Freight Integrators by wuyunyi

VIEWS: 182 PAGES: 86

									                                   Study on

                      Freight Integrators
                  To the Commission of the European Communities

                                  Final Report

                                   Berlin, 16.09.2003

Service Contract N° ETU/B2-7040B-S07.18491/2002
                                                                       Table of Contents

1           Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................1

2           Freight Integration Concepts .....................................................................................................4
2.1         The Freight Forwarder (“Spediteur”) ............................................................................................................ 4

2.2         Intermodal Marketing Companies ................................................................................................................ 5

2.3         MTO-convention .......................................................................................................................................... 5

2.4         Integrators / KEP ......................................................................................................................................... 5

3           The Definition of a Freight Integrator........................................................................................8
3.1         Freight integrator as transport service provider ........................................................................................... 8

3.2         Duties........................................................................................................................................................... 9

3.3         Full load, door-to-door shipments ................................................................................................................ 9

3.4         Selecting and combining without prejudice ................................................................................................ 12

3.5         Most sustainable and efficient mode(s) of transport .................................................................................. 12

4           Tasks and Added Values of the Freight Integrator................................................................13
4.1         General Tasks ........................................................................................................................................... 13

4.2         General added values................................................................................................................................ 14

4.3         Value added services................................................................................................................................. 15

5           Identification of Freight Integrators ........................................................................................16
5.1         Company sample....................................................................................................................................... 16

5.2         Indicators for the identification of Freight Integrators ................................................................................. 18

    5.2.1     Specialisation on full loads ...................................................................................................................... 18

    5.2.2     Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports .......................................................... 19

    5.2.3     Intermodal transports as a relevant business field within the company................................................... 20

    5.2.4     Commitment to intermodality................................................................................................................... 22

    5.2.5     Knowledge and experience ..................................................................................................................... 23

    5.2.6     Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability ................................................................................ 24

    5.2.7     Economic substantiation of intermodality ................................................................................................ 26

    5.2.8     Customer relationships............................................................................................................................ 27

    5.2.9     Co-operation and partners....................................................................................................................... 27

    5.2.10 Geographic-spread towards EU-wide business....................................................................................... 29

5.3         Identified Freight Integrators ...................................................................................................................... 31

    5.3.1     Evaluation of the Company Sample ........................................................................................................ 31

    5.3.2     Outlook .................................................................................................................................................... 33

    5.3.3     Estimation – number of Freight Integrators in Europe ............................................................................. 34

5.4         Case studies – examples for Freight Integrating companies ..................................................................... 35

    5.4.1     Example 1 - a highly developed Freight Integrator .................................................................................. 35

                                                                                                                                                                  Page I
    5.4.2     Example 2 - a highly developed Freight Integrator .................................................................................. 36

    5.4.3     Example 3 – a company developed towards Freight Integrator............................................................... 36

    5.4.4     Example 4 – a company developed towards Freight Integrator............................................................... 37

    5.4.5     Example 5 – a company with little development towards Freight Integrator, but first rudiments set........ 37

6           Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports ................................................38
6.1         Conditions in favour of Freight Integration ................................................................................................. 38

6.2         Current trends in logistics .......................................................................................................................... 40

6.3         Problem areas of intermodal transportation ............................................................................................... 42

    6.3.1     Problem area “transported goods”........................................................................................................... 42

    6.3.2     Problem area “containers” ....................................................................................................................... 43

    6.3.3     Problem area “infrastructure”................................................................................................................... 44

    6.3.4     Problem area “rail”................................................................................................................................... 45

    6.3.5     Problem area “Water transport” (inland waterways, short sea shipping) ................................................. 46

    6.3.6     Problem area “education / staff” .............................................................................................................. 48

    6.3.7     Problem area “mentality / attitude”........................................................................................................... 50

    6.3.8     Problem area “lack of incentives” ............................................................................................................ 53

    6.3.9     Problem area “liability and documentation” ............................................................................................. 54

7           Policy Recommendations ........................................................................................................60
7.1         Short term approaches .............................................................................................................................. 61

    7.1.1     Promotion centres ................................................................................................................................... 61

    7.1.2     Intermodal Website.................................................................................................................................. 63

    7.1.3     Awarding the best performance............................................................................................................... 64

    7.1.4     Benchmarking system and certification for Freight Integrators................................................................ 65

7.2         Medium term approach .............................................................................................................................. 67

    7.2.1     Harmonisation of vocational systems ...................................................................................................... 67

    7.2.2     Liability and documentation ..................................................................................................................... 70

7.3         Long term approach................................................................................................................................... 71

    7.3.1     Infrastructure ........................................................................................................................................... 71

    7.3.2     Toll systems ............................................................................................................................................ 72

    7.3.3     Loading Equipment.................................................................................................................................. 73

8           Bibliography ..............................................................................................................................75

9           Annex: Questionnaire ...............................................................................................................76

                                                                                                                                                             Page II
Figure 1: Questions for the definition of a Freight Integrator ...................................................................8
Figure 2: Estimated share of full loads in rail transport..........................................................................10
Figure 3: Estimated share of full load transports on inland waterways .................................................10
Figure 4: Estimated share of full loads in short sea shipping ................................................................10
Figure 5: Estimated share of full load in road transportation .................................................................11
Figure 6: Percentage of full load transportation in all modes ................................................................11
Figure 7: Full load transportation in all modes .......................................................................................11
Figure 8: Value added services .............................................................................................................15
Figure 9: Company sample ....................................................................................................................16
Figure 10: Geographical coverage.........................................................................................................17
Figure 11: Turnover for full loads as percentage of total turnover .........................................................19
Figure 12: Turnover with full loads .........................................................................................................19
Figure 13: Turnover with full loads intermodal .......................................................................................20
Figure 14: Focus groups ........................................................................................................................21
Figure 15: Intermodal combinations.......................................................................................................21
Figure 16: Intermodal transports in other services ................................................................................22
Figure 17: Experience in organising intermodal transport chains for full loads .....................................23
Figure 18: Specialised staff....................................................................................................................24
Figure 19: Consideration of ecological questions ..................................................................................25
Figure 20: Questions of economic sustainability ...................................................................................26
Figure 21: Contracts for intermodal transport ........................................................................................27
Figure 22: Co-operation .........................................................................................................................28
Figure 23: Frame-work of co-operation..................................................................................................28
Figure 24: Transport capacities in the internet ......................................................................................29
Figure 25: Geographic spread of transportation chains.........................................................................30
Figure 26: Customers’ provenience .......................................................................................................30
Figure 27: Legend for figure with standard deviation.............................................................................30
Figure 28: Classification of companies in the categories for all indicators ............................................31
Figure 29: Categorisation of companies in the sample..........................................................................32
Figure 30: Example certificate for development towards Freight Integrator ..........................................33
Figure 31: Distances in transportation ...................................................................................................38
Figure 32: Products suitable for intermodal transport............................................................................39
Figure 33: Ecological awareness and implementation ..........................................................................52
Figure 34: Liability ..................................................................................................................................54
Figure 35: Market potential for intermodal transport..............................................................................60
Figure 36: Main Barriers and related recommendations........................................................................61

                                                                                                                                            Page III
Table 1: Indicator Specialisation on full loads........................................................................................18
Table 2: Indicator Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports ...........................19
Table 3: Indicator Intermodal transport as relevant business field within the company ........................20
Table 4: Indicator Commitment to intermodality ....................................................................................22
Table 5: Indicator Knowledge and Experience ......................................................................................23
Table 6: Indicator Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability .................................................24
Table 7: Indicator Economic substantiation of intermodality..................................................................26
Table 8: Indicator Customer relationship ...............................................................................................27
Table 9: Indicator Co-operations and partners ......................................................................................28
Table 10: Indicator Area-spread towards EU-wide business.................................................................30
Table 11: Weighting of indicators...........................................................................................................32
Table 12: Classification of stage of development towards Freight Integrator........................................32

                                                                                                                                 Page IV
1 Executive Summary

1 Executive Summary
The idea of Freight Integrators was first mentioned in the ‘White Paper on the European Transport
policy until 2010’ and referred to them being organisers of intermodal full load transports. In
accordance with the transport policy which aims to rebalance the modal shift and to increase the
ecological friendly share of alternatives to road, the emergence of such Freight Integrators should be
Against this background, this study aims to research comparable concepts and develop a definition for
Freight Integrators as well as indicators for their identification. As a basis for further support, the
current situation of freight integrating companies as well as their major problems were identified,
together recommendations for measures to overcome the main barriers to the emergence of Freight
The basis of the study was a sample of 50 companies the data on whom was collected both by
questionnaire and by extensive interviews.
Definition and freight integration concepts
To describe Freight Integrators, the definition was elaborated as follows:
“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
The transport share of full loads, the main market of Freight Integrators, was estimated at about 477
billion tkm in Europe, corresponding to about one fifth of European transportation. More than half of
these are actually effected by road, one third by short sea shipping and the rest mainly by rail.
Comparable concepts to Freight Integrators include freight forwarders, who lack a focus on intermodal
transportation because they do not as a rule make the unprejudiced choices necessary by including
sustainability as well as efficiency factors. Intermodal marketing companies are not deeply involved
enough in the arrangement of transport. Integrators are active today in the parcel market but these
have a strong focus on consolidation.
Identification of Freight Integrators
10 indicators for the identification of Freight Integrators were identified:
      1. Specialisation on full loads
      2. Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports
      3. Intermodal transports as a relevant business field within the company
      4. Commitment to intermodality
      5. Knowledge and experience
      6. Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability
      7. Economic substantiation of intermodality
      8. Customer relationships
      9. Co-operations and partners
      10. Geographic spread as a EU-wide business
With these indicators, the development of companies to becoming Freight Integrators is evaluated. As
a result, companies are classified in 4 categories: highly developed Freight Integrators, companies
developed towards Freight Integrators, companies with little development towards Freight Integrators
but with the first rudiments set, and companies not developed towards Freight Integrators.
These indicators were validated in the company sample, in which 6 highly developed Freight
Integrators were identified as well as 19 companies developed towards Freight Integrator. It is

    1 billion = 1.000 million for all data in this document
                                                                                               Page 1
1 Executive Summary

estimated that in Europe about 30 to 40 highly developed Freight Integrators exist today as well as
about 150 companies developed towards Freight Integrator.
Current situation and trends
The change towards a greater use of freight integration comes from the worsening conditions on the
roads and mainly from the fact that the distances that goods are being transported are rising, making
intermodal transportation, which is seen as more competitive over the longer distance journeys, more
interesting. In general shippers do not care how their goods are transported, however because of the
current greater awareness of environmental issues, others can be convinced by the "eco-friendly
behaviour" arguments to favour intermodal transport.

The ongoing outsourcing by companies along with the increased use of strategic partnerships are the
main trends influencing the emergence of Freight Integrators. These are the situations where transport
service providers get a chance to turn to the use of intermodality. Globalisation and the restructuring of
logistics systems involving concentration of production and inventory facilities lead to increases in the
distances that goods are transported, which, in turn, favours the use of intermodal transport.
Problems and main barriers
Problem areas were identified on the basis of the interviews:
o         Transported goods: Examples of goods for which it is currently a problem to transport
          intermodally. A lack of return freight is a special problem arising in intermodal transport.
o         Containers: The availability of containers (as the preferred unit for intermodal transportation).
          The standardisation and adaptation to intermodal transport’s current needs.
o         Infrastructure: Infrastructure problems were mentioned concerning harbours, trimodal
          terminals and rail tracks.
o         Rail: Service quality problems (reliability and journey time) and a lack of co-operation
          complicates international transports. Monopolistic structures of national railways are seen as
          the reason for high prices and the lack of a competitive approach.
o         Water transport: Though considered as developing positively, short sea as well as inland
          waterway shipping is not widely seen as an possible transport mode to use.
o         Education / staff: There is a lack of a European-wide vocational training system, especially
          regarding any emphasis intermodal transports which leads to knowledge often being focused
          on the road mode.
o         Mentality / attitude: A lack of awareness of the possibilities of intermodal along with
          difficulties to get the necessary information make the decision to favour freight integration a
          difficult one. In general, intermodal transport has a bad image, it is regarded as complicated
          and not the normal mode of choice.
o         Lack of incentives: Transport service providers do not see any reason why they should
          engage in intermodal transportation if they are not doing so at present. They are generally of
          the opinion that no profit can be earned in this field.
The overall main barriers are seen as the lack of incentives, the lack of information and qualifications,
infrastructure problems, the bad image of intermodal transport as well as difficulties concerning liability
and documentation.
To address the main barriers, the following recommendations are proposed for the short (N° 1-4),
medium (N° 5-6) and long terms (N° 7-9):
    1. To establish promotion centres, promoting regional intermodal transport to shippers and
       freight forwarders as well as for providing necessary information.
    2. To create a web site proving the information needed for intermodal transportation.
    3. To establish an annual intermodal award under the patronage of the European Commission,
       along with strong publicity for the success stories identified.

                                                                                                  Page 2
1 Executive Summary

    4. To establish a benchmarking system for Freight Integrators and to create a certification for
       developed Freight Integrators.
    5. To harmonise the vocational training and offer a European-wide vocational training for Freight
    6. To facilitate the legal environment for intermodal transportation concerning liability and
    7. To further develop infrastructure that facilitates intermodal transport.
    8. To establish a European-wide toll system for the pure road transport mode, while keeping, at
       the same time, advantages for intermodal transport.
    9. To harmonise loading equipment, i.e. containers and make them available in container pools.

In summary, this study shows what Freight Integrators are, their circumstances, the problems they
confront and how they can be supported by the European Commission.

The study was carried out by a consortium of 5 partners under the co-ordinated by ZLU:

ZLU – Zentrum für Logistik und Unternehmensplanung GmbH
            o   Logistics Consultancy
            o   Co-ordinator of the study
            o   Responsible for all ground transport investigations

International Scheldt Faculty (ISF)
            o   Cross-border network of educational institutes, regional enterprises and governmental
            o   Responsible for all shipping concerns

European Intermodal Association (EIA)
            o   Non-governmental organisation promoting intermodal freight transport
            o   Responsible for the provision of the practical experiences of their members

            o   Germany’s leading insurance company for truck and carrier liability insurance
            o   Responsible for all liability questions

European Logistics Association (ELA)
            o   Federation of about 30 national logistics associations
            o   Responsible for the contact with logistics service providers

                                                                                                Page 3
2 Freight Integration Concepts

2 Freight Integration Concepts
The main statements concerning the issue of Freight Integrators in the White Paper, are based on:
efficiency, price and environmental impact or to be more precise, the sustainability of economical,
ecological and social factors. To what extent do companies in the transport market already fulfil these
conditions and what therefore are the existing alternatives?

