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A project within the Interreg IIIB North Sea Programme

PROMOTIOM STRATEGIES
FOR INTERMODAL TRANSPORT
SOLUTIONS
Annex 3.2.4 to the Final Report

January 2007
Institut fr Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik
Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics

PREFACE
This report has been written as part of the SUTRANET project (Work Package 3: Transport
and Logistics Centres). SUTRANET (Sustainable Transport Research & Development
Network in the North Sea Region) is a project within the framework of the European
Commissions (ECs) Interreg IIIB North Sea Programme.
The aim of the report is to present an overview and analysis of intermodal promotion
strategies related to logistics centres.
The report has been prepared by Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL).
Aalborg Universitys Department of Development and Planning and other SUTRANET
partners have contributed with some comments to draft versions of the report. The final
version was presented in January 2007. A few editorial modifications have been added in
June 2007.

SUTRANET, June 2007


Jorgen Kristiansen, Aalborg University, Denmark

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Index of Abreviations

iii

Index of Tables

iv

Index of Figures

Methodology

Development and Redefinition of the Freight Integrator Concept: The EU


Concept of the Intermodal Development Centre

2.1

EU White Paper 2010 Time to decide

2.1.1

Study on Freight Integrators

2.1.2

Consultation Procedure and Freight Integrator Action Plan of


the European Commission

Conclusion and new definition of the concept by the European


Commission

10

Integrated Services in the Intermodal Chain (ISIC)

12

2.1.3
2.1.4
3

Transport and Logistic Centre as IDC

22

3.1

First Approach: Logistics Centres as IDC

22

3.2

Examples in Bremen GVZ (Freight Village) Bremen

24

3.2.1

GVZ (Freight Village) Bremen

24

3.2.2

GVZE (Freight Village development company) Bremen

25

Chances of Implementation of the IDC Concept

29

Summary and Perspectives

32

Bibliography

35

ii

Index of Abbreviations
CEP

Courier, express and parcel services

DGG

Deutsche GVZ-Gesellschaft (German Freight Village Organisation)

EEIG

European Economic Interest Grouping

FI

Freight Integrator

FV

Freight Village

GVZ

Gterverkehrszentrum (= Freight Village)

GVZE

Gterverkehrszentrum Entwicklungsgesellschaft (Freight Village


development company)

IDC

Intermodal Development Centre

IPC

Intermodal Promotion Centre

ISIC

Integrated Services in the Intermodal Chain

ISL

Institut fr Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik (Institute of Shipping


Economics and Logistics)

PPP

Public Private Partnership

SME

Small and medium sized enterprises

SPC

Short Sea Shipping Promotion Centre

iii

Index of Tables
Table 2-1 Demands to the IDC (source: ECORYS (2006))Fejl! Bogmrke er ikke defineret.

iv

Index of Figures
Fig. 2-1

Core elements of the Freight Integrator Concept

Fig. 2-2

Positive general framework for the basic FI concept

Fig. 2-3

Problems of the basic FI concept

Fig. 2-4

Actions by the implementation of the FI concept

Fig. 2-5

The basic FI concept of the potential of intermodal transport

Fig. 2-6

New definition of the Freight Integrator Concept

Fig. 2-7

Development from Freight Integrator to Intermodal Development Centre 13

Fig. 2-8

Contents of the IDC-idea

14

Fig. 2-9

The stakeholders of the IDC-concept

15

Fig. 2-10

Schematic view of the IDC services

17

Fig. 2-11

Institutional options for the IDCs

18

Fig. 2-12

IDC core elements Task A and B

19

Fig. 2-13

IDC core elements Task C and D

20

Fig. 2-14

IDC core elements Task E

21

Fig. 3-1

Definition Freight Village

22

Fig. 3-2

Freight Village model structure

23

Fig. 3-3

Freight Village (GVZ) Bremen

25

Fig. 3-4

FV-Bremen development company

26

Fig. 3-5

FV-development company structure

27

Fig. 4-1

Idea: implementation of the IDC concept through the FVs

30

Fig. 5-1

From IDC to IPC

34

12

1 Methodology
The distribution and networking of know-how concerning solutions (best practices) within
intermodal transport is one of the most important challenges of a sustainable transport-policy
and modern logistics. On this, the EU-Commission has already created an important
milestone by initiating the Freight Integrator concept, later on renamed into Intermodal
Development Centre - IDC. According to the EU-Commission the transport and logistics
centres can help to practically implement the IDC-concept with their independent
management units.
The IDCs mission is to stimulate, develop and promote intermodal transport services
combining all relevant modes of transport. Since these centres are focused on the promotion
and development of intermodal transport the marketing of IDC services is difficult to separate
from the activities taken to promote the intermodal transport itself and are thus an ideal
starting point to examine and analyse possible promotion strategies for intermodal transport
solutions.
This sub-work-package aims at the identification of the content and chances of the IDCconcept considering transport and logistics centres as an example. Thus, the training and
distribution of know-how concerning intermodal solutions are in the main focus.
First the concept of the IDC with its chronological development shall be described in detail to
promote the conceptual base for the further discussion and development of
recommendations regarding the promotion of intermodal transport strategies. In a second
step the structure of logistics centres in general and as an example of the Freight Village
Bremen shall be described. Here are interfaces between the theoretical concept IDC and
already existing networks of the Logistics Centres, especially in Germany. These interfaces
shall be explored and monitored. The recommendations to the promotion strategies are then
to be determined as well as measured, regarding the possibility to implement these
recommendations on their specific terms (short-, medium or long-term) and their capability to
reach the given target.

2 Development and Redefinition of the Freight Integrator


Concept: The EU Concept of the Intermodal Development
Centre
2.1

EU White Paper 2010 Time to decide

The term of Freight Integrator was first introduced in the EU White Paper "European transport
policy for 2010: time to decide". Given the fact that the European transport of the 21st century
will have to cope with circumstances such as increasing loads on the transport mode road, a
higher quantity of goods shipped as well as ecological sensibility and finiteness of fossil fuels,
the concept is supposed to strengthen the position of intermodal transport and help indirectly
to realise the long-term aims of European transport policy. Regarding this, the White Paper
says:
For goods transports, making the right use of the most efficient mode in the transport
chain, based on different criteria at any given time, is the job of transport flow
`organisers, and a new profession is emerging: that of freight integrator. Modelled on
what has been done at world level for package distribution, a new profession
specialising in the integrated transport of full loads (exceeding around 5 tonnes) should
emerge. These `freight integrators need to be able to combine the specific strengths of
each mode at European and world level to offer their clients and, consequently, society
at large the best service in terms of efficiency, price and environmental impact in the
broadest sense (economic, ecological, energy, etc.).
As the European Parliament has already stated, such a profession must be developed
within a `single, transparent scheme which is easy to enforce, clearly defining, in
particular, where responsibility lies all along the logistics chain and laying down the
corresponding transport documents. The Commission will make a proposal along these
lines in 2003.1
The term intending a new physical profession, produced the criticism of many freight
forwarders. From the freight forwarders point of view, the approach of the Commission was
nothing but a transcription of their own profession.2 This discrepancy in the definition was to
be clarified by a study in the year 2003.
2.1.1

Study on Freight Integrators

The aim of the study Study on Freight Integrators was to work out the attributes of the
Freight Integrator and to define measurement categories, according to which the

1
2

Compare. EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2001), page 47.


