Improvements to Europe’s Intermodal Network

Posted : 04/1/13 6:42 AM

One of the major goals of the unification of the European economic zone has been the improvement and standardization of the intermodal transport network that services Europe and Britain. The European Commission has been developing the transportation networks in parallel with upgrades to other networks such as telecommunications1 and as these various projects approach their completion, they are already having an impact on the intermodal freight industries across Europe. These improvements have linked the twelve major ports in Europe with an efficient network of transport options that rely heavily on the use of the renovated and modernized trans-European rail network2. At the same time, the canals and waterways that access central Europe have been modernized to become an integral part of the intermodal network in an effort to take the pressure off of Europe’s road network. These highways have also been upgraded to make them more efficient transport arteries and this is inspiring some large transport companies to adapt their own operations to take advantage of the improvements. European transport giant ModusLink Global Solutions recently announced plans to move much of its operations to a site that is has better access to the newly refurbished and upgraded transport infrastructure3. The lack of room in Europe for continued expansion of these networks is motivating many transport firms to examine alternative ways to maintain their levels of service and profitability. The impact on the environment of mass transit is also coming under closer scrutiny, with smaller countries looking at ways of using technology to model the most efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transporting different types of freight across Europe4. The use of computers to manage the movement of cargo through Europe’s major transport hubs is seen as a way to both improve the efficiency and therefore the profitability of intermodal transport, as well as to build an environmentally sustainable industry. The volume of containerized freight is expected to continue to rise and the development of the trans-European transport network is intended to ensure that European freight handling continues to be efficient and effective. The real value of breaking down the borders to trade and transport in Europe is beginning to become apparent with these trans-continental projects, making Europe a much more competitive marketplace. As many of these schemes come to completion, they will make the European system even more efficient which in turn will create even more opportunities in the European transport industries. References: 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-European_Transport_Networks 2. http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/transportation-infrastructure/europe-intermodal-network 3. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/moduslink-improves-operations-in-the-netherlands-2013-03-14 4. http://www.transport-research.info/web/projects/project_details.cfm?ID=7636