2.1   The Freight Forwarder (“Spediteur”)
The best compliance with the demands of the White Paper is found in the Freight Forwarder, or in
German “Spediteur”. Traditionally thought of as a person or organisation that organises the transport
and handles all documentary issues, such as customs declarations, freight documents or letters of
credit. He is independent and handles shipments for payment always under the premise of trying to
achieve the best possible transport chain for the customer. Furthermore he is responsible for the
choice of transport modes and the arrangements for insurance or damage claim processing. In doing
this, the Freight Forwarders originally had no assets at all, excepting, naturally, their offices.
Over time, this role has changed. Instead of only acting as an intermediary, many Freight Forwarders
actually became transport operators and had their own transportation assets. Furthermore, to achieve
competitive rates most of them are holding contracts or special arrangements with other transport
operators. This makes them less neutral in their decisionmaking.
One example is in the IATA (International Air Transport Association) agent system. As they are getting
a percentage of the prices the airlines charge, these agents will try to sell their customers a
transportation solution containing air transport. This might not all the time be in the interest of the
customer and even less in the interest of a sustainable environmental policy. Neither is the very
common practise of filling up one’s own assets, trucks for example, by consolidating shipments or
using full load shipments, a method in which sustainability is achievable. Freight forwarders, in these
cases, are mostly not even considering other possibilities that might be cheaper, safer or better for the
environment. There cannot be unprejudiced decisionmaking regarding the choice of mode of transport
or the most efficient combination of varying transport modes, if this procedure prevails.
So, a more sustainable solution, as regards environmental issues, can sometimes be, for the reasons
mentioned above, the less attractive option for a forwarder.
Comparing this model with the newly evolving Freight Integrator, it actually shows a lot of similarities
but as yet too many differences. The similarities, especially when looking at the freight forwarder in the
traditional meaning as a “Spediteur”, rest on the independence he has and therefore neutrality
between the different modes of transportation. The handling of all of the documents concerning one
shipment bears a certain resemblance to what would be a desirable task for the Freight Integrator.
Functions are therefore: the choice of transport mode, arrangements for pick-up, filing the necessary
documents with authorities, monitoring the shipment whilst on its way and the issuing of a delivery
receipt after delivery.
Last but not least is the multimodal environment, in which the traditional freight forwarder is located.
This is a very promising starting point for the development of a new transportation and organisation
When it comes to the differences there are quite a few to mention. In particular in the case when
freight forwarders act simultaneously as transport operators with their own assets. No matter whether
they are trucks, ships or the like. In this situation, the required characteristic of a mostly neutral freight
agent, considering all possible transport modes and finding the best solution for the customer and also
for society at large, is a somewhat utopian view. When organising transport or accomplishing them,
especially in the harsh business of freight forwarding, it very often all comes down to the price.
Therefore filling up own existing capacities is more important than trying to achieve the best solutions
for customers and the society.
Another fact is the often-lacking awareness of different transportation modes. If there already is an
established way of handling things for certain destinations it will tend to be done the same way over
and over again. This may also be due to existing contracts with partners or mere convenience.
More specialised freight forwarders such as Airfreight Forwarders or Sea freight Forwarders, also
known as NVOCC, are taking things further. They are very limited in the choice of transport modes as
                                                                                                     Page 4
2 Freight Integration Concepts

they have specialised in certain means of transportation ie: planes for the Airfreight Forwarder and
ships for the Sea freight Forwarders. Considering other transport modes would most of the time
exceed their professional capacity.
Yet their notable advantage in this discussion is their need to cooperate with other transport modes to
accomplish their transports. While ships and planes are bound to certain infrastructural requirements
like Air-or Seaports, the customers on the other hand usually are not. This means that a lot of
customers will not be situated in the premises of these facilities, usually demanding different
transportation modes to carry the shipments in the hinterland of these facilities. However this again is
mostly accomplished by contract partners or as a matter of routine in always the same way. A really
neutral approach to finding a suitable solution for the onward transport is not accomplished.

2.2   Intermodal Marketing Companies
Looking further, there are the so called IMCs (Intermodal Marketing Companies). These companies
are maintaining contracts with, for example, rail carriers and rolling stock providers offering full service
and door-to-door intermodal transportation. They basically act as a broker between shipper and
operator. Again the aspect of holding contracts with special operators makes them less neutral in their
choice of transport modes.

2.3   MTO-convention
The MTO convention from 1980 was an early attempt by the United Nations to clarify the very
complicated liability issues in international multimodal transports. In this convention, an international
multimodal transport was defined as “the carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport
on the basis of a multimodal transport contract from a place in one country at which the goods are
taken in charge by the multimodal transport operator to a place designated for delivery situated in a
different country”.
The Multimodal Transport Operator, is defined as “any person who on his own behalf or through
another person acting on his behalf concludes a multimodal transport contract and who acts as a
principal, not as an agent or on behalf of the consignor or of the carriers participating in the multimodal
transport operations, and who assumes responsibility for the performance of the contract”.
This definition of a Multimodal Transport Operator is equivalent to the idea of a Freight Integrator as a
person organising international multimodal transports. For further details on the MTO convention and
the legal development see chapter 7.2.2

2.4   Integrators / KEP
Other forms, especially in the door-to-door service market are the express and parcel distribution
service providers or Integrators (in Germany KEP – Kurier-, Express, Paketdienste). Based on a highly
capable logistics system with a focus on flexibility, reliability and door-to-door service, they are
operating in a multimodal environment. They are using more than one transport mode to accomplish
their transports. The combination most usually found is a ground – air transportation scheme. This
makes them especially interesting for smaller, urgent shipments. In order to comply with the wishes of
their customers, all the Integrators have established a wide variety of specialised services, usually
embedded in a sophisticated hub-and-spoke system, efficiently combining the single transportation
One of the big advantages these service providers offer, is a sort of one-stop-shopping solution. No
matter what kind of service the customer is looking for, he can get all the necessary information from
one contact person. This stays the same, even when the shipping is on the way or already delivered.
All information that could possibly be needed can be obtained from this contact. Not only in respect of
services offered and transport solutions, but also in respect of customs documentation and papers
needed for the goods. Even customs clearance is handled by the Integrators in the different countries

  United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods (Geneva, 24 May 1980),
Article 1, 1
  United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods (Geneva, 24 May 1980),
Article 1, 2
                                                                                                   Page 5
2 Freight Integration Concepts

with on-site specialists limiting possible problems due to misunderstanding or wrongly interpreted
Therefore the customer does not have to get in contact with unknown persons in different countries to
get information on his shipment, language barriers or international formalities are no longer posing a
problem as everything is handled from the local branch office.
But it is not only concerning the customer contacts that the system of the integrators is characterised
by simplicity. Very few documents are required. Besides the officially required customs documents, the
papers needed to transport the goods are limited to only one way-bill, no matter how far the shipments
are transported or how many modes are involved in the process.
This can be achieved by operating in a closed system, meaning that all partners involved are part of
the same company. Therefore the connection between the several modes involved can be eased and
This also is a factor when looking at the transportation times. Almost every journey time can be
achieved, whether it might be the next morning delivery for large parts of the world or simply the Just-
In-Time delivery at a certain day, allowing longer transportation times but demanding a precise time of
delivery. This vast flexibility is not only achieved through the highly standardised closed system, but
also through its structure. Integrators in general are building their systems on the hub and spoke
architecture, allowing the consolidation of shipments and the use of bigger equipment between the
hubs and a huge and flexible fleet of small trucks for delivery and pick-up.
This highly efficient system not only allows the transportation of time-focused shipments in a most
reliable time frame, but also the organisation of complete supply chain flows.
As most integrators offer extremely comparable services, a closer look will be taken using United
Parcel Service (UPS), one of the best known players in the market, as an example.
    United Parcel Service (UPS)
    Having started as one of the first operators in the courier, express and parcel delivery sector,
    and specifically coming out of the parcel delivery segment, UPS has managed to become
    one of the largest and best known players in this field. Right from the beginning, they put
    time-critical shipments in the focus of their business, and this has not changed. UPS is
    offering a wide variety of services ideally fulfilling the needs of customers under the aspects
    of speed and economic efficiency and all this under the roof of one company covering the
    whole process. Among the services offered by UPS worldwide, the European services are:
    UPS Express Plus, guaranteeing a delivery until 8:30am in all major cities of the EU with
    automatic information about the delivery status of the shipment and money-back-guarantee.
    UPS Express, guaranteeing a delivery until 12:00pm at the latest for all cities in the EU, also
    including a money-back-guarantee if this is not achieved.
    UPS Express Saver, guaranteeing a delivery during the next day to all addresses in the EU at
    economic prices.
    UPS Standard, guaranteeing Just-In-Time delivery with lead times depending on the journey.
    UPS Worldwide Delivery, guaranteeing a door-to-door service that can offer the right trade-off
    between transportation-time and costs.
    All these services are generally including pick-up, transportation, customs clearance (if
    applicable) and delivery. To assure the offered time and cost advantages, the goods are
    generally consolidated into larger shipments. Therefore less care can be taken for special
    shipments than if they were transported as a single shipment. Nevertheless if this is wanted,
    the shipment can be declared as an insured parcel. The value of a shipment is limited to US
    $ 50.000. Other restrictions that apply to the shipments are a weight limit of 70kg or a
    length of 270cm or a length and width of together more than 330cm. Dangerous goods are
    in general not accepted, perishable goods only at shipper’s risk.
    Liability in general is taken according to the respective mode used. For transports in one
    country the appropriate legal liability scheme will be taken. For Germany this would be the
    ADSp, or the AÖSp for Austria. In international transports the regulations of CMR would be
    effective and as soon as the transport is including an air leg, the Warsaw convention may
    come into effect.
                                                                                                Page 6
2 Freight Integration Concepts

The example gives a good impression of the variety of services offered by integrators in the market
today. For almost every customer a specialised and customised solution for his needs can be offered,
respecting his personal trade-off between speed and cost. In many ways this concept matches with
that of the freight integrator. Especially in the areas of simplicity of documentation and contact. Also
the door-to-door service pattern is exactly what a future Freight Integrator should offer to his
customers. The last area is the intermodal environment the integrators are acting in today.
But what, in the first instance, seems to make the today integrators so perfectly suited to fill the gap of
a future Freight Integrator, shows, on a second look, a lot of deficiencies. The intermodal environment
the integrators are conducting their transports in is mainly speed orientated and is not considering
environmental aspects. Furthermore it can be stated that modes other than the existing ones (air and
road), are not taken into consideration, which is not the aim of a Freight Integrator, i.e. rail and
waterborne transport is most unlikely to be a choice for those companies. Due to this, their
unprejudiced judgement and choice of modes for their transportation solutions cannot be assumed.
The closed system they are acting in is another point acting against their further development into a
Freight Integrator. It enables them to get the best possible connection between the modes with least
effort, but it is only transferable to other modes with certain restrictions. Furthermore is it lacking a
certain openness not only for other modes but for other partners as well, making it impossible to find
the best solutions. The last point telling against today’s integrators as future Freight Integrators is their
concentration on certain types of goods they transport. Limiting the type of goods to only a small
share, namely parcel sized goods, and not dealing with full loads at all, as demanded in the White
All this makes today’s integrators interesting as a basis for the future Freight Integrator, but still a base
that a lot to be built on.

                                                                                                    Page 7
3 The Definition of a Freight Integrator

3 The Definition of a Freight Integrator
As none of the above mentioned models meet all of the conditions mentioned in the White Paper by
the European Commission, there has to be a different approach to define a Freight Integrator that
complies better with the statements mentioned there.
The initial points in developing such a definition have to be the questions: what is a Freight Integrator,
where are his duties and what is he supposed to do? What are the shipments he is supposed to
handle? How is he supposed to act and what are the main criteria he has to comply with? What is the
basic aim of his efforts? Including what? And finally who should he be (in a more general way)?


       Who?                                For what?

                                                                 Figure 1: Questions for the definition of a
                                            How?                    Freight Integrator
                       At which

By dealing with these questions a working definition of a Freight Integrator can be created and is
stated as
        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.
Looking closer at the working definition and the foregoing questions shows that all aspects are
While the definition defines a Freight Integrator as somebody who arranges full load door-to-door
transportation, it does not generally mean that all transports have to be of this kind. Nevertheless a
large quantity of the performed transports, maybe three quarters to 80%, should comply with these

3.1   Freight integrator as transport service provider
It has been stated that the Freight Integrator is a transport service provider who arranges transports in
the form of transport chains that lead from door-to-door as well as business-to-business. The last point
of business-to-business transport chains has not been included in the definition, as full loads mainly
occur between companies, whereas private full loads should not be excluded in the definition.
The meaning of transport service provider reaches further than it might seem at a first glance. First of
all a service provider is providing specially defined services to a customer, whereas the customer
might come from all kinds of sectors. Mainly due to the focus on full loads this will most probably be a
producing, retailing, distributing or even another transportation company.
But a transport service provider could just as well be a logistics department within a company, under
the assumption that it is independent enough to be recognised as a service provider for the company
itself. For that reason it should, for example, be organised as a separate profit centre or holding
different and independent hierarchical structures.
Nevertheless, the service provider also provides transport services in the wider field of transportation,
including services only indirectly related with the transport, such as providing insurance coverage or
storage facilities.

                                                                                                   Page 8
3 The Definition of a Freight Integrator

3.2     Duties
Whilst engaging in a transport movement the Freight Integrator’s tasks go further than just organising
or planning. He literally has to arrange all necessary parts that are associated with a shipment. This
includes the right choice and combination of transport modes, the preparation of the shipment itself
with all necessary documents and the surveillance of the accomplishment of the transport itself. The
Freight Integrator does not have to do all this by himself, he can be seen more as a manager and
takes responsibility for anything in conjunction with the shipment.

3.3     Full load, door-to-door shipments
Concerning the second issue about the nature of the shipments a Freight Integrator is supposed to
handle, the definition states, full loads. Although a clear definition of the term full load does not exist, it
became clear in the process of the study that it definitely is not bound to a certain weight. This lack of
a link to weight refers to minimum weights, as there are of course maximum weights in existence, but
they are linked to the use of particular modes and to legal requirements.
Therefore it is better to look at full loads more from a loading-unit point of view. So that rather than the
weight, the explicit assignment of a loading unit to a shipment is of importance when dealing with the
term full loads. In other words this means that as long as a shipment is solely transported in one
loading unit, preferably from the shipper’s door to the door of the consignee, it can be considered as
a full load. This implies at the same time, that the goods themselves have to stay “untouched” from
further consolidation or transhipment processes.
A good example therefore might be the transportation of feathers in a container. Although they might
fill up the whole container they might not weigh much. This would be still considered as full load if the
container itself were to be transhipped and transported using several modes, without the feathers
having to leave the container for these purposes, until arriving at their destination.
This is frequently found, especially in business-to business and door-to-door transports where
containers and swap bodies are used. Bulk and liquid shall be excluded from the definition of full
loads. They can not be considered as full loads since during transhipments special handling
procedures are necessary and the freight does not often stay “untouched”.
In the White Paper, where for the first time the idea of a Freight Integrator was introduced, a minimum
weight limit of 5 tonnes is proposed for the definition of full loads. With regard to the experiences of the
companies questioned in the survey, it became clear that such a weight limitation is not helpful in
practice and therefore meaningless for the definition. The process-orientated approach is much more
usual as can be seen in the statements of several participating companies which were asked what
they consider as “full loads” in their daily business:

        Typical statements from the companies
        Full load is…:
          - when you cannot load more due to space and weight
          - movement of full trailers / containers from point A to point B
          - a trailer / container / swap body from one consignor to one consignee without
            passing a cross-docking operation
          - one box at shippers load stowage and count from one place of take-over to one
            place of delivery
          - a complete full loading unit concerning road transport the UTI or a full bulk carrier
            and concerning rail transport a wagon

To assess the possible market for freight integrators as transport of full loads in the above mentioned
sense, separate analyses have been made for each mode.
Rail: The amount of unitised rail transport in Europe in 1996 was 50 billion tkm (tonne-kilometres).
This covers the transport by rail of complete trucks, trailers, containers and swap-bodies. (This

    Eurostat 2002, page 8
                                                                                                      Page 9
3 The Definition of a Freight Integrator

restriction excludes bulk and fluid). It can further be assumed that these goods are not subject to any
handling procedures as they are already in adequate transport units. Rail is normally used for the
transport of big volumes and not for collection or distribution of smaller units.
In a second approach, a look was taken at the kind of commodities: Manufactured articles and
machinery represent 24% of the tkm of rail transport. It can be assumed that these are transported in
                                              the transportation units described above. The other
                                              commodities (agricultural products, coal, petroleum, iron
     Approach 1:            Approach 2:       ore, steel, metals, cement, building materials and
                                              chemicals) will mainly be bulk or liquid. With 24% of 220
     Unitised rail  24% manufactured goods    billion tkm rail transport (in 1998), the share of full loads
  transport in EU =   of 220 billion tkm rail
                         transport in EU =
                                              can be estimated therefore as 52 billion tkm.