Compare also KLOTZ, H. (2003).

development status of individual companies could be described within this concept.3 Based
on the data about the companies, requirements, and experiences could be extracted as a
basis for a conceptual work in form of a letter of recommendation for the European
Commission. At this point of the discussion, economical, legal, and political basic conditions
were taken into consideration. In the end, the study was supposed to give an answer on the
question on how far the integrated and in an ideal case intermodal approach and its
estimated after effects could have an influence on the European transport market.
The Study on Freight Integrators supplied a new, more clearly outlined definition of the
Freight Integrator, building on the results of the internal study research. The definition is:
Freight Integrators are transport service providers who arrange full load, doorto-door transportation by selecting and combining without prejudice the most
sustainable and efficient mode(s) of transportation.4
Due to this new definition, the consortium regards the concept as adequately concretised and
contrasted to the general job description of a freight forwarder. The following elements of this
definition are to be considered significant (Figure 2-1):

Full load

Freight Integrator

Door-to-door
Without prejudice

Freight Integrators are


transport service providers who
arrange full load, door-to-door
transportation by selecting and
combining without prejudice
the most sustainable and
efficient mode(s) of
transportation

Combination of transport modes

Efficiency

Sustainability

Transport Service Provider

Complete arrangement
Source: Own figure in accordance to ZLU ET AL (2003)

Fig. 2-1

3
4

Core elements of the Freight Integrator Concept

The ZLU, Internationale Schelde Faculteit (ISF) and Kravag-Logistics had teamed up for the study, supported by the
European Intermodal Association (EIA) and European Logistics Association (ELA).
Compare ZLU ET AL (2003), page, 4.

According to this definition, the Freight Integrator is the exclusive contact person for the client
and bears the entire responsibility (concept of One-Stop-Shopping), arranging all necessary
tasks related to the transport of a commodity from A to B. This includes, beside the
arrangement of the physical transport choosing the right mode of transport and combining the
relevant carriers adequately, the responsibility for the necessary transport documents and the
complete supervision of the transport, particularly regarding to cases of liability. These tasks
are not incumbent on the Freight Integrator personally, he rather can or should delegate
them. However, all information has to be available from him (one face to the customer).
Furthermore, the definition locates the fields of activity of a Freight Integrator to trading
applications (B2B area) only due to the limitation on full load and door-to-door transports,
operated in containers or on swap trailers. This also excludes CEP service providers from the
selected field.
Since the first time the concept was mentioned by the European Commission, a main
statement has been the neutral selection and combination of the transport modes. In practice,
this neutrality is difficult to protect by service providers who are connected with forwarding
companies, because they have, partly historically justified, their own preferences.
Furthermore, the combination of the modes of transport has to be the most efficient and
sustainable arrangement. Regarding this, the most convenient middle course between
ecological interests and the economic purpose has to be found, whereas efficiency consists
of the transports quality as well as the price and the service.
According to the study, it is a practically relevant aspect of the concept that the Freight
Integrator, in contrast to a transport broker, take responsibility for the tasks related to the
transport.5 Beside all transport assignments (also including the provision of the necessary
documents), the Freight Integrator has to take over the logistic planning (the design of the
transitions between the individual carriers both geographic and in terms of deadline) and
finally the observation of the whole processes to be able to intervene directly when problems
arise and to inform the client if necessary. In order to achieve this, the experts of the
consortium emphasize, that the collection of information and its transmission is
indispensable. Therefore, the use of modern technologies of information is leading to the
destination.
For the customers, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, one result of the
concept of One-Stop-Shopping is to take advantage of the environmentally friendly
performances, which could not be realised within the current circumstances the market offers.
With the principle One Stop, it will be easier to organise and calculate economically both for
suppliers and customers. For the individual carrier or logistic service provider it facilitates to
attend on the intermodal transport. In reverse, the Freight Integrator concept could help to
supply the intermodal transport industry with new demanding parties which, without the

In this report the terms transport service provider and transport broker shall be defined as follows:
Transport Service Provider: As described above, the transport service provider is the responsible person for the planning
and conduction of the transport in its entirety, like the provision of the applicable documents and the control of the transport.
He has to provide information to the customer and is liable at first.
Transport broker: The transport broker arranges the mandates or cargo volumes. He may as well be responsible for the
planning of the transport but is not involved in the conduction of the transport and is also not liable unless he neglect his
duty by operating as a broker (e.g. culpa in eligendo).

freight integrator, would not have an economically rational chance of participating in


intermodal transport.
Furthermore, information of high significance and quality is a crucial requirement as the
Freight Integrator is integrated in all tasks. The Freight Integrator is able to refer this highquality knowledge to the clients not just in line with the individual transport assignment, but
also in general as a quality declaration about the specification of the individual carrier. So he
can communicate the strengths of the intermodal carrier which may not yet be aware to the
market.
At the moment, the trends in logistics provide absolutely positive prevailing conditions for the
implementation and acceptance of the concept through all actors involved in the transport
process (ref. Figure 2-2).

Chances for the


Freight Integrator concept

Major
transport distances

Increasing
ecological awareness

Collapse in
road traffic

Absence of
Customers preferences

Containerized cargo
Source: Own figure in accordance to ZLU ET AL (2003)

Fig. 2-2

Positive general framework for the basic FI concept

KLAUS regards tendencies like the increasing ecological awareness or the rising aversion
against the carrier road as so called megatrends in logistics.6 However, interviews with
companies made in several surveys showed that the clients do not have a favoured mode of
transport in principle. The choice depends on objective criteria like accuracy, punctuality,
price and safety of the goods. This is a chance, as well as a levelling board for the
attendances of a Freight Integrator in future.
Another megatrend in logistics is the globalisation furthering the implementation of the FIconcept. Widely ramified networks and global product cycles are leading to transports over
6

Vgl. KLAUS, P. (2003)

larger distances. To overcome this distance, especially standard containers, but also swap
trailers within the European transport, are adopted. As the intermodal transport can unfold its
advantages at larger distances also in ecological regard this trend and its diverse
consequences advance the concept in a sustainable way.
The Freight Integrator concept is yet subject to restraints, which are shown in the following
Figure 2-3:

Rail traffic
Sea traffic

Infrastructure

Staff training

Availability of containers

Mentality / Attitude
Liability and
documentation

Availability of goods

Problems of the
Freight Integrator concept

Source: Own figure in accordance to ZLU ET AL (2003)

