establishment of a reference centre for freight terminals would improve knowledge and harmonisation transfer. As part of this the distribution of costs and benefits of ICT implementation and operation must be addressed. Other future ideas include open access to SMEs in intermodal terminals, role of rail border crossings, efficiency of intermodal operations, gauge change between west/east and west technology, city logistics, safety and security of terminals and units (including tracking and tracing), the quality of intermodal transport services, inland navigation investment criteria and role, information and communication systems to compete with unimodal transport, co-ordination of timetables and the need to promote e-logistics so that it does not fall behind other e-business and communication. Recommendations are then made to industry, transport operators, terminal owners, and policy makers with regard to the following general top priority themes: European intermodal terminal network Quality of services Security Organisation between actors Intelligence (IT and architectures).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


  • logistics
  • supply chain management


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