    50 billion tkm         52 billion tkm               In total, the share of full loads in rail transport can be
                                                        estimated as 50 billion tkm.

               ca. 50 billion tkm
                                                        Figure 2: Estimated share of full loads in rail transport
Inland waterway: As no details on unitised transports were available for inland waterway, the same
assumptions were made as in the second approach for rail: Manufactured articles would be packed in
containers or equivalent transportation units for transport on inland waterways whereas the other
commodities will be bulk or liquids. Inland waterways are not used for
collection or distribution transport for small quantities.                        Inland waterway

Manufactured articles and machinery represent 2% of the 110 tkm of                                2% manufactured goods
transport on inland waterways (in 1998). The share of full loads in transports                     of 110 billion tkm rail
on inland waterways can be estimated as 2 billion tkm.                                               transport in EU =

                     Figure 3: Estimated share of full load transports on inland waterways            ca. 2 billion tkm

Short sea shipping: The share of the container traffic (39,4 million TEUs) was 1/7 of the total cargo
handled in the EU ports (in 1998) . It can be assumed, that these are full loads, as short sea shipping
is not used for distribution or collection transports of smaller units.
              Short sea shipping                  Assuming that the share of 1/7 of containerisation is similar for
                                                  the share of intra-European traffic at 1070 billion tkm , the full
     1/7 containerised       1070 billion tkm     loads in short sea shipping can be estimated at 150 billion
    goods in sea traffic   intra-EU sea traffic

              ca. 150 billion tkm
                                                  Figure 4: Estimated share of full loads in short sea shipping
Road: Road transportation is often used where other modes are too inflexible: for shorter distances, in
collection and distribution and for part loads. Therefore, it can not be assumed, as for rail or inland
waterway, that all manufactured goods transported are full loads. Two approaches have been chosen.
As the detailed data necessary for road transport was only available for Germany (year 2002), it has to
be assumed that the structure of goods is similar in all European countries.
In the first approach, it is considered that full loads are defined by transport made in trucks that can be
used for containers or with rigid sides, but not flatbeds, dump trucks or tankers. In Germany, this
totalled 31% of the tkm of all road transport. Single journeys (in contrast to collection and distribution
trips) account for 87% of tkm of all transport. Assuming an equal distribution of the values, the share
of single transports in containers or rigid sided trailers is given as 27% of all transport.

  Eurostat (2002), page 11
  Eurostat (2002), page 08
  Eurostat (2002), page 24
  Eurostat (2002), page 11
  Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (2002), page 26: 88 304,7 tkm of 285 206,8 tkm road transports in 2002
   Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (2002), page 48: 247604,5 tkm of 285 206,8 tkm road transports in 2002
                                                                                                                  Page 10
3 The Definition of a Freight Integrator

In the second approach, a look was taken at the forms of loading: taken together all forms of loading
except bulk and liquids (i.e. boxes/swap bodies, palletised goods, bundled goods and others)
represent 73 % of transport. As full load transports will not mainly be done over very short distances
where more collection and distribution transport may be found, only transport with distances more than
200 km were taken into consideration. These account for 67% of all road transport. . Finally, only
transports which used a transportation volume of 90% shall be considered, representing 43% of all
road transports. Assuming an equal distribution of the values, the share of transport with more than
90% of volume used, with loading forms others than liquid and bulk and distances longer than 200 km
can be assessed as a share of 21% of all road transports.
                                                                                                                                                                      As both approaches describe
                                                                                                                                                                      characteristics that can be
                                                                                                                                                                      assumed for full loads and as
 Approach 1 – data for Germany:                                                                      Approach 2 – data for Germany:
                                                                                                                                                                      they both result in a similar
     transports with                                           single                             all forms of                      distances       more than         value, it can be supposed that
        trucks for                                            rides =                           loading except                      with more         90% of          for Germany, full loads account
       container or                                                                             bulk and fluid =                    than 200         loading          for an average 24% of all road
       with coffer =                                                                                                                  km =           capacity
                                                                                                                                                      used =
 31% of tkm                                                87% of tkm                           73% of tkm                          67% of tkm      43% of tkm        Assuming, that this share may
                                                                                                                                                                      be similar in all European
                       27% of tkm                                                                                                  21% of tkm                         countries, the share of full load
                                                                                                                                                                      transport as part of all
                                                                                                                                                                      transports on the road (1150
                                                                              ca. 24% of tkm                                                                                     14
                                                                                                                                                                      billion tkm ) can be estimated
                                                                                                                                                                      at about 275 billion tkm.
                      assumption: similar in whole                                                                   1150 billion tkm road
                        European road transport                                                                          traffic in EU
                                                                                                                                                                      Figure 5: Estimated share of full
                                                                                                                                                                      load in road transportation
                                                                                     ca. 275 billion tkm

                                                                                                     Figure 6 and Figure 7 give an overview on estimated percentage
                                                                                                     and value of full load transportation for all modes.
                       Road Rail Inland Short                                                        The estimated amount of full load transport in all modes totals
                                waterway sea
                                        shipping                                                     about 477 billion tkm, corresponding to about 19% of all transport in
 tkm per mode

                                                                                                                                     Road   Rail    Inland Short
                        275 billion tkm

                                                                                                         % of tkm per mode

                                                                                                                             30%                   waterway sea
                                          50 billion tkm

                                                                                                                                     24%    24%
                                                                              150 billion tkm

                100                                                                                                                                         14%
                                                              2 billion tkm

                50                                                                                   Figure 6: Percentage of full load transportation in all modes

                                                                                                     Figure 7: Full load transportation in all modes

   Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (2002), page 63: 208 112,1 tkm of 285 206,8 tkm road transports in 2002
   Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (2002), page 48: 191 296,8 tkm of 285 206,8 tkm road transports in 2002
   Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (2002), page 63: 121 843,2 tkm of 285 206,8 tkm road transports in 2002
   Eurostat (2002), page 11
   Eurostat (2002), page 11: 2550 billion tkm excluding pipeline transport
                                                                                                                                                                                             Page 11
3 The Definition of a Freight Integrator

3.4     Selecting and combining without prejudice
Regarding questions about how the Freight Integrator is supposed to handle this task it says in the
definition that selection and combination of different transport modes should happen neutrally.
Neutrality does of course not mean the Freight Integrator should not be involved in the process, which
would not be a realistic approach in dealing with this problem.
The Freight Integrator should rather choose the transport modes neutrally. On the one hand without
prejudice to any transport mode, on the other hand neutrally regarding his own assets, if he has any.
The same conditions apply for the combination of the modes, where it is essential that he actually
does take different modes into consideration and chooses from them the best possible related to
efficiency and sustainability.
Another condition he has to fulfil is the actual combination of at least two modes. So it is not enough to
take all the modes into consideration, he definitely has to chose at least two of them and combine
them to a useful, efficient and sustainable transportation chain. Taking only one of the considered
modes is not an option in this case. Once again, this might not be true for all, for example over very
short transits, but for a considerable high share of transports.

3.5     Most sustainable and efficient mode(s) of transport
As mentioned above, the Freight Integrator has to choose the most efficient and sustainable mode of
transportation or combination of transport modes, whereby efficient should be understood as the best
solution of price, quality and sustainability. Basically this means redefining the word efficiency away
from the reaching of a defined goal with the least effort as it is normally framed since otherwise this
would lead the whole meaning and understanding of a Freight Integrator in the wrong direction. The
least effort principle seldom runs in parallel with maximising sustainability, neither for the company, the
customer nor for society in general.
Sustainability should be understood in the same way as in the Brundtland-Report i.e: As a way of
“meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their needs” . In other words, all decisions made today should be made respectively to the
needs of the following generations. This covers all economical, ecological and social factors.
Concerning especially the ecological aspect, the Freight Integrator approach can help sustainability,
as the multimodal way of accomplishing transports will automatically lead to a better workload of
alternative transport modes other than the road. These are rail, short sea-shipping and inland
waterways, i.e., surface transportation, rather than air and/or pipeline transport. These modes usually
have less impact on the environment than trucks or aircraft. At the same time it would relieve the roads
especially from transit and long distance truck traffic. Even when looking at typical bottlenecks such as
the transit traffic through the Alps, a multimodal transport solution can enormously relieve
environmental tension in these areas.
As the Freight Integrator has to find the best solution concerning price, quality and sustainability he
therefore will act most likely in the interest of the customer, leading to an elegant solution preferable
not only for the participating parties, but also for the environment.

     World Commission on the Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission), 1980
                                                                                                 Page 12
4 Tasks and Added Values of the Freight Integrator

4 Tasks and Added Values of the Freight Integrator

4.1   General Tasks
The tasks a Freight Integrator is supposedly to fulfil are widely spread. One of the main aspects is the
execution of administrative tasks, including document handling for the whole transport chain. So it is
not just the pure organisation of the transport (in a brokerage manner) which would leave all the
necessary contractual details and negotiations to the customer and the chosen transport operators.
We can rather talk about a full service covering everything concerning the shipment. Starting with the
selection and combination of different transport modes and operators, filing in certain necessary
papers for customs, dangerous goods declarations or the issuing of the waybills for the separate
transport operators, arranging for pick-up and proceeding through the various stages of the routing of
the shipment. Further on he has to keep track of the consignment and be able and willing to pass this
information on to the customer at any given time. He basically is the one and only contact for the
customer who relies on him, allowing the Customer to sign only one single contract (between
customer and Freight Integrator).
All this services offered to the customer as well as the internal processes are today mainly supported
by information technology. SCM and transport optimisation programs, new developments in the field of
telematics as well as the interface to customers in network systems for a co-ordinated data exchange
require a wide-spread and deep know-ledge. Freight Integrators like all other transport services
providers have to keep informed about new developments , build up their knowledge, implement the
necessary technology responding to the high and still increasing requirements on the shippers’ side.
Out of these above mentioned complex tasks, requiring a large amount of knowledge on the side of
the integrator, it might be worth the thought, of defining Freight Integrators for special economic
sectors. These could be for example pharmaceutical, chemical or automotive. Such definitions,
however, exceed the scope of this study but this would give the Freight Integrators the chance to
actually specialise themselves in a particular sector, accumulating the needed knowledge and
perfection to handle every shipment on the highest possible efficiency and sustainability level. By that
it can be assured that even the next generations are provided with a broad spectrum of possibilities,
out of which they can cover their needs.
In the PROTRANS study, market demands and services offered by Third Party Logistics Service
Providers (as which most Freight Integrators will be identified) were investigated. Three categories of
3PL provision were identified. The most advanced form of 3PL was labelled “solution provider”.
These solution providers have successfully developed capabilities that exceed the traditional domain
of transport and warehousing in logistics. They additionally emphasise their strategic management
skills and information systems expertise. The main characteristics of solutions providers and Freight
Integrators concur.
Solution Providers are strongly involved in the functional design (68-92% of involvement) of their
clients logistics systems (warehousing, transport and materials management) and in operations
(operational planning, execution and control, ca. 65-85%). They show also a high involvement in all
project management related activities (ca. 60-90%). In addition, they act pro-actively, as entrepreneurs
on the behalf of their customers, in the fields of strategic decisions like network design (ca. 80%) and
IT (ca. 90-100%).
“Pro-active behaviour can be defined as taking the initiative in improving current circumstances,
proposing and implement management methods and processes or creating new ones; it involves
challenging the status quo rather than passively adapting to present conditions.” This is the way
Freight Integrators should act, always challenging the actual choice of modes and researching
intermodal alternatives.
As 60% of the companies questioned in the PROTRANS study are currently users of intermodal
transport, it can be assumed that these results can also be adapted to Freight Integrators and their
services. “The vast majority (ca. 70%) of providers who offer intermodal transport services do so

   for trends see SULOGTRA, workpackage 1, page 18
   PROTRANS (2002)
   PROTARNS (2002), page 28
                                                                                              Page 13
4 Tasks and Added Values of the Freight Integrator

based on a co-operation with one or several other companies. ... It is in the area of implementation
that the third-party logistics providers are most deeply involved in intermodal transport, in design and
operation they typically share the responsibility with someone else.” This correlates with the focus of
Freight Integrators to arrange the transport chains.
The market share of intermodal transport is significantly influenced by the action variables: transit time,
door-to-door transfer price, tracking delay, reliability and frequency. 3PL can make use of the following
strategies to influence these variables:
o          Consolidation and deconsolidation of freight in logistic centres, nearby or in conjunction with
           a rail terminal (effects: economies of scale can reduce the price, frequency of LTL load
           shipments can be increased)
o          Access to rail capacity, for example by way of a joint venture with a rail operator (effects:
           better adjustment of train schedules to meet needs, economy of scale and synergy effects
           reduce price, integrated tracking system can reduce the tracking delay, joint transport
           management will improve the reliability, schedules can be better adjusted to customer
o          Development of intermodal transport units (effects: easier loading and unloading reduces
           transfer times, reduction in the number of transport units required to operate and to maintain
           can reduce price)
o          Marketing intermodal (effects: higher volume can increase the frequency, decrease waiting
           times and provide economy of scale effects)
o          Revenue sharing between operators according to reliability (effects: requires enhanced
           tracking and tracing services, incentive to improve liability)
These are strategies that can and should equally be applied by Freight integrators.
Having defined the general tasks a Freight Integrator might fulfil, a closer look should be taken at the
added values he can provide to his customers. In this we distinguish between general values a Freight
Integrator provides by performing the freight integration function itself and additional services the
company might offer to its customers going beyond just pure freight integration services.

4.2     General added values
The most outstanding added value is surely the offering of “all-in-one-solutions” to the customers,
allowing them to make use of environmental solutions, safety and reliability that most of them could
never achieve on their own.
Especially when looking at the rail sector a lot of the added values the Freight Integrator could offer
are knowledge related. Concentrating on the linkage of the modes to realise an intermodal chain, he
needs connections to, and relationships with, the operators of the specialist modes, enabling him to
supply his customers with in depth information. Through this a higher acceptance along with a better
perceived reliability could be achieved and in the end can be communicated to the customers as an
added value. In particular the professionalism and experience often needed to successfully manage
intermodal transport chains are aspects that could have a significant influence on the quality and
Another added value can be seen in the field of intermodal equipment: not operating assets, but
rather loading units which have to be specially suitable for intermodal transports. The arrangement of
these units, and offering them to the customers ready to load on their premises would represent an
enormous added value and should be part of the above mentioned all-in-one solution. In this case the
Freight Integrator would not even have to own the loading units himself, but would organise them for
the customers.
Nevertheless the best added value that could be offered to the customer is in the price segment. Not
classically seen as an added value, it is somehow perceived as one when getting a cheaper or
comparable price at the same or even better quality. These price advantages could surely be achieved
by intensive connections to the operators and by concentration on the segments of intermodal traffic.

     PROTRANS (2002), page 35
                                                                                                 Page 14
4 Tasks and Added Values of the Freight Integrator

Again this ties in with high qualifications and experience in this field, allowing the realisation of price
orientated added values.
The last added value, although not yet perceived to its full potential, is the environmental aspect. As
soon as the environmental friendly transportation of manufactured goods comes into the focus of the
end-customer buying the product, this will gain much importance and become one of the main added
values of a Freight Integrator.