Fig. 2-3

Problems of the basic FI concept

The acquisition of the analysis in line with the Study on Freight Integrators, outlines the
restraints of the concept. Problems are to be found in the availability of standard containers
as well as in structural immanent weaknesses of rail (hardly flexible schedules, partly long
transport times, absence of international cooperation) and waterway (higher dependence on
weather and seasonal terms / flood etc.) as a mode of transport. These negative impulses
are not yet specified by the concept, but a known and focused problem of the intermodal
transport in general.
Beside the specific problems with the infrastructure and the individual modes of transport, the
study also showed a difficulty for the intermodal transport in Europe through the absence of a
standard legal framework. There are different national and international legal systems with
different extents of liability and claim settlements for different areas of the intermodal
transports. Partly indirect by executive order law, these different legal systems lead to very
different prerequisites for taking legal action regarding the documentation of goods and

transport. The study mentioned a potential of 10 % for the reduction of costs, which could be
avoided with a standard limit of liability for all transport modes.7
Another border for the implementation of the concept is yet shown through the deficit in
education for the transport sector in Germany, and through mental aversion, and missing
incentives for the individual carrier. Within the EU, Germany can be designated as the most
advanced country regarding the professional training of forwarding agents. The outcome of
this is that Germany is also advanced in the field of action of the Freight Integrator. With the
German dual system, the trainees get also theory tuition, so that there would be a possibility
to bring the concept closer to the employees even before their entrance into the company
career with this system of training. However, in Germany most companies train up their staff
according to their own main focus (which means a road haulier does not have the opportunity
to train his employees on transports with train or barges). Other European countries do have
more problems with their job training. There, the employees only have the possibility to learn
a job through practical experiences due to the absence of other training structures. As a
summary, the study shows that there is a deficiency of comprehensive and integrated
elements in the education and consequently in the personal skills of the employees who are
planning und arranging the transport.
The absence of incentives is the crucial factor for the individual carrier, mainly in times of
limited economic growth potential. The people who were interviewed in the study expressed
that the government (national or EU) has to create the right atmosphere and the legal basic
conditions for the shipper to be able to arrange the combination of the different modes of
transport as demanded by the transport policy. The individual forwarder will hardly be
convinced to be part of the intermodal transport, as long as his own fleet is not working to full
capacity. This example shows, that a forwarder is not able to be a Freight Integrator: Due to
his own economic interests, he would not be able to arrange the transports without prejudice
in an efficient and sustainable way (seen from the economical as well as ecological point of
view).
Therefore, the study points out that the concept of a Freight Integrator has not yet been
achieved by any existing company in Europe, whereas about 150 companies have come very
close to the demands. But there is definitely no room for a whole new job. According to
experts, the concept can only stand the practical test by implementing consequently its basic
criteria (compare with fig. 2-1), whereas the prevailing conditions mentioned above have to
be guaranteed. At the present stage, the study regards it very difficult that logistic service
providers are able to offer this service to their clients. Here the study identifies a lack of
decisive knowledge, gained from experiences.
As a measure supporting the implementation of the Freight Integrator concept, the experts of
the survey suggest the establishment of Promotion Centres apart from the already
mentioned incentives on the transport policy level for the elimination of the deficits
concerning information, qualification, and image. The set up of an internet platform regarding
the topic of intermodal transports or the establishment of honorariums for the best practice
are possible actions. Besides, there is a need for mid-term action in the problem areas that
7

In this context the new settled UNCTAD/ ICC Model Rules shall be mentioned but the authors of this study do not consider
these rules to be sufficient regarding the intermodal transport.

are mentioned above (unification of training standards, questions of liability, harmonised


standards of documentation etc.). The recommended measures, which are settled in the
study, are shown in the following Figure 2-4:

Possible measures
Different framework
condition cluster

Establishment of Promotion Offices


short-term

Creation of a web page about


intermodal transport

Mentality / Attitude

Reward of the best performance

Deficits concerning
information und qualification

Benchmarking analyses and


constitutive certification

Harmonisation of training standards

Infrastructure,
Modes of transport and
technical problems

term

Standardisation of liability and


documentation

Absence of incentives

medium-

Liability and documentation

Improvement of general infrastructure


long-term

Harmonisation of tariff systems


Development of an intermodal transport unit

Source: Own figure in accordance to ZLU ET AL (2003)

Fig. 2-4

Actions by the implementation of the FI concept

The study forecasts the success of this call for action on the basis of two steps.
As a first step, the existing potential of the unimodal transport is determined for the
intermodal transport by the specific communication of the opportunities (this assessment is
based on the consideration that even today more shippers would perform intermodal
operations, if they were better informed).
As a second step, the recommended measures (as described above) show success and lead
to a new decision of the shipper in favour of the intermodal transport. This is shown in the
following Figure 2-5.

current
state

1st step

2nd step

intermodal

transport volume

intermodal
intermodal

hidden
potential

unimodal

unimodal

Improved
information

unimodal

Implementation of
recommended measures

Source: Own figure in accordance to ZLU ET AL (2003)

Fig. 2-5

2.1.2

The basic FI concept of the potential of intermodal transport

Consultation Procedure and Freight Integrator Action Plan of the European


Commission

The Study on Freight Integrator was the first important contribution for the definition and
presentation of the term Freight Integrator. In the same year, the European Commission
published a Consultation Paper with the title Freight Integrator Action Plan `Supporting the
organisers of intermodal freight transport8. Starting from the results of the study, the EU
defined four fields of action for the realisation of a Freight Integrator:

Improve knowledge, awareness and understanding of intermodal transport;

Simplify intermodal transport through further standardisation;

Foster the commitment and co-operation of transport service providers;

Clarify the responsibility and accountability in intermodal transport.9

Hereunto the commission invited all institutions which were interested to give their comments
and suggestions in order to promote the further definition of the approach.
Furthermore, the EU adopted the definition of the Study on Freight Integrators (see above)
and defined six criteria of the Freight Integrator accordingly:
8
9

Compare EU KOMMISSION (2003).


Compare EU KOMMISSION (2003), page 3.

