The Current and Future Scenario of Multi-Modal Logistics in Europe

2 min read

There has been an increasing interest in multimodal logistics from various entities in the freight and logistics market. Despite this growing interest, the growth in the implementation of multimodal logistics in Europe has been slow but steady mainly due to its dependence on infrastructure which is vital to boost the competitiveness of this method of freight transportation.

Initiatives by the Government and Regulations by Policy Makers to make Expand Multimodal Logistics in Europe

Policymakers in the EU have been very keen on transplanting the transportation of freight off the road with more sustainable modes to reduce carbon emissions. One of the main objectives as part of the Transport 2050 Roadmap initiative is to reduce road freight traffic by 30% for distances over  300 km and shift them to rail or marine transport by 2030. Rail freight over these distance is known to be a very cost-effective solution. The European Commission is involved in overseeing and co-financing the execution of nine strategic transport corridors under the TEN-T programme. Usually, the companies which use rail transport for shipment of heavy products fall under the construction & materials and automotive sectors. Retail markets are also embracing multimodal logistics such as the French retail company Monoprix which moves about 55% of its import products to warehouses through water and 35% through the rail. Shippers have been expanding the types of services offered by including multimodal services mainly by using favorable policy and upgrading of infrastructure in order to gain maximum connectivity. This is evident in examples such as the UK, in which Port Salford is one the first tri-modal container terminals on the inland of its kind in the country. It is located on the Manchester Ship Canal which gives access to the Liverpool’s ports. Port Salford is part of a large programme to revive navigation along the canal. There are such similar multimodal platforms in the UK as well as in mainland Europe such as Germany and France.

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UPDATING INFRASTRUCTURE IS VITAL FOR MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION

The need for updated infrastructure for multimodal transportation is a deciding factor in its implementation all over Europe. Several European ports have set targets for different modes of transport and are embarking on huge infrastructure investment projects to reach the targets. One such project is the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland which happens to be a major part of the Rhine-Alpine rail system. This is considered the most vital region for North-South trade connecting the North seaports of Rotterdam- Antwerp to the port of Genoa in Italy. The number of freight trains on this line is expected to increase from 160 to over 260 per day due to the extension of the tunnel by 57 km and upgrading of outdated infrastructure. The northern-most part of Italy is expected to benefit greatly from this undertaking as its logistics platforms will act as Alpine gateways. Likewise, capacity is being added on the Swiss part of the Alps by a group of shipping companies who are building a new multimodal container terminal in the region of Basel which is expected to have an annual capacity of over 140,000 TEUs until early 2020 and to be increased to 390,000 TEUs by the end of 2022.

Rail Projects in the Eastern European Ports Expected to Further Unify Europe’s Supply Chain

Many countries in the Eastern half of Europe are also developing platforms for multimodal logistics as this region lies in the midst of the new Silk Road all the way from China. The major ports of the region include Port of Rijeka, Venice, Trieste, and Koper along with the port of Gdansk which are mainly defined by rail transportation. The port of Trieste opened a new rail line in 2016 and another rail logistics platform 121,700 km long which is expected to become operational by 2018. Similar projects are being implemented in the port of Koper. It has one of the largest annual container traffic in Europe, but despite this growth, its rail transportation growth has been restrained by the low capacity in the inland rail routes. There are plans to build a new railway system which would bring extra freight increasing the traffic from 85 trains a day to over 200 trains a day by 2022. These projects are expected to act as an integral part in uniting Europe into a more complex supply chain domestically as well as globally.

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About the Multi-Modal Logistics in Europe

Europe’s Freight and Logistics market is expected to grow at a significant pace well into the future with a few caveats. The market is set to grow mainly because of government initiatives such as the TENT-T programme and investment by shipping companies to establish multimodal platforms

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Mordor Intelligence is a market intelligence and advisory firm operating in 14 industry segments, serving over 600 clients worldwide.

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