4.3      Value added services
Aside from the added values described above arising from freight integration in general, transport
service providers today offer many more services than the pure transportation. As the profit mainly lies
in the value added services rather than in the core business itself, these are becoming more and more
important. One reason is the continuing equalisation of forwarding services itself. To stand out from
the crowd it is necessary to position oneself in the market with value added services. This means that
the additional services today could become the basic requirements for customers when choosing a
freight forwarder in the future.
The status and development of the most common value added services are shown in the following
chart . It is clearly visible that forwarding and haulage of shipments are, and will be, the key aspects
for freight forwarders. They appear in about 80% of all relevant cases and will not change at all over
time. The same basically applies for distribution and warehousing as physical, transport-related tasks
play an important role in the transport chain.
Things that will significantly gain over the next years are the typical value added services such as
labelling, packaging, order management and invoicing. Not forgetting the already important document
handling services, tracking and tracing, which will clearly gain in importance during the coming years,
as customers set more and more value to reliable information provision. All of these services will in a
short to medium run become standard requirements for freight forwarders.
The liability aspect is Interesting.
                                                                             Value added
This is not considered as a value
                                                                 Haulage     services
added service to be offered today.
This might be due to the fact that it                        Distribution

is in general not considered as a                          Warehousing
service but as part of the
administrative work in the forwarding
business. Further details on this                             Packaging

subject are discussed in chapter               Inventory management
7.2.2.                                             Order management
It is remarkable that all value added                           Invoicing
services will gain or keep their
importance over the next years and
only one will decline. This is clearly                     Order picking

a sign that the trend to enlarge the                         Forwarding
service pattern is there and will be
pursued. However, this does raise
the complexity of the business again                 Express delivery

as there are more details to be                  Customized Services
considered and inserted into the                          Stock Keeping
already quite complex task of
                                                   Tracking & Tracing
organising a shipment.
                                                   Document handling
Figure 8: Value added services
                                                          Liability issues
                                              basis: 40 companies            0%   20%   40%   60%   80%   100%

     survey results, for details on the survey see chapter 5.1
                                                                                                          Page 15
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5 Identification of Freight Integrators
Based on the definition, Freight Integrators are further characterised by a variety of features. These
qualities describe how Freight Integrators can be distinguished from other transport service providers,
in which field they usually act and what the average view of Freight Integrators in their business is.
As part of this study, international transport service providers acting in an multimodal environment
were questioned in a survey concerning a wide variety of aspects to achieve information on realistic
and practised procedures, best practices in the multimodal environment and varied experiences.
46 companies returned completed questionnaires, 18 contacts from ZLU, 14 contacts from ISF, 9
contacts from ELA and 5 contacts from EIA. 33 of these companies have been questioned on further
subjects in detail within face-to-face or telephone interviews. In addition, interviews have taken place
with 4 more companies who had not completed a questionnaire. To get a general overview the main
results are shown hereafter.
All following figures are based on the data from the questionnaires. The questionnaire is shown in the
annex. All data is available in electronic form.

5.1      Company sample
As claimed by the European Commission, the company sample is described by three aspects:
o       the company size
o       whether companies are arranging intermodal transports or not and
o       whether they offer their services to companies owning them or their own companies, or to third
        parties without own assets, or third parties with own assets.
The company size distinguishes between small and medium-sized enterprises as well as bigger
companies. Small and medium-sized enterprises have fewer than 250 employees and an annual
turnover not exceeding 40 million €. Companies exceeding these measures are named “big players”.
It was intended to contact at least 50% SMEs and not more than 50% big players for the sample, 29
SMEs and 17 big players have answered.
Freight Integrators arrange transport chains for full loads. But by definition, Freight Integrators arrange
intermodal transport chains when this is the most efficient way with regards to sustainability and
quality. The intention was that at least 70% of the contacted companies should arrange intermodal
transport chains. In fact; nine of the companies arrange only pure road transport, the other 37 arrange
intermodal transport, of course to varying extents, as the following pages will show.

                                     Company sample                 big player
           90%                                                      SME
           70%                                                      unimodal
           50%                                                      multimodal
           30%                                                      providing services to ow n companies /
           20%                                                      companies ow ning them
           10%                                                      providing services to third parties
            0%                                                      w ithout ow n assets
                   company size   multimodality   customers and
                                                                    providing services to third parties w ith
                                                      assets        ow n assets
        basis: 46 companies
         basis: 46 companies
Figure 9: Company sample

     Definition adopted by the European Commission
                                                                                                          Page 16
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

The ownership of the company is an indicator of the independency and neutrality of the company.
But within big companies, the logistics departments have started to organise intermodal transports for
their mother companies, fulfilling the same tasks as independent freight forwarders and focusing on
the special needs of their mother companies. For this reason, one third of the interviewed companies
should be companies providing services to their own company or to the company owning them. 11
companies in the sample do this. This is less than one third but reflects the market situation, as the
company search showed that the provision of services within a company is not very common yet, and
most of the transportation service providers are independent.
Another point in the discussion of independency and neutrality is the question of whether Freight
Integrators might be allowed to own assets or not. To compare the business models (their success
and their problems), the second third of the contacted companies should be companies with own
assets, the last third companies without their own assets. 15 companies with their own assets and 20
companies without their own assets completed the questionnaire.

               questionnaire and interview

               questionnaire only

               interview only

Figure 10: Geographical coverage
The companies are situated in 15 different EU and Accession countries. 11 companies are situated in
the Accession countries of Poland and Hungary, providing therefore experiences from countries with a
more difficult situation for intermodal transports than is found in the EU countries.

                                                                                            Page 17
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.2      Indicators for the identification of Freight Integrators
For the identification of freight integrating companies and the evaluation of how far companies are
developed towards the idea of the ideal Freight Integrator, 10 indicators have been identified. These
indicators contain different aspects which may be considered. The mixture of quantitative as well as
qualitative indicators offers a good basis to establish a detailed company profile as regards freight
The indicators are:
      1. Specialisation on full loads
      2. Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports
      3. Intermodal transports as a relevant business field within the company
      4. Commitment to intermodality
      5. Knowledge and experience
      6. Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability
      7. Economic substantiation of intermodality
      8. Customer relationships
      9. Co-operations and partners
      10. Geographic-spread towards EU-wide business
For each indicator, a company is ranked in one of 4 classification categories (0 to 3 points). Further
on, from these rankings, a weighted average is calculated to allow a comprehensive conclusion on the
stage of development of the company.

5.2.1      Specialisation on full loads
By definition, Freight Integrators organise the transport chains for full loads – as distinct from parcel
delivery or partial shipments and their consolidation. Full loads are the focused business segment of
Freight Integrators and should be a central part of their business. This means that full loads should be
a major share of the transports done by the company, so a specialisation can be determined. The
specialisation on full loads as an indicator is expressed in the percentage of full load transports as
percentage of all transports.
Especially big companies and groups may not only be focused on the transport of full loads, but have
several business fields in their portfolio, of which full load transportation may be one of them. But
considering the full load segment alone, it may be as big as a small company fully dedicated to full
loads. For this reason, not only the turnover of full loads as percentage of all turnover is considered,
but also the turnover as an absolute value. For the classification, the higher of the two values is
Turnover                 Turnover          Classification                                              Points
percentage               absolute
60 – 100 %       OR > 150 M          €     Specialist for full loads

40 – 60 %        OR 25 – 150 M €           Full loads as relevant business segment

20 – 40 %        OR 5 – 25 M €             Full loads as business segment with little specialisation

0 – 20 %         OR < 5 M €                No specialisation on full loads
Table 1: Indicator Specialisation on full loads

     see chapter 5.3.1
     M = 1 million
                                                                                                       Page 18
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

         Turnover for full loads as percentage of total
   40%                                                                     The figure on the left shows, that
                                                                           most companies of the sample are
                                                                           highly specialised in full loads as this
   30%                                                                     segment generates more than 60%
   25%                                                                     or even more than 80% of their
                                                                           turnover. Less than 20% of the
   20%                                                                     considered companies earn less
   15%                                                                     than 20% with full loads.
    0%                                                                     Figure 11: Turnover for full loads as
            < 20%      21 - 40%    41 - 60%     61 - 80%     > 81%         percentage of total turnover
    basis: 37 companies

Beyond the transport of full loads, nearly all companies are very active in partial shipments from which
they achieve the remaining part of their turnover. This may be because these business fields are
readily combinable. Other sizes shipped, such as parcel delivery, bulk shipments or transport in the
automotive area, were rarely offered in the sample, and if they were then it was almost always as very
low quantities.
As companies have different
sizes, the absolute turnover                                  Turnover with full loads
with full loads allows a view         30%
on the size of this business
segment. As Figure 12                 25%
shows, the companies can
be divided into two main              20%
groups: nearly half of the
companies are doing a
smaller turnover with less            10%
than 15 million €. The
second main group consists             5%
of very big players in the full
load market with turnovers             0%
of 100 million € and more.                      <1M     1 - 5 M 5 - 15 M 15 - 40          40 -   100 - > 200 M
Figure 12: Turnover with full                                              M             100 M   200 M
loads                                     basis: 34 companies

5.2.2     Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports
The relevance of the role a company plays in the market for intermodal full load transports can be
deduced from its absolute value of turnover. The following classification indicates the relevance of the
players in a range from “not relevant” to “important player”.
Turnover intermodal            Classification                                                             Points

Turnover > 50 M €              Important player in the intermodal market

Turnover 15 - 50 M €           Relevant player in the intermodal market

Turnover 1 - 15 M €            Small player in the intermodal market

Turnover < 1 M €               No relevant player in the intermodal market
Table 2: Indicator Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports

                                                                                                         Page 19
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

Only a part of the
transports for full loads                             Turnover with full loads intermodal
are     effected    inter-      35%
modally. Therefore the
turnover for intermodal         30%
full   load    transports       25%
concentrates in a lower
range than the total            20%
turnover.                A
concentration can be            15%
noted in the segment up
to 5 million € and also
from 15 to 40 million €.         5%

Figure 13: Turnover with                  <1M      1-5M       5 - 15 M 15 - 40 M    40 -       100 -   > 200 M
full loads intermodal           basis: 24 companies                                100 M       200 M

Usually the companies have 5 – 30 people employed in the “full load department”. Although for some
bigger companies, it was from 100 up to 700 people. This manpower is mainly accounting for 1.200 to
30.000 full load transports per year, and for the big players between 100.000 and 700.000 transports.

5.2.3     Intermodal transports as a relevant business field within the company
Intermodality plays an important role in freight integration, as it is one of the main criteria for the
definition of the Freight Integrator. The main idea behind the whole approach is to encourage
intermodal transport and at the same time boost the neglected modes such as rail or waterborne
transportation. These modes have a positive effect on sustainability, mainly because they are
producing less external effects.
For this reason, the indicator for the relevance of intermodal transports within the company considers
not only the turnover of intermodal transports as percentage of all turnover, but also the rail, inland
waterway and short sea shipping modes. These three modes are mainly used on routes where they
replace trucking and help – as in the idea within the White Paper – to enable a mode shift from road to
other eco-friendly modes. They prove the Freight Integrators ability to organise transport chains
containing these modes – even though a pre- or on-carriage e.g. per truck (making the transport chain
intermodal) is not always done. In contradiction, air and overseas transports are mainly used for
longer, overseas distances for which road offers no alternative.
For the indicator, the percentage of intermodal transports is summed with the percentage of rail, short
sea shipping and inland waterway. For the same reason as described under the indicator
“Specialisation on full loads”, the rating for the importance within the company may not be worse than
the rating for the relevance in the market in general (indicator N° 2).
Percentage of turnover                                Classification                                    Points

55 – 100 % intermodal and truck-alternatives Intermodal as bus. segment with high interest
35 – 55 % intermodal and truck-alternatives           Intermodal as interesting business

15 – 35 % intermodal and truck-alternatives           Little interest in intermodal business

0 – 15 % intermodal and truck-alternatives            Intermodal as no relevant business segment
Table 3: Indicator Intermodal transport as relevant business field within the company
The engagement in intermodal transports differs amongst the companies from being the central focus
and main activity of some companies to being a secondary subject, albeit offering an enrichment of the
central activities.

                                                                                                        Page 20
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

                                                                    Focus groups
            12                                                                                               120%

                                                                                                                    Average modal split
            10                                                                                               100%

                   8                                                                                         80%
 N° of companies

                   6                                                                                         60%

                                                                                                                     n° of companies
                   4                                                                                         40%     pure air
                                                                                                                     pure inland waterway
                   2                                                                                         20%     pure overseas
                                                                                                                     pure short sea
                                                                                                                     pure rail
                   0                                                                                         0%
                                                                                                                     pure road
                           1      2    3
                        focus intermodal    4     5
                                           focus sea    6     7     8
                                                            focus rail     9    10    11
                                                                               focus road   12    13    14
                                                                                                 pure road           intermodal

Figure 14: Focus groups
There can be 5 groups distinguished by different focus points. The first group containing 9 companies
is showing a strong focus on intermodal transports, varying from 80 to 100% of all transports. The
second group shows a strong focus on sea transports, mainly overseas in combination with short sea
shipping. Intermodal must be seen as a good add-on but with on average under 20%. 5 companies of
the sample are active in this market. Rail focused companies often combine with land transport. Some
inland waterway can be found here as well. Also for those 6 companies, intermodal does not play a
very important role and forms on average less than 20% of turnover. A lot of companies can be found
having their main focus on road transport and in addition offering some intermodal transports. Here,
intermodal lies in a range between 4% and 40%, but most of the companies have between 10% and
20% in intermodal transport. Finally, there are 9 companies in the sample, who currently only offer
road with no intermodal transport.
The modes combined also vary a lot: Most of the companies see a clear focus or even only combine
road-rail (green colour in the chart). This is clearly understandable as most of the journeys within
Europe can easily be done land-based, often allowing direct routes instead of detours by sea. Also
often found are road-water combinations (blue colours on the right side). Here, all combinations are
possible: mainly using road as the pre-and on-carriage for overseas or short sea, inland waterway is
only in the focus of one company. Other exceptions are combinations of two water-modes and road.

                                                 Intermodal combinations                                      road - air
      100%                                                                                                    rail - inland watereway
             90%                                                                                              rail - overseas

             80%                                                                                              rail - short sea
                                                                                                              road - rail - inland waterway
                                                                                                              road - rail - overseas
                                                                                                              road - rail - short sea
                                                                                                              road - shortsea - overseas
             40%                                                                                              road - inland ww - overseas
             30%                                                                                              road - inland ww - short sea
             20%                                                                                              road - inland waterway

             10%                                                                                              road - overseas
                                                                                                              road - short sea
                          8 10 11 12 21 22 25 31 35 45 4 23 38 42 37 40 29 19 5 13 1 26 9 15 36 34 2 20 28    road-rail

Figure 15: Intermodal combinations
Finally, there are some companies combining rail, road and water transport (yellow colours). Here the
overseas and short sea connection dominates with a rail-road pre- or on-carriage. An inland waterway

                                                                                                                                          Page 21
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

connection is used by one company also offering simple road-inland waterway connections and
seemingly specialised in this business with an 80% of intermodal transports and further 10% of pure
inland waterways.

5.2.4    Commitment to intermodality
To evaluate the extent to which a company is willing and able to use intermodal transport in their
service portfolio it is necessary to see if other than full load shipments are shipped intermodally. If they
are then the company has a rather high disposition to intermodality. It would be even better if the
commitment to intermodal transportation was visible in strategy papers, mission statements or in the
organisational structure of the company. Nevertheless, it would still be very hard to properly evaluate
the commitment of staff members to intermodal transport, not least because of the social perceptions
surrounding awareness of environmental related issues.
The evaluation of the companies is done by a qualitative rating, based on the following information:
             o   Use of intermodal transports for others than full loads
             o   Description of the commitment in the questionnaire
             o   Remarks to and evaluation of commitment based on the interview
Classification                            Examples                                                      Points

High commitment to intermodality          e.g. part of strategy, to be enlarged, for partial loads
Commitment to intermodality               e.g. own department, part of strategy
Small commitment to intermodality         e.g. own department, no strategy
No commitment to intermodality            -
Table 4: Indicator Commitment to intermodality
In the questionnaire there were three general types of other shipments that could possibly be
transported multimodally: partial shipments (LCL – Less (than) Container Loads), bulk shipments and
parcel delivery. Whereas the majority did not engage in other types of intermodal shipments, those
who did favoured bulk shipments and partial shipments. The rest concentrated on parcel delivery.
These can be seen as totally different types of shipments. Bulk shipments can use intermodal modes,
                                                                          as they are especially
                Intermodal transports in other services                   suited for rail and inland
   25                                                                     waterway transport. Partial
   20                                                                     shipments       can     be
                                                                          consolidated to full loads
   15                                                                     within a hub and spoke
   10                                                                     system. Other possible
                                                                          shipment types have not
    5                                                                     been stated.
          partial        parcel        bulk           others            no
        shipments       delivery    shipments                     intermodal
          (LCL)                                                    transports
                                                                    for other     Figure 16: Intermodal
  basis: 35 companies                                                goods        transports in other services
For the Freight Integrator approach the commitment to intermodality can be seen as even more
important than the actual execution of intermodal transports. There can be a lot of reasons why a
company is not now handling as much intermodal transports as they might wish to do. But if the
commitment to do so is there, then under other more favourable conditions the company might be
focusing on this topic even harder than companies whose commitment to intermodal transportation is
far less.
In expressing their commitment to intermodality in the questionnaire, no homogenous answer was
given. Statements such as intermodality being a part of the company’s strategy or having subsidiaries
                                                                                                       Page 22
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

concentrating on intermodal transports dominated. One company even expressed their commitment
as “intermodality should fit into our continuous effort to strengthen the customers' competitiveness and
is approached in a holistic way”.