1. The ability to devise intermodal transport solutions suitable for sophisticated supply
chains;
2. Neutrality in order to advise, build co-operation and mediate in the case of dispute;
3. Knowledge and experience of all transport modes, as well as storage and handling of
goods;
4. Long term relationship with shippers and operators;
5. Access to information about transport services, operators and shipments;
6. Access to a broad network of contacts and partners. 10
The criteria are meant enable the Freight Integrator to consider the oftentimes different
interests of the shipper and logistic service provider, and to offer economically attractive
services, especially for the small and middle-classed companies. As a support, the European
Commission created the Freight Integrator Action Plan starting from the recommendation of
measures of the Study on Freight Integrators.
Beside many other institutions, also the Europlatform11 met the demand for comment. The
Deutsche GVZ-Gesellschaft (DGG) as roof organisation of the German Freight Villages
provides one of the vice-presidents of the organisation, which are organised in form of an
E.E.I.G. (European Economic Interest Grouping), which is the roof organisation of the
European transport centres and an important interest group on the European transport policy
level. In their script of comment, the Europlatform indicated the holistic acceptance of the
statements of the concept and the elementary meaning of the infrastructure. The main point
in the script of the Europlatform was yet the excellent qualification of freight villages for the
implementation of the concept with all defined criteria:
Freight Village (FV) with their consequent Public Private Partnership approach have
proved to support freight intermodality by offering both infrastructural and
organisational conditions for modal shift. Therefore FV boast the key qualifications for
the implementation of the FI concept. (cited after the script of Europlatforms).

2.1.3

Conclusion and new definition of the concept by the European Commission

The term Freight Integrator has developed, since it was mentioned for the first time in the
White Paper 2010 Time to decide, from a new job to a concept that can be realized by the
implementation of the defined criteria. Regarding this, the commission pointed out:

10
11

Compare EU KOMMISSION (2003), page 8-9.


For more information about the European roof organisation of the freight villages please visit www.freight-village.com.

10

Behind the headword Freight Integrator is rather hiding a working programme that
the commission is about to resume into an action plan. This one will imply different
measures which demand for combined efforts of the EU commission and member
states, industry and organisations [...].12
Also the training and the advanced retraining is seen as a crucial point of the concept,
whereas the target group are the small and medium-seized companies. Beside the
standardisation, harmonisation and simplification of the liability rules, also document
instructions can be adapted and simplified to enable the access and the use of the intermodal
transport for the forwarding agencies. Anyhow, a cost advantage may be achieved with the
further standardisation of containers (e.g. a palletwide stackable box).
All these measures may only lead to the implementation of the concept on long term. At
short-term the Promotion Offices may be the better choice, also due to the positive
experiences made with the Short Sea Shipping Promotion Centres or with the promotion of
inland waterways. The concept had been discussed for a long time as being applicable for
forwarders only, but this has not been cleared yet:
The most possible amount of actors shall be able to identify themselves with
this initiative and shall like to join in at last []. [The commission see] for
example freight villages with the target to organise transports from and to the
city centres. Or shippers, that in most of the cases have a special idea on how
their cargo shall be transported.13
The Promotion Offices may support the establishment of co-operation activities of forwarders
or even provide a platform to coordinate the training and retraining of the forwarding agents
beside of the general information on the intermodal transport.
The Freight Integrator can therefore be described not as a person, but as an action
programme that can be implemented on three different modes. It can first be implemented by
the logistic service providers and shipper (One Stop Shopping), on long term with the
successful establishment of the necessary framework conditions regarding the legal and
transport political aspects as well as for example safety aspects and on short-term with
Promotion Offices.
The new definition of the Freight Integrator is shown in the next Figure 2-6.

12
13

Compare DAHM, C. (2004); cited are the words (translated) of Stefan Tostmann (as partner in the interview of Dahm),
Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, page 98.
Words of Stefan Tostmann (translated), cited after DAHM, C. (2004), page 99.

11

Freight Integrator
Freight Integrator
Action Plan

Shipper

One Stop
Shopping concept

Superior
basic conditions

Promotion
office

legal
transport policy
safety aspects

Focus: Freight
Villages (FV)

Source: Own figure

Fig. 2-6

2.1.4

New definition of the Freight Integrator Concept

Integrated Services in the Intermodal Chain (ISIC)

In the summer of 2004, the EU advertised a study titled Implementation of the Freight
Integrator Action Plan14. This study actually quit with the term of Freight Integrator. The
concept is now described as Intermodal Development Centre - IDC. The study was
conducted within an international expert consortium, teamed up by leading research and
consulting institutions15. The initial title of this study, Implementation of the Freight Integrator
Action Plan, was changed during the cause of the project into Integrated Services in the
Intermodal Chain ISIC. The consortium decided this name to cover better the nature of the
action that had been distinguished.
The study focused on the concept of the Promotion Office, not making any references to the
One Stop Shopping-concept anymore. But the survey restructured this concept into the new
conceptual implementation base of the old Freight Integrator into the new Intermodal
Development Centre. This process shall be illustrated by the following Figure 2-7.

14
15

Tender N TREN G3/25/2004 of the European Commission, Contract No. TREN/04/MD/S07.38573.


The study had been conducted by the consortium teamed up by BMT Transport Solutions (DE), NEA Transport Research
and Training (NL), RAPP Trans (CH), TETRAPLAN (DK), AMRIE (BE), NESTEAR (FR), Gruppo Clas (IT), European
Intermodal Association (BE), NTUA (GR), ILIM (PL), CDV Transport Research Centre (CZ).

12

Shifting from Freight Integrator to IDC

Freight Integrator

IDC
Intermodal Development
Centre

Transport Service
Provider

Promotion
Office

Source: Own figure

Fig. 2-7

Development from Freight Integrator to


Intermodal Development Centre

The following fields of action were defined as work packages:

Improving intermodal liability and documentation

Harmonising technical requirements for intermodal transport equipment

Improving quality of intermodal terminals

Certification and training for intermodal transport (providers)

Promotion of intermodal transport

Socio-economic cost-benefit analysis for all integrated actions of the Freight Integrator
Action Plan (renamed: socio-economic cost-benefit analysis for all ISIC actions)

The study gives a new definition of the concept as follows:


An IDC is a catalyst non-profit organisation which neutrally works on
developing intermodal freight solutions along European corridors with a
high intermodal potential, overcoming barriers, improving communication
and creating synergies among actors, and generally supporting the shift
towards more environmentally friendly modes of transport.16

16

ECORYS (2005), page 90.

13

In the Task F of the study (promotion of intermodal transport), this concept and its
implementation is shown and explained in detail. In the following, the most important
benchmarks of the new concept shall be illustrated. The rough contents of the concepts can
be illustrated as in the following Figure 2-8.

Contents of the IDC-idea

IDC

Intermodal Development
Centre

IDCs shall bridge the knowledge gap between transport


supply and demand
help overcome barriers to intermodal solutions
generally improve communication between stakeholders
on the demand side (shippers, forwarders) the supply side
(transport operators, infrastructure providers) and the
policy side (authorities and regulators).

Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-8

Contents of the IDC-idea

In consequence of the already existing research material, three customer groups for the IDC
can be identified.
1. Demand side: the user of the IDC
The users can be divided into two categories. First the shippers and those who
operate on their behalf, and second independent freight forwarders.
2. Supply side: transport operators and infrastructure suppliers
The supply side is built by intermodal transport operators, infrastructure providers and
terminals, shipping lines ancillary services such as traction, rolling stock containers
etc.
3. Policy side: policy makers and administration
On the policy side the stakeholder of the IDC concept are the European, national and
regional authorities, administrations and public-equivalent bodies who are able to
influence the market of intermodal transport.

