The Innovation of Intermodal Rail Freight Bundling Networks in Europe Concepts, Developments, Performances

This book describes how a substantially larger share of intermodal rail transport in the transport market is of commercial and societal interest. The commercial interest originates from the growth perspectives for intermodal transport, which are larger for most other transport segments of train operators. The societal relevance consists of the costs of the transport system to society (including other transport systems), which is smaller for rail and barge transport than for unimodal road transport. This conclusion is robust despite the uncertainty of results in this research area. There is a new element in the discussion about the advantages of intermodal rail transport. In the past congestion was mainly seen as a characteristic of road transport. Increasingly, also rail transport is confronted with a lack of infrastructure capacity. Given its relevance one would want intermodal rail transport to be very successful, but this is not uniformly the case. Success can be confirmed to be present for long distances, large flows and in cost sensitive markets. For short distances, small flows and quality sensitive freight the market penetration is weak. In addition, most former national railway companies loose money on their intermodal operations. This profile corresponds with that of intermodal performances. Other studies have observed that intermodal performances in Europe are only satisfactory in large flow corridors, from and to larger agglomerations and in well-organized regions. Elsewhere service frequency, network connectivity and other performances are poor. In this regard is of interest to recall which performances are considered to be important. The literature review clearly states that (low) costs are the most important intermodal performance. The quality directed transport demand tends to choose road transport. The question arises, why should intermodal rail transport not also become more active in the quality transport markets? It is not clear to which extent customers would be willing to pay for additional service quality in intermodal transport. But there are actions (= measure types), which would increase service quality and simultaneously reduce transport costs. We give an overview of the value of time and frequency according to different studies. The question emerges which type of service quality is most important. At this point the literature is not clear. Next to reliability, transport time, service frequency, flexibility or logistic match (e.g. locations, departure and arrival times) are reported to represent a high value for shippers.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Netherlands TRAIL Research School

    Delft,   Netherlands  2600 GA
  • Authors:
    • Kreutzberger, Ekki D
  • Publication Date: 2008


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 363p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01141041
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9789055841103
  • Report/Paper Numbers: T2008/16
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 2009 7:53AM