5.2.5    Knowledge and experience
The key factors for good service and the achievement of, so to speak, “first best” solutions are mainly
experience and knowledge. To evaluate the best solution for a transportation problem experience can
be seen as the most relevant factor. Although this experience should be widespread and not only be
concentrated on one of the available modes. In the fast changing sector of transportation, knowledge
and experience can be fundamental to success. This is due to the ever-rising complexity and faster
changing business environment in which transportation companies are operating.
To evaluate the companies knowledge and experience, the following indicators provide basic
information for the qualitative rating of the companies:
             o   Years of experience in intermodal full load transportation
             o   Employment of intermodal specialists or specialists for other modes than road
             o   Training and achievement of knowledge
             o   Number of customers counting for 80% of full load turnover
Training and the achievement of knowledge is the education level staff members have, the possibilities
to enlarge their knowledge in e.g. post-academic or special training and the importance attached to
the subject of education and knowledge in the company, for example by offering regular seminars to
the employees or offering its own, intermodal-orientated vocational training.
Whereas the number of customers counting for 80% of turnover for full loads is an indicator for the
challenges which have to be met concerning the diversity and variety of the problems: A large number
of different customers have different claims, different processes and different priorities, meanwhile the
work for one or two big customers is much more regular, procedures are clearly defined, preferences
of the customer are known and often personal contacts can facilitate complex information processes.
Companies are classed in the following categories:
Classification                                        Examples                                              Points

High knowledge with specialists regularly trained e.g. long year experience, special trainings

Good knowledge and experience                         e.g. experience and training
Knowledge and experience existing                     e.g. experience or training
Poor knowledge and experience                         -
Table 5: Indicator Knowledge and Experience
                                                    Experience in organising intermodal transport chains
Looking at the chart it is clearly visible                             for full loads
that the experience in intermodal
transport in the questioned companies
is one of many years. The majority of
cases have an experience built up for
around one or two decades. This
definitely is appreciable, as new
concepts to encourage intermodal
transportation can build upon vast
knowledge and a well-positioned               0%
experience in this field.                           < 3 years 3 - 7 years   8 - 12   13 - 17   18 - 22   > 22 years
                                                                            years     years     years
Figure 17: Experience in organising            basis: 35 companies
intermodal transport chains for full loads
Considering the fields where specialists can be found, the road specialists dominate and can be found
in nearly every company. But rail and intermodality specialists are already closing in as the second

                                                                                                         Page 23
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

most frequently found specialists, followed by overseas specialists and then short sea shipping. The
(almost) non-existence of persons specialising in inland waterways is noticeable. This structure is
somehow predictable, as it is to be expected that the majority of all container based full load traffic is
shipped via a road–sea intermodal transport chain. Whereas inland waterways are more and more
falling into oblivion, although new concepts especially in the feeding of overseas container shipping
are appearing.

                                                            Specialised staff
    N° of companies

                           specialists   specialists   specialists   specialists   specialists     specialists intermodality
                              road          rail        short sea     overseas       inland           air       specialists
                                                        shipping                    waterway
                  basis: 36 companies

Figure 18: Specialised staff

5.2.6                  Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability
The awareness of ecological and environmental issues in the companies as well as on the side of the
customers is an essential point when dealing with issues like the choice of modes. If the awareness of
such topics is totally lacking a more sustainable approach in dealing with things will be hard to
Companies were asked to answer, among others, six questions describing their support of
environmental ideas:
o      Is environmental sustainability a question in your daily work?
o      Are questions of ecology and sustainability subjects in your offers?
o      Do you think about aspects regarding sustainability / ecological effects in your (strategic) transport
o      Are you calculating / estimating the price difference between road transport and less polluting
       transport modes and compare this with possible positive ecological effects?
o      Are you showing your customers the difference in price for more ecological transport modes than
       trucks, mentioning the ecological effects?
o      Do you use sustainability and ecological transport modes as marketing instrument?
These questions could be answered with yes or no. An expression for the environmental sustainability
can be derived from the number of questions answered with yes:
N° of answers “yes”                      Classification                                                              Points

5x / 6x “yes”                            Highly supporting the idea of ecological sustainability

3x / 4x “yes”                            Mainly supporting the idea of ecological sustainability

1x / 2x “yes”                            Little supporting the idea of ecological sustainability

0x “yes”                                 Not supporting the idea of ecological sustainability
Table 6: Indicator Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability

                                                                                                                    Page 24
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

Environmental sustainability is a issue at work for most of the companies questioned. But still around
30% are not considering this subject while in the daily work process. The situation and awareness on
the customers’ side is less in favour of ecological subjects. Here only half of the companies are asked
by their customers about ecological subjects, and the percentage of companies implementing
ecological subjects in their offers is again smaller.

                                         Consideration of ecological questions
            environmental       questions of     aspects regarding price difference companies show            companies use
          sustainability is a   ecology and         sustainability / between road and their customers          sustaianability
           question in the    sustainability are ecological effects     less polluting   the difference in     and ecological
              daily work      subjects in offers      are part of     transport modes     price for more     transport modes
                                                      (strategic)       is calculated /     ecological          as marketing
                                                 transport planning     estimated and   transport modes         instruments
                                                                       compared with       than trucks,
                                                                     possible positive    mentioning the
     basis: 45 companies       yes no
                                                                     ecological effects ecological effects

Figure 19: Consideration of ecological questions
To a freight forwarder, environmental sustainability will have to become a more important matter in the
daily work life. Following the definition it has to be the main criterion under which decisions are made.
In the consortium’s opinion, customers will start asking more often about ecological issues only when
they see the company dealing with this issues in a careful way. Sustainability should advance to
become one of the key issues when dealing with shipments in general.
When it comes to choosing transport modes the ecological factors should be included more in the
decision making process. Not only on a strategic level but also when it comes to operational planning
and considerations. Aspects regarding sustainability and ecological effects are taking over more
importance in the planning process. Especially in strategic planning these aspects are considered in 3
out of 4 cases. Unfortunately a more thorough approach, also considering less polluting transport
modes than the road and estimating and comparing price differences and possible positive ecological
effects, is not as far advanced. Yet, even so, 40% are doing this already. For Freight Integrators
especially the last point will be very essential and should therefore be considered in assessing every
consignment. These issues have still to gain importance as far as the overall handling of shipments is
When being in discussion with the client is very important to strengthen awareness of ecological
issues. But it is also the job of a transportation company to inform the client about the best possible
way. The issue of showing customers price differences and telling them about ecological effects is
(with little more than one third) still poorly represented in discussions with the clients. That might be
because the willingness of the customers to actually pay more for ecological transports is even less:
Not even 10% of the customers are willing to do so. Nevertheless, about half of the companies use
sustainability and the environment friendly transport modes as marketing instruments.
Interpreting these figures: awareness for ecological issues in general exists on both sides and it also
seems to be recognised as a possibility to distinguish the companies using it from others. Yet the will
to pay higher freight charges for less polluting transport modes by the customer is almost non-existent.
In the Freight Integrator approach, on the company’s side there has to be more initiative to show
different transport modes and communicate these to the customers. The ecological factors should be
stressed as a marketing instrument. Customers should be convinced that an, albeit more expensive,
but at the same time more sustainable, way to ship their goods is also a marketing device, this time for
the customer to “sell” to his clients.

                                                                                                                    Page 25
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.2.7     Economic substantiation of intermodality
Freight Integrators should choose the modes for their effectiveness with regard to sustainability. But
Freight Integrators are companies working in the entrepreneurial environment of the transportation
market. In this market, not only the best solution for the environment is important, but companies have
to do business and have to survive among their competitors.
Sustainability means that not only the environmental sustainability must be considered but also
economic sustainability. A functioning market economy based on the rules of supply and demand is
the basis for an enduring success of the market.
Freight Integrators have to work following the market rules. This means that Freight Integrators have
to find economically reasonable transport solutions. The success of freight integration is based on the
ability of the players to arrange intermodal transport chains at an adequate market price. This means
that intermodal transport may not be more expensive than unimodal transport, there could be a small
variation if customers show a willingness to pay for environmental effects or additional services
offered. This makes freight integration independent from subventions from the government side.
When calculating transportation costs, Freight Integrators should also consider the costs of congestion
and the costs of delay. Though not easily calculated, the possibility of congestion and delay should be
considered in the process of transport planning and possible costs estimated. When considering this
for road transport, it should be compared with the alternatives for other modes and thus make an
influence on the decision concerning the choice of modes, eventually leading to a mode shift.
Four indicators provide information on the economic substantiation of intermodality decisions:
             o    The decision for intermodal transports is based on economic reasons (e.g. price, time,
                  reliability) as mentioned in the interviews
             o    Calculation or estimation of costs of delay
             o    Calculation or estimation of costs of congestion
             o    Costs of delay and congestion lead to a mode shift towards intermodality
Based on this qualitative information, an allocation to the following classification can be made:
Classification                                                                                         Points

Economic reasons highly relevant in favour of intermodality

Economic reasons relevant in favour of intermodality

Economic reasons little relevant in favour of intermodality
Economic reasons not in favour of intermodality
Table 7: Indicator Economic substantiation of intermodality
The      vast   majority    of
                                                       Questions of economic sustainability
companies are calculating or                     costs of delay                      costs of congestion
at least estimating the costs        100%
of delay, and they are                90%
actually decisive for a mode          80%
shift in more than half of the        70%
cases. Unfortunately, only            60%
45% of the companies are              50%
calculating      costs      of        40%
congestion, yet these costs           30%
are at the same degree                20%
responsible for a possible            10%
mode shift.                            0%
                                            calculation/       reason for              calculation/   reason for
Figure 20: Questions of
                                            estimation         mode shift   yes   no   estimation     mode shift
economic sustainability             basis: 44 / 42 companies

                                                                                                        Page 26
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.2.8       Customer relationships
In their contact with their customers, Freight Integrators are exercising a major influence on the
customers decisions and requirements concerning transport. Therefore, Freight Integrators have an
important role to open minds concerning intermodality among their customers, to provide them the
necessary information concerning intermodality and at the same time to show them the advantages in
special intermodal solutions.
The customer-work is also influenced by the service quality a Freight Integrator can offer to his clients.
One aspect in this field is the question, how many partners the shipper may have for an intermodal
transport. Being the one and only contact for the shipper in an intermodal transport chain providing all
necessary information and at the same time transmitting the requests and demands of the shipper to
all partners involved should be one of the main aims of Freight Integrators.
The quality of the customer relationship can be measured with the following questions, for which the
answers were mainly given in the interviews:
               o     Do Freight Integrators offer one contract for the whole transport chain?
               o     Does the company an active promotion of intermodality among the customers?
               o     Does the company convince customers of intermodality?
               o     Does the company offer special intermodal solutions for their customers?
The rating is done on the basis of the answers, counting the number of questions that can be
answered by “yes”:
N° of answers “yes”           Classification                                                          Points

3x / 4x “yes”                 Active customer work pro intermodality

2x “yes”                      Facilitating customer work pro intermodality

1x “yes”                      Little customer work in favour of intermodality

0x “yes”                      No customer work in favour of intermodality
Table 8: Indicator Customer relationship
                                               Operating in an intermodal environment and conducting
        Contracts for intermodal               intermodal transports, contracts can quickly begin to mount up.
               transport                       This is because of the several legal terms being different and
  100%                                         specialised for every transport mode. Ideally for the customer
                            one contract       there should only be one contract, signed between him and the
                            for each part      transportation company. The same applies to the question of
   80%                      of the
                                               liability. The customer should only have one contact, being
                                               responsible for all questions concerning his shipment and
   60%                      transport
                                               possible problems arising with it.
   40%                                         Among the companies considered, already more than 80% are
                            one contract
   30%                                         able to offer to their clients a solution where the customer has
                            for the
   20%                      whole
                                               to work with one contract for the whole intermodal transport
                            intermodal         chain.
    0%                      transport
         basis: 35          chain
        companies                              Figure 21: Contracts for intermodal transport

5.2.9       Co-operation and partners
In order to offer a wide variety of services under diminishing freight charges it becomes more and
more important to be organised in partnerships and co-operations in order to fulfil the customers
expectations. Not only under today’s competitive market structure but also under the future expected
need for sustainable transport, a wide spanning network of contacts and partners is inevitable. The
ease of transport, information exchange throughout the network, and solution finding can then be
much improved.

                                                                                                     Page 27
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

To evaluate the quality of the companies’ partner network, the following information is used:
              o   N° of partners for modes used and not offered directly by the company itself
              o   Information on partners and active networking from the interviews
              o   Organisation of networks
              o   Framework for co-operations
              o   Research and offer of capacities in the internet
Based on these points, a qualitative ranking is done considering the following categories:
Classification                                                                                              Points

Wide partner-network actively cared for
Partner-network existing and cared for

Little partner-network, not actively cared for
Poor partner-network
Table 9: Indicator Co-operations and partners
Within the interview, companies mainly described how they organise their partner network, whether
and which quality criteria are applied in the choice of new partners, what they do to maintain a good
partner relationship and eventually even measures to ensure a good education level of the partners.
As can be seen in the chart the work
with direct co-operation partners is                                         Co-operation
dominant.    Nearly    half  of   the              80%
companies are working within a                     70%
combine or network. Both these forms               60%
of co-operation ensure a stable,                   50%
enduring partnership. Less than 40%                40%
use loose co-operation models.                     30%
                    Figure 22: Co-operation                work within a   work within a   work with     others
                                                            combine /       loose co-      direct co-
                                                             network        operation      operation
                                                  basis: 36 companies; multiple answers possible

                                                                                       To give co-operation a
                        Framework of co-operation                                      framework, five different ways
   80%                                                                                 can be found: “Framework
   70%                                                                                 contracts” give a legal basis
                                                                                       for the co-operation in
                                                                                       general, the details for a
   50%                                                                                 special project are negotiated
   40%                                                                                 when needed. “Fix business
                                                                                       models” which are stronger in
                                                                                       the sense of the legal basis
   20%                                                                                 as where the details are
   10%                                                                                 already             negotiated.
                                                                                       “Agreements” are instead
                                                                                       more free, not necessarily
           famework       letters of   agreements fix business co-operative            offering a legal basis.
            contracts       intent                   models     marketing
                                                                                       Figure 23: Frame-work of co-
 basis: 36 companies; multiple answers possible

                                                                                                             Page 28
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

Letters of intent are normally written at the beginning of an co-operation, expressing the willingness to
work together. They can include a first draft of a framework contract, and might be replaced by such a
contract in the course of a successful co-operation. Co-operative marketing might be done in addition
to any of the other ways of co-operation. No attempt to clarify the processes between the co-operating
companies, just to show that this co-operation exists.
Taking a closer look: the framework where the co-operation
is embedded in agreements dominates, followed by                           Transport capacities in the
framework contracts. More than 40% of the companies                                 internet
work within fixed business models. These co-operations                   100%
forms provide the necessary reliable basis for complex                    90%
intermodal operations. Letters of intent are used by little               80%
more than a quarter of the companies. Co-operative                        70%
marketing is rather seldom.                                               60%
At a rather low level, yet promising, is the use of the                   40%
Internet as a freight exchange, i.e. for offering or searching            30%
available capacity. Searching for available capacities is                 20%
used more frequently than offering. More than one quarter                 10%
of the companies are already trying to find adequate space                 0%
on trucks for their shipments via the Internet.                                      transport       transport
                                                                                    capacities      capacities
                                                                                    searched          offered

                    Figure 24: Transport capacities in the internet                                  yes     no
                                                                      basis: 41 / 38 companies

5.2.10   Geographic-spread towards EU-wide business
Organising intermodal transports often means organising international transport. To what extent is
often decisive when it comes to acquiring new customers. In addition, the scope of area covered is
and indicator for how much experience is within the company. Less experienced companies will prefer
to stay in the field they can actually survey. The same applies to the provenience of their customers.
Highly reputable companies will tend to be known abroad, at the same time underlining their
experience and knowledge in the field of transportation.
Freight Integrators should orientate on international service provision,
                                                                                         Percentage Points
covering preferably European countries, or offering worldwide services. For
this reason, the percentage of European and worldwide shipments                            > 80 %          3 points
(excluding those in the home country) is the first of three
part-indicators in this field. Each part-indicator is evaluated with up to three         60 – 80 %         2 points
points. For the percentage of European and worldwide shipments, the                      30 – 60 %         1 points
points in the adjoining table are allocated.
                                                                                           < 30 %          0 points
The second part-indicator is the internationality of the customers. The
percentage of European and worldwide customers is classified in the same way.
Finally the question how the cargo is transported over international borders is considered. As
intermodal transports often become more interesting the longer the distances are, within Europe the
first country border is quickly reached. Preferably, these borders should be crossed by the same mode
as the mode by which the inland transport is made, and in the spirit of environmental sustainability,
other modes than trucks are to be preferred. Therefore we have taken into consideration whether in
                                                             choosing the modes used to cross
 Comparison of border-crossing and normal Points
                                                             borders, the alternatives to trucks are
 split-up between modes
                                                             dominating or equal in comparison to the
 More truck-alternatives in border-crossing     3 points     normal division in the company, whether
                                                             there is a greater use of trucks to cross
 Equivalent                                     2 points     borders or whether truck are the only
 More truck in border-crossing                  1 points     mode used to cross borders. Here also up
                                                             to three points are allocated according the
 Pure truck in border-crossing                  0 points     adjoining table.