14

The IDCS should provide advice and guidance to business actors and public organisations
that assist the establishment of a dynamic overall framework where competition can ensure
the application of best practice in term of technology, business and organisational practice. At
the same time the IDCs have to avoid at any stage a competitive behaviour themselves.
The implementation of IDCs on the intermodal transport development services market will fill
a market gap not met in full by other providers for specific corridors with a good intermodal
growth potential. But the IDC must not interfere with the market by offering any services that
are already adequately provided by commercially operating logistics companies.

Demand side
(shippers, forwarders)

help overcome barriers


to intermodal solutions

bridge the
knowledge gap
IDC

Intermodal Development
Centre

Supply side
(transport operators,
infrastructure providers)

Policy side
improve
communication

(authorities and regulators)

Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-9

The stakeholders of the IDC-concept

The IDCs are subject to several requirements of the three groups of stakeholder. Following
table 2-1 gives an overview of the singular demands.

Table 2-1

Demands to the IDC (source: ECORYS (2006))

Demands of the stakeholder to the IDC

Demand side

Supply side

Highlight intermodal options

Show efficiency improvements

Demonstrate systems integrations

Provide value-added information services and advanced heuristics

Demonstrate demand

15

Policy side

Contribute to performance benchmarking

Support infrastructure development

Advise the equipment supply industry

Support environmental goals

Contribute to infrastructure planning on an international level

Contribute to a better information infrastructure

Contribute to increased safety and security

Provide statistics

Create research synergies

The survey recommended an implementation of an IDC umbrella organisation as the first


step towards the implementation of the singular IDCs. This procedure is experienced by the
implementation of other enabling organisations, such as Short Sea Shipping Promotion
Centres and Logistics Competence Centres.
The implementation of the concept should thus start with a slim e.g. virtual organisation
to carry out at first the core missions of the IDC concept that can be described as:

Representation
Maintain a web presentation with general information on the IDC mission and
services and summary information on all EC-approved IDCs, linking to their
singular web pages.

Contact point
Serve as a common point of reference for general inquiries.

Liaison function
Implement networks with the European Commission and other relevant bodies and
initiatives supporting the common transport policy, identify synergies, and
contribute to strategy development.

After the first implementation on the market, further tasks may be added if there is an
identified demand. These may be:

Public relation

Central knowledge base

IDC definition support

Network services

16

Auditing function

Database function.

The set up and the operation of the IDC umbrella organisation should be fully funded by the
European Commission; the scope of funding depends on the tasks the umbrella organisation
shall fulfil on the markets demand.
After the implementation or even at the same time, singular organisations shall apply for the
IDC status. The survey defined two categories of services the singular IDC shall offer. The
organisations applying must demonstrate that they offer the core set of tasks, the
institutional service, in a neutral manner, neither preferring nor excluding any market
actors. At all, the institutional services are to be offered to all stakeholders on a nondiscriminatory basis. By the provision of the institutional services, the IDCs make the
stakeholders aware of the intermodal options in the respective area or range. The IDCs
should be thus the interface among intermodal potential, relevant actors and general
information (knowledge) and provide the platform for open discussions and the definition of
successful transport solutions.
Beside the institutional services, the IDCs may also offer additional revenue-based services
depending on their abilities and staff equipment. The services with costs as shown below
are more or less examples, the IDCs are free to define further revenue-based services in
correspondence with the markets demands. But they have to ensure that they are not in
conflict with the provision of the core institutional service.

IDC institutional service and revenue-generating services


IDC - Intermodal Development Centre
Provide a platform

free

Assess the feasibility of services

Institutional
service

Promote intermodal transport


Provide a knowledge base
Create information transparancy

with costs
Revenue
generating
services

Intermodal
consulting

Training

Research
activities

Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-10

Schematic view of the IDC services

17

The described institutional service covers the core services, the IDC has to provide to fulfil
the mission of the concept. The quality and quantity level of the institutional service may
depend on the size of the singular organisations, their resources, location and market
structure.
As pointed out so often before, it is crucial for the success of the whole concept that the IDCs
behave in a strictly neutral fashion. The IDCs should be able to arbitrate between diverse
public and commercial interests. It is therefore a sensitive issue which must be handled with
diplomatic care, that the IDCs shall also generate revenues by its own services. The
revenues should hence be reinvested to improve the institutional service. IDCs are not meant
to compete with already existing promotion and development organisations, but should
actively seek to realise synergies through cooperation and networking. In order to avoid
market strains, the IDCs are defined as non-profit organisations that do not compete
with commercial logistics providers, operators or consultants.

Institutional options for IDCs

Institutional options for IDCs

Hosted IDC

Stand Alone IDC

Sharing resources but creating


a separate organisational
identity

Independent office

Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-11

Institutional options for the IDCs

The concept of the hosted IDC implies the existence of an institution, either private or public,
public-private partnership (PPP) or trade association that are able to provide the core
institutional services (compare fig. 2-10). Furthermore, they have to demonstrate their
independence from commercial interests that may prevent the transparent and nondiscriminatory provision of the IDC service.
The hosted IDC should have its own legal status and issuing its own balance sheet. The
operational costs are to be shared with the hosting organisation.

18

The stand alone IDC may be realised by a public association or a public-private partnership
(PPP). The partly-commercial (additional revenue based services) role of the IDCs makes
this institutional model similar to those of logistic competence centres or regional
development agencies.
The IDC is more or less only defined by the actions and measures which are implemented
either by the IDC umbrella organisation or the singular IDCs. Therefore the singular
institutional services as core elements of the mission IDC shall be described more detailed
in the following as a conclusion of the illustration of the IDC-concept.

IDC-traditional tasks (members oriented) (1)

A. Platform
Initiate and organise events for cross-sector meetings and
discussion to help bridge the gap between the supply side
and the demand side and communicate requirements to the
policy side.

B. (Market) Research for the feasibility of intermodal


transport services
Analyse market opportunities in the corridor and drivers of
modal choice, research practical and costefficient intermodal
alternatives;

provide advice to potential users and suppliers of intermodal


transport.
Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-12

IDC core elements Task A and B

The category of platform services is related to all activities that aim at bringing the different
actors of the transport chain (or even supply chain) together. Useful platform tools are:

Round table discussions,

Workshops (technical or organisational workshops),

Knowledge transfer (like e.g. brainstorming),

Networking with existing initiatives (be a network partner),

Community tools (discussion forums, mailing lists etc.)

The second service category (TASK B) covers measures of evaluation of the feasibility of
intermodal options, leading to the identification of gaps and opportunities.