                                                                                                           Page 29
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

For the final rating of this indicator, the average of the three part-indicators is calculated and rounded:
Average points              Classification                                                               Points

3 points                    High orientation towards European and worldwide business

2 points                    Orientation towards European and worldwide business

1 point                     Little orientation towards European and worldwide business

0 points                    No orientation towards European and worldwide business
Table 10: Indicator Area-spread towards EU-wide business
Analysing the answers shows a remarkable
concentration with nearly 70 % of European                    Geographic spread of transportation chains
related transport chains, especially in the                100%
intermodal sector. Followed, by some distance,              90%
from national journeys with around 20 % and                 80%
then world-wide oriented shipments with even
less. This again shows that multimodal
operations may be even more promising on
medium distances such as on a European
level. The indication that can be assumed is                20%
that the Freight Integrator has a large base of             10%
intermodal    transportation   directly   within             0%
Europe.                                                               national       European      worldwide

                                                          basis: 41 companies

                                                             Figure 25: Geographic spread of transportation chains
Companies trying to be in the Freight Integrator business should therefore have a sufficient stock of
European transport, not forgetting worldwide shipments. The radius of their services should exceed a
national horizon, aiming for a European and even world level.
National presence still plays an important                            Customers' provenience
role for transport service providers. The               100%
transport service providers’ clients are mainly          90%
located in their home country. Another                   80%
considerable part comes from other                       70%
countries within Europe. Rather seldom are               60%
customers from outside Europe.                           50%
      Legend                                             30%
                                  standard               20%
                                  deviation              10%
     average                                                      own country        Europe      other countries
     value                                              basis: 41 companies

                                                                                 Figure 26: Customers’ provenience
Figure 27: Legend for figure with standard deviation

  The standard deviation indicates the average distance of all values from the average value. A small
standard deviation means that all values are similar to the average, a big standard deviation means
that the values are widespread in a very big range.
                                                                                                        Page 30
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.3     Identified Freight Integrators

5.3.1      Evaluation of the Company Sample
Every company in the company sample who completed the questionnaire was evaluated by the 10
indicators explained in the previous chapter.
As it can be seen in the following figure, strengths and weaknesses are not equally spread among the
indicators. Specialisation on full loads for example is mainly present in the companies chosen for the
sample, whereas a relevant market participation in the field of intermodal transports yet is not found for

                                                                 no answ er   0 points   1 point   2 points   3 points

                             Specialisation on full loads

 Relevant market participation in the field of intermodal
 Intermodal transports as relevant business field within
                     the company

                           Commitment to intermodality

                             Knowledge and experience

      Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability

               Economic substantiation of intermodality

                                      Customer relation

                              Co-operation and partners

                Area-spread towards EU-wide business

                                                            0%   10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100

Figure 28: Classification of companies in the categories for all indicators
Intermodal transport is not always a relevant business field within the company. As some companies
that participated in the study are focused only on road transport today, there are several companies
without points for this indicator.
Commitment to intermodality and knowledge is on average higher, more than half of the companies
got 2 or 3 points for these indicators. Support for the idea of environmental sustainability also is in
general high, even higher than its realisation in using intermodal transport.
For some questions, answers were missing. Companies were for example not willing to provide data
concerning their turnover, which was necessary to evaluate the relevance of market participation in the
field of intermodal transports. Customer relationships are also seen as a difficult subject, several
companies did not give information on this subject. Whereas more qualitative data like the
commitment to intermodality or information on co-operations and partners were not seen as a
To have now a general indication of the stage of development of the company, companies were
classified into four final categories. To accentuate more important indicators against less relevant
ones, indicators were weighted with the following weights:

                                                                                                                         Page 31
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

       Specialisation on full loads                                                    8%
       Relevant market participant in the field of intermodal transports               12%
       Intermodal transports as relevant business field within the company             14%
       Commitment to intermodality                                                     14%
       Knowledge and experience                                                        10%
       Supporting the idea of environmental sustainability                             12%
       Economic substantiation of intermodality                                        8%
       Customer relationships                                                          8%
       Co-operation and partners                                                       8%
       Area-spread towards EU-wide business                                            6%
Table 11: Weighting of indicators
The resulting average was ranged again between 3 and 0 points. Those with 3 points (equally to 3
points in every category) would be in the highest possible development towards Freight Integrator and
with 0 points (equally to 0 points in every category) would have no indicator showing even the smallest
development in a direction helpful for freight integration. As a matter of fact, both extremes were not
reached, but in between a vast variety of values were achieved.
The range between 0 and 3 points was split up in four equally-distant classes, representing the four
categories for the stage of development towards freight integration:
Average points              Classification

2,25 – 3,00 points          Highly developed Freight Integrator

1,50 – 2,25 points          Company developed towards Freight Integrator

0,75 – 1,50 point           Little development towards Freight Integrator, but first rudiments set

0,00 – 0,75 points          Not developed towards Freight Integrator
Table 12: Classification of stage of development towards Freight Integrator
The number of highly developed Freight Integrators found in the sample is rather low. At six
companies, this number is not very large. But rather a lot of companies are in the second classification
of developing towards Freight Integrators. These companies do not have full points for most of the
                                                                         indicators, but normally have
                                                                         their strengths and also some
                                                                         weaknesses. They are in a
   18                                                                    good stage of development
   16                                                                    with some points to be
   14                                                                    ameliorated. It is important to
   12                                                                    mention that the objective of
   10                                                                    the study was to identify
    8                                                                    potential freight integrators,
    6                                                                    i.e.,     companies      doing
    4                                                                    business in an intermodal
    2                                                                    door-to-door          business
    0                                                                    already. For this reason it
       highly developed     company            little     not deleloped  cannot be a surprise that
      Freight Integrator   developed       development   towards Freight most of the companies fall in
                         towards Freight towards Freight    Integrator   the second category.
                            Integrator        Integrator, but
                                                                              Figure 29: Categorisation    of
                                             first rudiments
                                                                              companies in the sample

                                                                                                     Page 32
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

One must not conclude, however, that some kind of pre-selection has taken place, and that the
company sample does not show the general picture of the transportation market.
The third category contains companies with little development towards Freight Integrator. These
companies are not very advanced in this field, or have several weak points to be enhanced. But all of
these companies have some rudiments enabling them to become sooner or later a Freight Integrator
whenever they intend to do so. These companies already have for example a good partner network,
are focused on full loads and have some experiences with one other mode than road. Finally, there
are some companies which are in no sense developed in the direction of Freight Integrator, meaning
that they did not even get points in a few categories.
Information quality was evaluated for each company and indicator to ensure that sufficient information
was available to correctly classify the companies and evaluate the data. Although some indicator data
was missing, as questionnaires were not always entirely completed, the results are astonishing good.
In fact the overall information quality
was as good that no company had to be
excluded from the sample as a result of
incomplete information.
Companies will receive a certificate,
showing them their evaluation, their
strengths and weaknesses, and on
which points further evolution is
necessary for a development towards a
Freight integrator. The indicators are
shown with the number of points, an
appropriate written interpretation, the
weighted average and the final
classification in the 4 classes showing
the stage of development. In addition,
the information quality for each indicator
is shown so that companies know
where evaluation is worse than
expected due to missing information.
But these cases are rather rare.

Figure  30:    Example     certificate    for
development towards Freight Integrator

5.3.2    Outlook
The participation of the companies in the study, their experiences and insights and their realistic view
on the problems were of an inestimable value for the success of this study. Their willingness to answer
questions as well as to provide information on their business and their experiences should be
particularly underlined at this point. Filling in the questionnaires was a work of several hours, which
was done very carefully by most of the companies.
For this reason, the consortium members will give further attention to these companies. One way is by
means of the previously mentioned certificate, but the companies will also receive information on the
study’s results and be supported if necessary, or desired.
In addition to the above results, the described benchmarking methodology (and the tool developed to
support this) offers further applications: Companies not having participated up to now in the study
have the possibility to measure themselves against the requirements for a Freight Integrator using the
described indicators. If performed by the companies themselves, this benchmarking might miss a

                                                                                              Page 33
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

certain objectivity, but when done seriously, strengths and weaknesses will be identified and can be
the basis for a clear orientation in the further development of the companies.
An active dissemination of the indicator set should be planned and be part of the future work on the
subject of Freight Integrators. In addition, the European Commission itself is invited to use the
benchmarking tool in its future work and in connection with the consultation of companies.

5.3.3      Estimation – number of Freight Integrators in Europe
Due to the lack of profound European-wide data on freight integrating companies or companies active
in the field of intermodal traffic, only a rough estimation on the overall number of companies active in
this business field can be given.
Based on experience in the research of freight integrating companies and in comparison with both the
number of companies identified in this process and the number of companies which were finally willing
to participate in the study, it can be concluded that only a small proportion of the companies were
finally examined. As the search was focused on companies active in the freight integrating business, it
can be assumed that here a relatively high number of highly developed Freight Integrators have been
found – it is estimated that 15 to 20 % participated in the study. In the next category, the companies
developed towards Freight Integrator status, these are taken from the many more that are currently
active. About 10 to 15% participated in the study. In total, this may give 150 to 250 companies
throughout Europe. If we consider also those companies with the first rudiments set but little
developed towards Freight Integrator, a vast number can be estimated. This may be about a further
200 to 500, and eventually even more as the number of companies which are not really involved in this
business and who have little experience cannot be estimated.

     For a realisation see chapter 7.1.3
                                                                                              Page 34
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.4     Case studies – examples for Freight Integrating companies

5.4.1    Example 1 - a highly developed Freight Integrator

Geest North Sea Lines is a short sea shipping operator that moves its fleet of containers via short sea
shipping (SSS), rail, road and barge. 84% of the turnover is done with transportation of full loads, a
further 11% with feeders. Geest is a medium sized company with more than 200 employees and a
turnover of more than 140 million euro.
Geest is aiming to keep control of the logistic chain, being responsible for the in-time connection
between SSS, rail, barge and truck going towards North, Middle and South UK. Geest's six 340 TEU
vessels work the North Sea routes of Rotterdam/Tilbury, Rotterdam/Hull, Rotterdam/Teesport and
Rotterdam/Grangemouth complemented by Channel Tunnel rail services and their three ship service
to Drogheda Ireland. Barge services operate along the length of the Rhine, while road routes
penetrate northern, southern and central parts of the hinterland. With the addition of an extensive
trailer operation, Geest provides a comprehensive intermodal network serving virtually the whole of
Supply chain management systems include 'one-stop shopping' operations that incorporate
warehousing, distribution and stock management operation. This service delivers products directly
from the manufacturer into the hands of the retailers.
From Geest’s point of view, the reason why customers ‘go’ intermodal is firstly a cost factor, secondly
the flexibility factor, thirdly because of reliability of the service. Speed is not always that important for
the customer, not withstanding that intermodal must be able to offer fixed departure times.
To win customers for intermodal, Geest wants to prove to them that intermodal can be cheaper than
road-only. Therefore, the most important precondition for Geest is to get the time and trust to research
the customers (shippers) logistic chain. In a lot of cases, unnecessary utilisation of under-used
resources (empty space, too expensive material) can be found and saved due to adaptation of
transport planning in particular points.
Geest is convinced that it is necessary to own its assets (containers etc.) to perform adequately. Being
a 3PLP or 4PLP for them is just something virtual; It is important to control their own assets from A to
B. Consequently, Geest is investing in new containers and also IT (tracking & tracing) in order to be
able to integrate, link and operate the various systems.
Since Geest’s core-business is SSS while subcontracting several other modes of transport, it sees
itself not as intermodal operator as such. In this respect, Geest does not need intermodal trained
personnel but expects its partners to have well trained intermodal personnel. Yet the, service and
customer focused attitude of this staff still has to improve considerably in a framework of an improved
marketing and commercial structure. This is supported by Geest by establishing regular contacts
between its own ‘intermodal minded’ staff and other external partners in order to develop a feeling of
account management.

                                                                                                   Page 35
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.4.2    Example 2 - a highly developed Freight Integrator

IKEA Rail AB, which is part of the IKEA Group, currently with 150 stores in 22 countries, began
operations on 1 April 2001. It provides rail transport services to its mother company, organising the
freight forwarding operations using its own trains.
When fully utilised, each train consists of a locomotive plus 15 wagons, comprising a train set
approximately 600 metres in length and carrying the equivalent of 60 truck-loads of goods per day.
IKEA currently transports around 20 million cubic metres of freight in Europe each year. IKEA has set
itself the target of increasing the proportion of freight it transports by rail from 18 percent to 40 percent
over the next ten years.
The most important reasons for IKEA Rail to use intermodal transports are capacity, potential lower
price because of the involvement of rail and environmental reasons such as reduction of CO2. The
priority is to secure their future capacity, which is seen as an important control factor regarding the
whole logistic chain. Furthermore, intermodal (rail) transport offers substantial advantage on longer
distances; one locomotive driver can pull up to 30 wagons.
Ikea invested a lot in solving interoperability bottlenecks. In theory, the company does not have a lot of
borders to cross since it bought licences for the whole rail route from Sweden to the Ruhr area in
Germany for example. In practise though, there are quite a number of technical problems (differences
in power system, safety system (ATC), radio communication). One important bottleneck is the fact that
one needs various licences for locomotive drivers from country to country – which a truck driver
doesn’t need. Locomotive drivers have to be changed at the border, and that can lead to sub
optimisation, making train transport more expensive than road transport.
Ikea did not expect in the beginning that the public would react so enthusiastically about the
establishment of rail activities under an intermodal ‘green’ flag. Ikea noticed that the partners who
cooperate with Ikea are very enthusiastic about being part of Ikea’s train operation concept.

5.4.3    Example 3 – a company developed towards Freight Integrator

RSB Logistic is a daughter of RWE RheinBraun, an energy and coal mining company. 70% of the
business of more than 100 million € turnover is done as internal business for the mother company.
RSB’s more than 150 employees organise intermodal transports as well as pure rail and inland
waterway transports. The intermodal combination between road and inland waterway is used, where in
the pre-carriage coal is transported by ship and in the on-carriage, road transport is necessary to
deliver directly to the power plant.
Meanwhile, the combination of rail and short sea shipping is used for transports to Scandinavia with a
pre-carriage in Germany by rail, transhipment in the harbour and the further transport by coastal motor
vessel to Scandinavia.
The main reason to use intermodal instead of uni-modal transports is the cost, as most of the cargo is
bulk goods such as coal, gypsum, lime and gravel. The second important reason is the reliable
delivery of the cargo: with rail and ships, a reliable, regular delivery can be organised, assuring a
steady supply without the danger of congestion. Finally, RWE as an energy company has an ecology
strategy supporting transports by modes other than road.
RSB has its contracting partners, but regularly does calls for tender, e.g. between DB Cargo and
private railway companies. In addition, RSB has its own shipping company, but also asks competitors.
For some special products, only fixed subcontractors are asked: e.g. for the transport of brown coal
dust, special dangerous goods vehicles are needed, which only certain subcontractors own.
RSB tries to get bulk goods on environmental friendly modes, as far as this is within an economic
justifiable frame. It may only be a little bit more expensive, and then smaller disadvantages are
accepted. RSB also wants to avoid confrontation with the people living in the region: as the Ruhr /
Cologne area already is problematic with its congestion, people would not accept hundreds of trucks
from RSB blocking the roads. In addition, this is too risky as well: congestion makes the trucks
unreliable. For the power plants, continuity is more important than transit times, and here rail is much
more reliable than trucks.