19

IDC-traditional tasks (members oriented) (2)

C. Traditional Promotion

Promote corridor-specific intermodal demonstrators, supporting the


actors involved.

Raise awareness regarding intermodal transport, for example


through information events, presentations at conferences and
trade shows, public relations, or online and print publications.

D. Improvement of a knowledge base

Capture and communicate stakeholder requirements;

make available market analyses, training material and background


information needed to understand intermodal transport;

facilitate knowledge transfer and best practice information


exchange.
Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-13

IDC core elements Task C and D

The Task C is divided into two groups of measures. IDCs can stimulate the communication
between different transport users and providers in different modes of transport. This can be
based on the feasibility assessment described above. It is also linked to the platform category
(Task A) and may results in e.g. meetings.
On a more general level, IDCs should use promotion tools to make potential customers
aware of the intermodal transport and its benefits, give information about the status
quo.
Tools can be:

Targeted information events like seminars and conferences,

Promotion via print media like brochures, folders, case reports etc.,

Promotion via web pages (singular IDC web pages and homepage of the IDC
umbrella organisation) and mailing lists,

(Effective) public relations by articles in established print and online publications,

General presentation of intermodal concepts (talks, posters) and success cases,

Participation in conferences and discussions,

Networking with trade associations, policy actors and other stakeholder groups.

Task D provides the knowledge base to support the IDC promotion, training and consulting
activity, regarding information of the transport market, the technical infrastructure, and issues
of specific market demands (for example in specific transport corridors).

20

IDC-traditional tasks (members oriented) (3)

E. Information transparency

Collect and facilitate access to information on the


supply services in the relevant corridors;

seeking co-operation with transport operators,


infrastructure providers and ancillary service
providers.

Source: ECORYS (2005), ISIC-Project final report Task F, own illustration

Fig. 2-14

IDC core elements Task E

Information transparency is crucial in all feasibility assessments of intermodal transport. IDCs


should collect ancillary information relevant for intermodal transport in the specific corridor
(each IDC after the concrete market demands).
In the long term, the IDC umbrella organisation may develop an information database as
online application, showing possible and existing transport services that can serve as
elements in the intermodal transport chain. For this the co-operation with operators is
necessary. Information will be needed on the singular transport operators (possibly including
performance schemes), terminals and infrastructure providers as well as other ancillary
services contributing to the realisation of the intermodal transport.

21

Transport and Logistic Centre as IDC

3.1

First approach: Logistics centres as IDC

A Logistic Centre17 is characterised by the following features: at first, by the settling of traffic
economic enterprises, logistics providers, logistics intensive industry and trade companies in
one (or more, then functionally linked) industrial estates. Logistics Centres dispose of an
interface function or intersection respectively between local and long-distance traffic.
These Freight Villages have got a connection to at least two carriers, in particular road/ rail,
normally by Intermodal Terminals. As opposed to conventional transport industrial estates the
exhaustion of synergy potentials is pursued by neutral moderation authorities (i.e. logistics
centres development companies) purposefully in logistics centres. Beyond this Freight
Villages represent a logistic competence centre and they support the intermodal transport
development. Another important feature is the Logistics Centres tendency to co-operate
nationally and internationally and consequently create efficient transport chains and network
solutions for optimal cargo flow and distribution.
The operators can either be owners or tenants of buildings and facilities (warehouses,
distribution centres, storage areas, offices, truck services etc.), which have been built there.
Logistics Centres allow access to all companies involved in the activities set out above.

Definition Freight Village

Spatial concentration of independent logistics (e.g.


transport, distribution, warehousing) and commercial
trade companies in an industrial estate
Intersection of two or more different transport modes;
particulary road/rail (Intermodal Terminal)
Target:
The cooperation between companies
improves the commercial and ecological
efficiency. The cooperation is
coordinated by an independent
development company (FV- managing
company)
Source: Own figure

Fig. 3-1

17

Definition Freight Village

In the following, the terms Logistics Centre, Freight Village - FV and GVZ as abbreviation of the German
Gterverkehrszentrum have to be understand synonymously.

22

In economic regard Logistics Centres pursue several aims. The improvement of the
economic structure of the region is one main aspect. The employees situation, the
competitive situation of the logistics service providers and the location quality for industry and
trade are further advancements which are targeted as sub-goals.
Looking at the traffic optimisation the relief of the traffic sector is the most important factor.
This can be supported by area and modal traffic shift, traffic reduction and traffic prevention.
Logistics areas imply an increase of road goods transport which yields the possibility to
reduce the transport effects on the environment.
Concerning ecological sensitiveness the relief of the environment and the surrounding area is
the main goal. This actually means to relieve the environment from emissions and to increase
the regional scope. During the last decades ecological concerns have increased and national
legislation in terms of environmental protection became more important.

Model structure

Container Depot
Operating/
trucking

Pool

Intermodal Terminal

Groupage

Repair

Post
Bahntrans
parcel
distribution parcel
depot
depot

Service
Centre

Main internal road links

Main internal road links


Administration

TruckService

Cafeteria
Sales/
Restaurant Leasing

Dangerous
goods

(Truck-wash)

Disposal

supraregional links

External production activitiesExpansion areas

Main rail lines

Special
Logistics
e.g. CityLogistics

Basic-companies
(logistic)

Service station

Warehousing, transport,
distribution
other transport modes
Source: Own figure

Fig. 3-2

Freight Village model structure

GVZ advantages:

high-level road/motorway access and proximity to conurbations (short reaction and


delivery times)

intermodality increases commercial flexibility and investment security (present bonus


or future option)

low conflict potential (round the clock operation possible)

23

co-operative activities (cost savings for telecom, energy etc.)

wide service spectrum (truck service, customs clearance, etc.)

sufficient land size for logistics-intensive purposes with excellent transport access

support for SMEs by FV management.

A Logistics Centre offers a multitude of advantages for companies. First of all, the proximity
to other companies and businesses is given. A basic question is the idea of cooperation
between enterprises. Moreover the proximity to several logistic interfaces is another
important aspect.
In addition high dedication of the business development society, FV-developing company
(GVZE) and public institutions may be a determining factor for companies to settle in a
Logistics Centre.
Considering the costs admissible land prices are to be found in Logistics Centres or Freight
Villages respectively. Beyond it only few reasonable chances exist for companies to acquire
property in the above-mentioned areas due to noise-protection and the resulting restrictions
of the operating periods. E.g. new businesses are thus given the option of regional
expansions.