                                                                                                   Page 36
5 Identification of Freight Integrators

5.4.4    Example 4 – a company developed towards Freight Integrator

Burmester & Stüve is a company specialised in the organisation of short sea shipping services and
overseas transports. Their main short sea shipping operations are from Portugal to Rotterdam and
Antwerpen in the Netherlands, as connection for overseas shipments.
Burmester exclusively organises the sea transport. They are seldom involved in the pre- or on-carriage
with trucks or other modes. This is part of their clients organisation: Burmester has an intermediary
position between the end customers and the shipping companies. For exports, the main contacts are
with producers or consignors, and shipping companies are seen as suppliers. For imports, the ocean
carrier and shipping companies are their clients and there is nearly no contact to the consignees.
Trucking companies are seen as suppliers as well, which are ordered when needed.
End customers do normally know how their goods are transported. For imports, they have a more
passive role and normally do not care about transportation. For them, the arrival in time is important.
For transports EXW (ex works), for example from America to Portugal, they are more interested in
questions about which routes and modes are used for the transportation and how long it takes. In
general, the tasks of Burmester’s service include finding transport goods and organising the transport,
mainly the sea shipping part, and invoicing. In the operational area, Burmester takes care of the
loading, unloading and transhipping of the goods, as well as container services like repair. The
container park of the shipping companies in Portugal is administrated by Burmester.
Only a small part of short sea shipping activities is done for goods with destination (or origin) Europe.
For transport within Europe, road transports are clearly preferred and it is hard work for Burmester to
get short sea shipping seen as an alternative. In the case that short sea shipping is to be used, it must
be cheaper than road transport, the delivery schedule must have sufficient time and not be urgent, and
finally the distance from the ports can not be too far. An example is in the Ruhr area, which is not too
far away from Antwerp and Rotterdam, but transport, for example to Munich, is already too far in the
hinterland. This question of distances to ports is not relevant for Portugal itself as the country has only
a width of about 150 kilometres and distances to the ports are never too far.
Burmester is speaking proactive with its clients. Clients are informed by mail, and eventually visited.
To convince them to use short sea shipping instead of trucks, it is necessary to bring good arguments.
One is the frequency for exports. For example, there are at the moment transports several times a
week from Lissabon to Belgium, Netherlands, France and England.

5.4.5    Example 5 – a company with little development towards Freight Integrator, but first
         rudiments set

Trade trans is a typical forwarding company with their headquarters is in Vienna Austria. 15
subsidiaries in over 11 countries are part of this consortium. The Trade trans company in Poland to
referred to in the following text has a special position within this trade trans consortium. Trade trans
Poland is fully independent from the office in Vienna. The head office is situated in Warzawa, with a
further 11 divisions all over Poland and two divisions in Brest (Byelorussia) and Moscow offering
transport services. About 300 employees are working at the Trade trans Poland organising complete
transport from A to B in customer defined transport modes,
Trade trans Poland was established in 1990 and is mainly focused on the Eastern European countries
and Russia. This is the reason that Trade trans Poland deals mainly with rail transport and partly with
road transport, intermodal solutions are rare. From their experience, they state that it is not easy to
deal with rail nowadays. Rail tracks (and sometimes the locomotives and wagons) are owned by
governments. These governments ask very high rates/fees to use their tracks and rolling stock. Due to
this, it is difficult to make intermodal transports competitive in the market. Only for very high distances
over 1000 km and in the ‘east’ direction, is rail transport considered as competitive. Until now, road is
in general considered as the most competitive, especially to the west. It seems that the west is not
interested in developing more ‘rail-transport’ in the transport chain.
A special case is the rail-sea connection. Trade trans Poland has some minor overseas transport
which goes by Gdansk to Hamburg, and from there on to other continents. Overseas transport always
includes short sea transport. The problem concerning cost competition can also be found in the area
of short sea shipping, where too high rates make this mode unattractive.

                                                                                                 Page 37
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

6.1        Conditions in favour of Freight Integration
Having identified companies that fit the definition of a Freight Integrator, the conditions and actual
trends in the field of intermodal transportation as seen by these companies themselves and as
evaluated by the consortium are described in the following.
Although a lot of problems that have to be solved persist and will be described later, there are several
conditions strongly in favour of a future Freight Integrator. One of the most obvious might be the fact
that environmentally friendly transport modes are gaining importance. A wide awareness of the
environmental topics can be seen, as almost every company questioned is thinking about this topic.
Unfortunately the topic has, so far, not sunk deeply enough in their minds as to actively influence their
decisions. Environmental friendliness is still only seen as a “surplus” or added value that can be
 A totally different situation can be seen when looking at the distances that are covered by intermodal
transports. The unanimous opinion is that intermodal transports gain importance and become efficient
                                                                    in almost every aspect when
                    Distances in transportation                     distances rise. As a result of the
 100%                                                               increased popularity of decentralised
  90%                                                               production and the wider scope of
  80%                                                               the markets, distances, over which
                                                                    goods have to be transported, will
                                                                    rise. To some extent this can be
  60%                                                               noticed    even       today,  making
  50%                                                               intermodal solutions interesting for
  40%                                                               forwarders on routes that can not be
  30%                                                               covered in the time limit allowed by
  20%                                                               the driving restrictions now in effect
                                                                    in most countries.
              < 250 km   250-500 km 500-1000 km    >1000 km        Figure 31: Distances in transportation
 basis: 32 companies

Further globalisation will only speed this process even more with companies relocating their
                                                                                   29 30
production away from the consuming areas and developing of global company networks.
Another point definitely speaking in favour of the future success of a Freight Integrator and the
implemented promotion of intermodal transports is the fact that shippers at large do not care how
their goods are transported. This was mentioned by 8 of the 11 transport service providers when
they responded as to whether their customers do, or do not, care how their goods are transported.
Shippers instead expect all-in-one solutions fulfilling their needs under two main criteria. The first and
most important is definitely the price. As long as a cheap price is realised under the second criteria of
a time-frame that fits the commercial handling procedures of a company, other requirements
diminish. The reliability of these services is not only demanded but expected. 14 out of 23 intermodal
transport service providers when talking about their reasons for using intermodality mentioned price,

   Compare chapter 5.2.6
   independently mentioned as advantage by 10 of 27 interviewed companies offering intermodal
transport services
   Rodenburg (2001)
   Klinkel (1998)
   “The main importance is to get the goods from A to Z, no matter how.” (Hamann International,
   „The reasons to actually do intermodal freight transports are first of all a question of costs and
nothing else. … The time is the second big issues that Fellowship is taking into considerations when
organising a transport”. (Interview with Fellowship, Denmark)
                                                                                                  Page 38
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

13 mentioned the time aspect and 9 a higher reliability. Overall it is believed that these are the main
criteria that are relevant when choosing a transport service provider and in respect to the rising
complexity in this field today, a higher grade of professionalism is needed. This applies even more to
the field of intermodal transport, where complexity is much higher due to the combination of several
Large numbers of the shipments being                        Products suitable for intermodal transports
transported today are highly suitable
for    intermodal      transports      and                    containerised goods *
therefore could favour freight integration.                                                           * pro ducts that fit into
                                                                 all with exceptions**
4 said simply “all products” while                                                                    containers
mentioning some exceptions. At present                  industrial / metal products
                                                                                                      ** (1 except bulk, dangero us
products from a wide area of the
                                                            technical / high value / IT                                     x
                                                                                                      o r fro zen go o ds, 1 except
industrial sector are currently able to fit                                                           pharmaceutical and IT, 1   x
in containers. Containers offer good                                            paper
                                                                                                      except heavy haul)
protection for freight, especially where
carried together door to door as the                        packaged / canned food
opening of the containers is then
                                                  fresh food*** / perishable goods
impossible.    Furthermore      containers
rarely cause technical problems.                                 project cargo flows
                                                                                                              *** in cooling units
The advanced use of containers makes                              chemical products
switching of modes easier as they
represent a nearly perfect solution for                       semi-packaged goods
intermodal transports. 11 of 17
                                                                   dangerous goods
companies      consider      containerised
products as suitable for transportation.                          refrigerated goods
In Europe road transport is becoming
                                                              heavy haul / oversized
more expensive and unreliable, loosing
a lot of its advantages over the other                                            bulk
modes. One reason is the future
expected higher road charge which can                                pharmaceutical
not only be seen in the upcoming toll                                                                          7
                                                                                                       basis: 1 companies
system in Germany, but also in the               suitable
existing road restrictions in Austria and        might cause problems                     0   2   4      6      8     10     12      14
Switzerland.                                     not suitable                                     N° of companies

                                              Figure 32: Products suitable for intermodal transport

A last, but decisive, point is the worsening road transport conditions. Nine transport service
providers mentioned (though not asked directly about it) the expected toll system in Germany as an
opportunity to discuss multimodal alternatives with their customers or caused customers themselves
to ask for the use of intermodal transport. BASF as shipper even stated, that they “ will take over part
of the additional costs of the freight forwarders, unless there is already a combined transport
opportunity on this relation. This will lead imminently to a rising share of rail transports, although
mainly the private operated rails are already running on their limit.”
A major point leading to higher prices for road transportation is the rising fuel price, and even though
congestion on European streets was not as imminent, it was at least as important, given that it would
lead to longer transport times and unpredictable delivery times.

                                                                                                                            Page 39
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

6.2   Current trends in logistics
The following current trends in the logistics market have been identified and will influence the
environment in which Freight Integrators have to act. The role of Freight Integrators and the impact of
these trends from our point of view will be discussed in the following:
Transportation is one of the functions most likely to be outsourced with the aim of reducing the
operating costs. 92% of the companies in Europe are used to 3PL as a long-term alternative to ‘in-
house’ production of logistics services, which is more than in the US (70%) and Australia (70%).
Logistics service providers are expected to achieve economies of scale by bundling flows of goods.
“The development of Third Party Logistics (in which Freight Integrators may be included) can be
considered partly as a consequence of this business trend (towards outsourcing), which in general
favours the use of external resources and skills as opposed to own ones.”
Freight Integrators will get the chance to independently optimise the supply chains of their customers
for full loads by choosing the appropriate modes.
Information Systems:
According to Baumgarten (1999), about three quarters of companies already use EDI and the Internet
for data exchange and this is increasing. Tracking and tracing is offered by about 15% in 1999 of
service providers in Europe and is expected to grow up to 50% within 5 years. ERP- (Enterprise-
Ressource-Planning) and APS- (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) -systems are implemented in
companies managing and optimising internal and external logistic systems, with an increasing
tendency. The trends towards outsourcing logistics functions amplifies the requirement for intensified
communication exchange between the parties involved.
Freight Integrators have to respond to these requirements in offering appropriate solutions in the field
of tracking and tracing and connecting to their client’s information systems.
Restructuring of logistics systems
In SULOGTRA (2002), four trends of restructuring logistics systems are identified: Spatial
concentration of production, spatial concentration of inventory, development of break-bulk/
transhipment systems and creation of hub-satellite systems.
The spatial concentration of production, ie: a concentration of product capacities in fewer locations,
results in “maximising economies of scale in the production operation but at the expense of making
their logistics systems more transport-intensive and of lengthening the lead-time to customers.” This
– combined with ongoing globalisation - leads to longer distances and more international
transportation, the field in which Freight Integrators will be active.
According to SULOGTRA (2002), the spatial concentration of production leads to an increase of the
average length of haul in road transports for food & beverage, machinery and chemicals & fertilisers
as well as an decrease in water transport for chemicals & fertilisers. An increasing loading factor is
predicted for road transport of food & beverage and machinery.
Stock reductions by spatial concentration of inventory can yield large financial benefits. By reducing
the number of stockholding points in their logistics systems, firms can cut the amount of contingency

   European Commission (1999)
   Baumgarten (1999), see also Baumgarten (2001)
   PROTRANS (2002), workpackage 4, page 3
   PROTRANS (2002)
   Baumgarten (2001)
   Baumgarten (1999)
   SULOGTRA (2002), page 31
   In this and the following résumés, only the sectors food and beverage, waste (only long haul),
machinery and chemicals & fertilisers are evaluated, as the parcel sector and the petrol and petrol
products sector are not considered as relevant for Freight integrators. As the average length of haul
and the load factor are essential for possible relevance for freight integration, both these indicators are
                                                                                                 Page 40
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

stock required to provide a given level of customer service and take advantage of economies of scale
in warehousing.       This strategy is accompanied by growing transport costs due to the longer
distances. A growing share of full loads that would be interesting for Freight Integrators could arise
from the increase in consolidation activities before the transport to the central storage facility or due to
bigger quantities delivered to the central warehouse.
According to SULOGTRA (2002), the spatial concentration of inventory leads to an increase of the
average length of haul in road transports for food & beverage, building materials, waste and chemicals
& fertilisers as well as an increase in rail and water transports for waste. The average length of haul of
water transport for chemicals & fertilisers will decrease. An increasing loading factor is predicted for
transport of food & beverage(road), building materials (road) and waste (road, rail and water).
Many firms have geographically separated stockholding and break-bulk functions, “centralising
inventory while retaining a network of non-stockholding, break-bulk facilities to maintain the
efficiency of their transport operation. … This is reflected in a general movement towards smaller
shipments in at national level and large shipments at a European or global level particularly in the
middle tiers of a supply chain.” The last of these are the main concerns of Freight Integrators.
According to SULOGTRA (2002), the development of break-bulk/ transhipment systems leads to an
increase in the average length of haul for waste (road, rail and water) and an decrease for Food &
beverage (road) and machinery (road). The load factor will increase for food & beverage (road), waste
(road, rail and water) and machinery (road).
The creation of hub-satellite systems is a special trend found in parcel and mail delivery systems. It
is only slowly being adopted in other sectors, mostly related to goods flows from multiple destinations
which need to be undertaken in short time frames. These types of goods are not the main focus of
Freight Integrators.
Strategic partnerships
“The trend in European industry is towards a reduction in the supplier base and differentiated supplier
co-operation. Companies increasingly look to form strategic partnerships with their suppliers.” In
addition to an increasing co-operation in the development and production of goods, the optimisation of
the order processing is one of the central aims of vertical networks. Third Party Logistics Providers act
with their widespread knowledge within these networks becoming increasingly responsible for
providing systems solutions.
Freight Integrators will have at the one hand to cope with the very specific and increasing
requirements of their customers, but may get on the other hand the chance to participate from the
beginning in the development of logistic networks where complex solutions regarding several modes
can be taken into consideration.
General globalisation is reflected in an ever wider geographical sourcing of supplies and wider
distribution of finished products. The leading factor in the push towards wider geographical sourcing is
the spatial factors associated with cost differences whereas the wider distribution of finished goods is
driven by the globalisation of culture. Measures to improve the efficiency of information and transport
systems have played a major role in the development towards globalisation, making it less expensive,
quicker and safer to purchase goods from remote supplier markets and distribute goods to remote
customer markets.
Freight Integrators may benefit from the increasing transportation distances where intermodal
transport may become efficient, but at the same time it still has to meet the price, time and reliability

   SULOGTRA (2002), page 32
   SULOGTRA (2002), page 33
   SULOGTRA (2002), page 34
   PROTRANS (2002), page 15
   Baumgarten (2001), page 53
   SULOGTRA (2002), page 40
   PROTRANS (2002) page 14
                                                                                                  Page 41
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

According to SULOGTRA (2002), the wider geographical sourcing of supplies and wider distribution of
finished products will lead to an increase in the average length of haul of transports of building
materials (road), waste (road, rail and water) and machinery (road) and an decrease for the transports
of chemicals & fertilisers on water. The load factor will increase for rail and water transports for waste
and machinery road transports.