3.2

Examples in Bremen GVZ (Freight Village) Bremen

The aforesaid is more or less a short recapitulation of the sub-work-package Analysis of


institutional and organisational solutions in the development of transport & logistics centres
(WP 3.2). Now, the example Bremen is chosen to demonstrate the synergy potential existing
for the implementation of the IDC-concept in more detail. Bremen was the first Freight Village
established in Germany and is with its long and salutary history an ideal case to monitor the
conceptual programme.
3.2.1

GVZ (Freight Village) Bremen

With more than 1.200 companies and about 40.000 employees the German Freight Villages
are important landmarks in the logistical landscape in Germany. The Logistics Centre
Bremen was the first completely developed German FV in 1984. One of the driving factors for
the establishment was the demand for extension or removal of existing distribution and
warehousing facilities in the city area. A few years later, in 1989, the combined traffic terminal
Roland Umschlaggesellschaft mbH was opened and about 1.000 employees were engaged
in an industrial estate of 50 ha. The number of engaged people doubled between 1989 and
1992.
The Logistics Centre Bremen displays a successful concept. It disposes of 362 ha of total
area. In this industrial estate 120 enterprises are located which engage more than 5.500
employees including 200 apprentices. To date 450 Mio. Euro have been invested financed by
public authorities and private enterprises.

24

GVZ Bremen

Source: GVZe Bremen, 2006

Fig. 3-3

Freight Village (GVZ) Bremen

Concerning the original sites of companies several difficulties existed there. One main aspect
was the fairly problematical transport connection. Beyond a shortage of space for the
companies facilities and missing expandability-possibilities subsisted. High lease rental
charges (long-term building lease) on the one hand and expiring contracts on the other hand
have also been decisive for the change of location.
Furthermore the high conflict capability and charges due to sites in or close to residential
areas have been one more crucial problem for enterprises. Bad functioning logistic transport
organisation due to unchangeable building structures is another aspect regarding problems at
original sites.
3.2.2

GVZE (Freight Village development company) Bremen

The Freight Village Bremen is like almost every German Freight Village managed by a
central unit, the Freight Village Development company GVZE Bremen. This central unit is
organised as a limited company in public private partnership (the public sector is one of the
shareholders of the company).

25

FV Bremen development company

GVZE (FV)
development company Bremen
FV-members
private
companies
(i.e. DB AG)

City of Bremen
(_>25%)
= ppp public
private
partnership

Advisory council
City of Bremen
an independent
expert
several private
FV- companies

tasks / products (internal and external FV products)


For example: General administration, creation
of logistic products, FV- presentation, PR

Source: Own figure

Fig. 3-4

FV-Bremen development company

This management unit makes the difference between a Freight Village and an ordinary
industrial estate. The GVZE commits itself to the complex performance interlocking of the
freight villages. By taking over management tasks, the GVZE initiates and modernises
activities of cooperation recognising synergy potentials and achieving cost advantages on
behalf of the enterprises located. Apart from this, the GVZE is the service and communication
platform for the companies and institutions involved.

26

The FV- management company structure


GVZe = FV development
company

GVZe

FV
Autonomous
Enterprises
Source: Own figure

Fig. 3-5

FV-development company structure

The business fields of the GVZE of Bremen can be summarised by the following keywords:

Management
o

organisation of the infra- and suprastructure (e.g. traffic guidance system, local
public transport)

Services
o

platform of information (capacities balancing, notes on traffic, road works, and


traffic jams)

pooling / purchase service contracts (e.g. energy, telecommunications,


consumables)

cooperation partners for special areas (e.g. dangerous goods, job safety,
company medical officers, training and retraining)

Consulting
o

freight village specific issues (business conceptions, traffic facilities, central


organisational issues)

conception and advising of commercial areas

Communication
o

events/centertainment

Personnel communication (forum internum and forum externum)

Public Relations

27

guided tours for visitors

lectures and site visits

fair attendance (like transport logistic transport fair in Munich, German


Logistics Congress)

Media (print media like folders, press releases, Internet)

Projects
o

Implementation of a telematic platform disposed to Freight Villages (virtual


FV / LogSolutions)

Waste disposal/integrated environmental management

Workshops
o

good(s) idea workshop

traffic and transport (chamber of commerce Bremen)

customs

regional /spatial topics like the Freight Villages in Lower Saxony

topics of current interest or special fields of interest

Intermodal Transport Promotion centre


o

intermodal transport working groups

expert councils

The Freight Villages have to be positioned as location factors in the competition of the
regions (generation of competence). Even more chances can be realised within a national
network of logistical knots and by the inclusion of further transport industrial estates, (inner)
harbours, airports etc. A core task of the management unit is the supra-regional promotion of
the Macrologistics Concept.

28

Chances of Implementation of the IDC concept

As said above, the IDCs can as described in the survey Integrated Services in the
Intermodal Chain be implemented as hosted IDC or on a stand-alone base, both with an
own organisational identity. The cited study also proposes an exit rule for the stand alone
IDC as public-private partnership, if the revenue-generating services the IDCs shall perform
reach an economic level not allowing anymore to fulfil the core services at a neutral base.
This proposed exit rule shows very well the disadvantage of completely new founded
companies, even if they are co-funded by the public sector. After a first start-up financial aid
the institution has to gain profit to exist as an organisational entity. This own economic
interest will then hinder the neutral moderation function.
On the other hand, public bodies on their own are, due to their limited funds, not able to
secure the commitment on long term. The European funding programmes may be an
opportunity, but on the long term it might not be reliable for the singular IDCs that shall be
established all over Europe. So after these considerations it might be the best choice to
realise the IDC concept via hosted institutions.
This is not exactly the recommendation of the cited survey. The experts here recommended
to establish first an IDC umbrella organisation as main operational instrument for the
implementation of the concept and later on the application of the singular IDCs. The IDCs
may, according to the recommendation of the experts, be either existing organisations or new
entities. This procedure is common and known for example by the implementation of Short
Sea Shipping Promotion Centres. As emphasised before, the IDCs are not meant to
compete with already existing intermodal promotions and development organisations, but to
co-operate and to build up networks.
The experts of the survey identified several differences between the existing organisations
and the IDC concept, which may by the reason for the recommendation of a new IDCorganisation as umbrella organisation. According to their opinion, the differences are18:

18

Many of the existing organisations focus mainly on the region and/or on particular
transport modes. In contrast, IDCs promote and develop European trans-national
intermodal corridors.

IDCs will reflect an active market interest as evidenced in the IDC business plans to
be submitted in an application for IDC status. In cases where IDCs are set up as
Private Public Partnership, business partners act as shareholders, thereby testifying
the market relevance of the respective IDC.

IDCs extend the focus on promotion to offer also intermodal development support,
complementing their institutional services with the revenue-generating services such
as intermodal consulting where these services are not (or not effectively) offered by
the market.

ECORYS (2005), page 89.

29

The fact that IDCs will operate with the support of a common EU-sponsored umbrella
organisation facilitates a well co-ordinated and integrated development.

The Freight Villages, as shown above, fulfil these criteria and, apart from this, even provide
an existing network of contacts and physical structures. With the German GVZ-Gesellschaft,
the roof organisation of the German Freight Villages for example, the Logistics Centres in
Germany have a link to the transport policy on national and European level and even in
international relations. In other European countries similar structures exists, for example the
FDT in Denmark, WZCL in Poland, UnionInterporti in Italy and ACTE in Spain. Most of the
national roof organisations are member of the European Freight Village organisation
Europlatforms. Therefore, the structure proposed by the experts of the survey already exists
by means of the Logistics Centres.
Furthermore the Freight Villages are even if they have a regional focus due to their
commitment in regional or spatial logistics programmes like city logistics activities via their
management unit part of the network and therefore also interested in general policy
questions. Most of the development companies are established as public private partnerships
and used to the demand of both economic interests of the market and public targets.
Logistics Centres are in addition not focused on one singular mode of transport, bimodal and
trimodal Logistics Centres already exist and the positive synergies which may be gained by
the proximity of a cargo airport are also granted.

Implementation through the FVs

Institutional options for IDCs

Hosted IDC

Stand Alone IDC

Sharing resources but creating


a separate organisational
identity

Independent office

IDC hosted by the

Freight Villages

Fig. 4-1

Idea: implementation of the IDC concept through the FVs

30

Due to the fact that Freight Villages often have a comparatively long history, several Freight
Village development companies are known by their consulting activities on the sector of
intermodal transport solutions. They thus can provide a specific know-how, which is
appreciated and provides revenues.
Therefore it can be said that Logistics Centres are the ideal solution for the implementation
of the IDC concept. A Freight Village is more than an industrial estate which by
instance has the possibility of an intermodal interface, but provides a neutral
moderation unit via the management unit (GVZE) and an existing network of contacts,
reputations, references or additional opportunities to gain revenues by consulting and
development activities due to their experiences!
The chances for the IDC concept by the implementation through the Logistics Centres in
Europe are first of all a considerable saving of time. The implementation process as proposed
by the IDC-survey needs not only time to establish the roof organisation, but also to develop
a criteria scheme to identify possible IDCs and to nominate them. In a first approach by using
the Logistics Centre Network, these time can be saved.

31

Summary and Perspectives

Even if after this summarisation of the conceptual base of the IDC concept and the strong
possibility to implement the concept via the existing structure of the Logistics centres it may
not be a dissipation to emphasize once again why this gives more or less a guideline to the
possibilities of promotion strategies for the intermodal transport.
The institutional services of the IDC as described above generate the public awareness, even
by the specific promotion as well as by the implementation of the concept itself. A strong
position on the market may just as well be a promotion as for example a workshop, a lecture
or media presentation. One has to keep in mind that the actors that should be informed and
affected to use the intermodal transport are not driven by academic interest but by
economical necessities.
Within the recent consultation paper on Logistics for Promoting Intermodality, intermodal
logistics is considered as the transport part of the whole supply chain. This implies the need
for an integrated view on intermodal transport solutions and the need for door-to-door
promotion activities over the whole supply chain.
The above said gives a first indication of the diversity of intermodal promotion on regional,
national and European level. Aiming to support intermodality there is the need for cooperation and co-ordination of activities leading to the vision to establish a strong network of
co-operating national intermodal promotion centres being a focal point for promoting
intermodality.
Already in June 2002 this development started with the Short Sea Shipping Promotion
Centres - SPC. Then the European Union Transport Ministers discussed in Gijn the
possibility of an action plan on the key issues for developing the political priority given to
Short Sea Shipping. In the following, the Commission released a Communication in which
one key strategy for promotion of Short Sea Shipping are identified with the SPC. Presently
20 SPC are installed and horizontally co-ordinated by the European Short Sea Network
(ESN). In this respect the short sea mode clearly is a step further in terms of international
organisation and co-operation of short sea promotion in Europe. It is therefore a logical step
to take also the SPC network as a starting point for the extension of promotion of
intermodality by means of integrating or co-operating on the promotion of intermodal
transport options using rail and inland waterway transport.
In countries where no sea access is given and no SPC are established different intermodal
promotion models are in place. The EU Commission recently for example approved the
extension of the Austrian programme for the promotion of intermodal traffic. The promotion
campaign will apply to all EU transport enterprises that operate in Austria. It is targeting at
transport, handling and logistics enterprises, intermodal operators, terminal and port
operators, as well as shipping and railway enterprises. The programme promotes the
acquisition and/or leasing of equipment for IT services, innovative technologies and systems,
feasibility studies for concrete measures as well as the costs of external training courses
(information and communication systems).

32

The EU has become aware that the already existing SPC the Short Sea Shipping
Promotion Centres may generate impulses for the intermodal transport. These impulses are
less concentrated on the classis intermodal interfaces road/rail. Therefore the EU aims at a
shift or transfer of the SPC-concept into the hinterland. The SPC approach is thus the
interesting basic framework. Even a closer relation the EU hopes to gain by the new
developed concept, established as IPC Intermodal Promotion Centre.
The ISL is partner in the recently assigned Study on the Feasibility of Extending the
Activities of Existing Mode-Specific Promotion Centres in Europe to Encompass the Wider
Concept of Intermodal Transport19. A further focus of the study is to attempt action of coordination. The general idea behind a Coordination Action, is to encourage the co-operation
between key actors and stakeholders, research and consulting institutions, governmental
authorities and other interested groups at national and European level. The consortium, the
ISL is a member of, comprises the project partners, ensuring that continuity is maintained in
the activities and work on the project. In this way repetition will be avoided and documents
and experiences from the project will be used and further integrated as needed.
The study to be carried out is divided in two phases following the two main objectives:

Phase I: Giving guidelines on how to proceed in extending the activities of existing


mode specific promotion centres in Europe to encompass the wider concept of
intermodal transport.

Phase II: Demonstrate it in a number of targeted countries.

The results of this work-package may be an important share of the analysis of existing
promotion strategies in phase I of the newly assigned study. The results may then be reused
for the SUTRANET region and induce synergy-potential of high value.
The showed promotion strategies for intermodal transport solutions may then be
implemented and measured. Then perhaps a sustainable evaluation of the IDC-concept,
implemented through the networks of the Logistics Centres may contribute to the promotion
of intermodal transport in the most efficient way: the identification of best practice.

19

EC Tender No. TREN/G3/367-2006.

33

From IDC to IPC


IDC

IPC

Intermodal Development
Centre

Intermodal Promotion
Centre

Focus: Conceptual base

Focus: Realisation of the


concept
IPC

Demand side
(shippers, forwarders)

SPC
help overcome barriers
to intermodal solutions

bridge the
knowledge gap

FV

IDC

FV

Intermodal Development
Centre

IPC

Supply side
(transport operators,
infrastructure providers)

IPC

Policy side
improve
communication

(authorities and regulators)

SPC

Source: own illustration

Fig. 5-1

From IDC to IPC

34

Bibliography
DAHM, C. (2004)

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