6.3     Problem areas of intermodal transportation
Although all these points would favour a Freight Integrator, the interviews identified problem areas in
the field of intermodal transportation as seen by the freight forwarders and shippers. These areas
cover a wide spectrum of topics starting with existing concrete problems and leading to more abstract
topics within particular modes. Although not detailing the barriers themselves these areas are taken as
a basis for the identification of the barriers that are seen and recommending solutions

6.3.1     Problem area “transported goods”
Being at the centre and the cause of all efforts in transportation, the first look should be taken at the
cargo. The general opinion is that basically everything, except certain types of goods, can be loaded
and then transported in an intermodal manner. The exceptions particularly involve high value goods
that, in respect of the mostly unaccompanied manner of the transportation in the intermodal
environment, are only reluctantly shipped this way. For the same reason refrigerated or perishable
goods are preferably transported by truck. The permanent monitoring of the cooling units that can be
guaranteed by giving the driver responsibility are missing in unaccompanied transport modes like rail
or ship. In the case of equipment failure the driver can be much quicker to notice and take the
necessary measures to avoid further damage of the goods than would be possible without him being
Another group of goods that are not seen as favourable for intermodal transport is oversized
shipments that might cause problems on rail systems and in transhipment between the modes.
A different point comes into effect when looking at dangerous goods. Here the restrictions mainly
concern transhipments, but for door-to-door journeys barges and rail transport are favoured by the
chemical/coal industry.
Overall the lack of return freight and the lower flexibility concerning the pick-up location compared
to trucks are obstacles to the use of intermodal transport.
For an evaluation by sector of goods that may be especially suitable, the results from the PROTRANS
study may be used:
[(+) = advantageous for Freight Integrators, (-) = disadvantageous for Freight Integrators]
(+) Overseas shipments are suitable for intermodal transport in the pre- and on-haulage due to
(+) Continental shipments already done by rail, railway terminals nearby plants are often available
                                          nd        st
(+) Low to medium value of goods from 2 -tier to 1 -tier
(-) High number of shipments in small batch sizes because of high number of variants for finished and
semi-finished goods
Fast moving consumer goods:
(+) Overseas shipments are suitable for intermodal transport in the pre- and on-haulage due to
(-) Continental shipments mainly via road, only a minority of the plants have operational rail sidings on

     see Figure 32
     PROTRANS (2002), workpackage 4, annex 2
                                                                                                Page 42
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

(-) High to medium-high numbers of shipments with medium to small batch sizes because of the high
number of variants for finished goods and decreasing product life cycles
(+) Overseas shipments are suitable for intermodal transport in the pre- and on-haulage due to
(+) Continental shipments mainly via rail and inland waterways, most plants have operational on-site
rail tracks
(+) Low to medium value of goods with large batch sizes due to low number of variants and production
in large quantities
(-) Mostly bulk goods (not the main concern of Freight Integrators!)
(+) Overseas shipments are suitable for intermodal transport in the pre- and on-haulage due to
(+) Continental shipments more or less equally spread via road, rail and inland waterway transports
with most of the plants having operational on-site tracks
(+) Low to medium value of goods with large batch sizes due to low number of variants and production
in large quantities
(-) Mostly bulk goods (not the main concern of Freight Integrators!)

6.3.2       Problem area “containers”
The interviews gave a good impression of the importance of containers in intermodal traffic, as they
represent, more or less, the most suitable loading devices for this kind of transportation . It is
concluded that the overall availability of containers so far is too low.
Container availability is dependant on several factors:
o            Location of the company: It might be much easier getting a container in the vicinity of a
             harbour than further away from it.
o            Unbalanced flow of goods: Using containers in regions with an unbalanced flow of goods
             makes it necessary to relocate the containers before or after the transport, which is a cost-
             intensive exercise.
o            Compatibility with the respective modes: This is sometimes not met. Part of the equipment
             needs to be replaced to enable its use over all the potential modes in the intermodal
             transportation solution. Problems will arise as containers are often owned by ocean carriers,
             who primarily are interested in compatibility with their own ships.
o            Container types: The vast variety of different container types (between 20 feet and 45
             feet) make exchanges difficult.
o            Euro-pallets: The inefficiencies in loading the commonly used Euro-pallets makes the wider
             use of containers difficult.
This does not mean that a standardisation of the containers is impossible, it would very much ease the
connectivity between the modes. As containers could be used by all sorts of transportation providers
the access to these units would be more widely available. The need for different fixation possibilities
on the different modes would no longer be required as well as the need for different transhipment
facilities such as cranes and the like. Yet, customers require individual solutions for the shipments.
Stante S.R.L mentions the automotive industry as having particularly high requirements.

     see Figure 32
     Interview with Stante S.R.L, Italy
                                                                                                Page 43
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

        PAUL HARTMANN AG is one of the leading manufacturers of surgical and hygiene
        products for hospitals, doctor’s practices, first aid and the general care of elderly. The
        headquarters is situated in Heidenheim, Germany, where the major distribution centre is
        also located. From there many products are shipped all over the world with no particular
        focus on one special mode.
        On the route to Dublin, Ireland, PAUL HARTMANN AG is building its distribution around a
        perfect intermodal solution based on containers. From Heidenheim the containers are
        transported to Stuttgart by truck, where they are reloaded on inland waterway vessels,
        bringing them to Rotterdam. There they are transhipped again onto short sea vessels that
        take the containers to Dublin, where they are picked up by the customers. Originally
        performed by truck a few years ago this route was changed to an intermodal solution for
        several reasons. Affordable rates by truck to Ireland are hard to get these days, as the
        return shipments are very sparsely available. Another even more important reason is the
        general preference for containers in Ireland.
        Being not located near one of the major ports it used to be difficult to get containers to the
        south of Germany. In particular having them on hand at a specific time was nearly
        impossible. Today PAUL HARTMANN AG has a stack of ten containers exclusively
        reserved for them at a local forwarder, who is also responsible for the trucking part of the
        transport. Just as important for the decision towards intermodal transports are the needs
        of the customers. Although not asking explicitly for intermodal transports they prefer the
        goods to be delivered to a container yard in the port of Dublin, giving them the possibility
        of obtaining their goods during a time span of 8 days after the actual delivery. Had the
        goods be brought by truck, the unloading would have to be done instantly.

6.3.3     Problem area “infrastructure”
A further important topic that arose often in the interviews is the issue of infrastructure. A lot of
companies mentioned infrastructure problems in general. Some particular problems were also
o          Lack of capacity: In Portugal (Burmester & Stüve, Portugal)
o          High prices for storing: decrease the advantages of water transport to intermediately store
           the goods until further calls by the consignee for final delivery; in Portugal (Burmester &
           Stüve, Portugal)
o          Low interest in Eastern European countries to support and use existing waterway
           infrastructure towards the eastern European countries (Trade Trans, Poland)
o          Public (tri-modal) terminals missing: in Eastern Europe in general (Ikea, Sweden); in Poland
           (Euroad, Poland); in Greece (Militzer & Münch, Greece); in general (Stante S.R.L., Italy);
           partially without further details (RSB Logistikc, Germany). Rhenania (Germany) has gone
           over to build its own trimodal terminals.
o          Lack of capacity in hubs: Cologne (Interspe Hamann, Germany), (Ewals Cargo Care,
           Netherlands), (Lkw Walter, Austria); Verona (Stante Spedizioni, Italy), (Lkw Walter, Austria)
o          Terminals have been built as a result of political decisions and with respect to certain area
           development policies and not where they would be needed. The result of this is that these
           terminals are often located far from the markets and therefore sparsely used. (Sogaris,
o          Closing of terminals on Sundays reduces the advantage of transport during weekends (Jan
           de Rijk, Netherlands)

                                                                                                   Page 44
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

o        Dismantling of rail tracks, mainly the “last mile connections” from the railway networks to the
         premises of manufacturing companies (Volvo Cars, Belgium), (Roadlink, Sweden),
         (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (shipper), Germany)
o        Capacity on (frequent) used corridors: Alp-transit (Stante S.R.L., Italy); North-South
         connections in Italy (i.e. from the north to Desio) (Sidmar, Belgium); in general in Italy
         (Effepierre, Italy); in Italy from Bari to Milano (Stane Spedizioni, Italy); on the Danish railway
         system (Holte, Denmark); in Germany provision of further capacity needed and splitting of
         freight and passenger transports (Rhenania, Germany)
o        For Poland, minimal capacity combined with rising prices on these connections were
         mentioned. (Trade trans, Poland)

6.3.4    Problem area “rail”
Transport service providers mentioned problems in the area of rail transport as one barrier to
increasing the transport volumes in this mode and for intermodal transport in general. The following
problems have been mentioned:
o        Reliability and punctuality: Punctuality is seen as a problem in general, but specifically in
         France, Italy and UK. A study for BMW researching the punctuality of train services between
         Germany and Spain showed that an alarming 48% of the trains were late and 23% had a
         delay of more than six hours.
o        Transport times
o        Inflexibility / booking procedures (a long time in advance): The very inflexible, non-customer
         orientated service, with booking times long in advance and not guaranteed arrival times,
         makes the railways (as a trustworthy part of an intermodal solution) not the first choice.
o        Closure of rail tracks
o        Insufficient international co-operation: Co-operation between railways are simply non-
         existant or only to a very low extent, which in turn leads to long transit times over borders
         and uncompetitive transport times in general.
o        No international train driving permits         leading to longer waiting times at the borders and
         higher costs
o        Insufficient tracking and tracing services
The monopolistic structures of national railways are seen as a reason for several problems
o        High prices: Due to their extensive power on the national markets, the railways have the
         ability to impose high prices for services and the use of equipment like tracks or stations and
         through this blocking the entry of possible competitors.
o        Lack of competitive thinking: Monopolistic positions allow them not to adapt quickly enough
         to the market’s needs which is perceived as a lack of competitive thinking.
o        Missing non-competition clauses: Mistrust in railway companies by their customers (which in
         many cases are the freight forwarders) as experience showed them that often the railway
         companies would not respect the relationships between shippers and forwarders and try to
         address the shippers directly.
o        Insufficient information provision

   see chapter 6.3.3
   see chapter 6.3.6
   Interview with Effepierre: “Naturally does the involvement of several transport modes involve a more
complex organisation situation, especially locating the shipment to prepare the next step of the chain
is demanding for a high information availability. This problem is solved in road transportation by using
satellite systems on the trucks. On the rail, so far only HUPAC is offering a tracking an tracing service
to their customers, showing that it is possible even today. With the other railroad operators throughout
Europe the only possibility to get qualified information on the shipments are personal contacts to the
railraods. Unfortunately this takes up a lot of time that can’t be used otherwise.”
                                                                                                 Page 45
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

        As the Hungarian part of the Dachser network, Liegl&Dachser (L&D) is mainly focused on
        West-European traffics from and to Hungary, but at the same time is trying to organise
        more and more services to the Eastern-European countries like Belarus, Russia and
        Having used intermodal transports very frequently for shipments to Germany, this service
        has been terminated due to the lack of a DB Cargo service which is no longer operating
        the route between Györ and Regensburg. Much to the regret of L&D, who considered this
        connection as very good, giving them the ability to put the swap bodies on the train in the
        afternoon in Györ (around 70 km east of Vienna) and having them available in
        Regensburg by the next morning. Vice versa the connection was even better. Making the
        swap bodies available at noon to DB Cargo, L&D was able to pick them up in the evening
        in Hungary.
        Today they are still using the “Rollende Landstrasse” for some journeys but not to the
        extent that it was used for the link Györ – Regensburg. One of the reasons is the higher
        price that has to be paid today for this route, along with the non-existence of technically
        compatible solutions on the side of the Hungarian railway as well as amongst fellow
        forwarders. Another point speaking against a rail – road connection is the longer waiting
        times at the EU - Hungarian border due to customs and change of train drivers. With the
        Austrian Ökombi operator it takes Hungarian forwarders 4 days to get their shipments to
        Germany, which is basically attributed to a lack of understanding and exchange between
        the national rail operators in Hungary, Austria and Germany.
        Although being overall unsatisfying there are various advantages seen especially in using
        intermodal transportation with the railway. These are punctuality, the none existence of
        driving time restrictions and fact that there is then no need to obtain certain driving
        permissions for Hungarian freight forwarders. Also the planned toll concept for the
        German Autobahn is seen as a favourable circumstance for rail transports.

From the consortiums’ point of view, rail has in general a very bad image. Problems mentioned by the
freight forwarders questioned do exist, but not in all railway companies. Several national companies
made attempts to improve in the fields mentioned, and private companies are in general perceived as
being more flexible. However, the services offered by rail in general are still not perceived as
sufficiently good and further improvements are necessary to work against this negative image.

6.3.5     Problem area “Water transport” (inland waterways, short sea shipping)
The subject of water transportation is very diversified. In particular inland waterways and short sea
shipping are working in totally different markets, without even considering overseas shipping. Yet
when looking at intermodal transportation it is a field that has to be taken into account.
Even though being rather more different than comparable, there are a few common problems that
waterbound transport modes have to cope with. A major problem is the fact that water transport is not
yet established in the minds of the shippers, and not even completely in the minds of freight
forwarders, as a possible transport mode. But also the connection from the harbours on the “last
mile” can bring difficulties with it: In almost all cases where water-based transport modes are used,
additional “feeding”-services will be needed.
Nevertheless inland waterways have gained importance in the container based segment as pre- or on-
haulage alternative to overseas container transportation. Unfortunately the routes to the east are so
far not in the focus of western European countries with therefore there is low interest in
maintaining or even developing waterway routes in this direction .
The short sea shipping mode could gain more importance over the next few years if the existing
problems are taken tackled: currently the timetabled frequency of the vessels operated are not
responding to the flexibility demanded in the transportation field. In some cases the transportation

   see chapter 6.3.7
   compare to chapter 6.3.3
   e.g. Stante S.R.L. uses a Ro-Ro-services between Italy and Spain, considered as a good service
but causing problems for some customers as it is offered only twice a week.
                                                                                                Page 46
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

times are too long and bear not the slightest comparison with road or rail. This problem of offering
good services has already improved where closed markets have opened up.
Other problems arise due to the strong linkage between this mode and nature itself: no other mode is
as dependent on weather and climate conditions as water transport. In particular to the north
eastern areas ice is very common in the wintertime, making waterborne operations in this area

      Stante Spedizioni in Italy is a medium-sized company with about 40 employees, situated
      near Bari in the south of Italy on the Eastern coast. They serve routes to and from Italy.
      Their main route is between Italy and Spain, for import as well as for export. Further
      important routes are to Germany and Benelux, also Eastern destinations, the British Isles
      and Greece and Turkey are served.
      Formerly, all goods to their main destination, Spain, have been carried by road. But in the
      last two years, new ferry connections have been opened for transport to Spain and
      Portugal, such as the Napoli – Barcelona route, offering a good alternative to the route
      via France. Now, goods can be brought with a semi-trailer – truck combination to Napoli
      at the Western coast of Italy, a distance of about 250 km. From here, the semi-trailer itself
      is carried by ferry to Barcelona or Valencia and is there picked up by the tractor. Until now
      this service has been considered as good and currently about 50% of Stante’s Volume to
      Spain goes via this route. The connection is about 1 to 2 days longer, but most of the
      Spanish customers do not have any problems in accepting this.
      At the moment, a new ferry service to Marseille, France, is opening and Stante is looking
      forward to using it. And for the transports to Greece and Turkey, the use of Ro-Ro-ships
      is already usual.

The same applies, to a large degree, to the inland waterway transport: Seasonal risks in terms of low
and high water on the rivers affect a number of routes. As the operation is restricted to the rivers, it
offers very little flexibility, conditions on one river are most likely to influence the situation on other
rivers as well, due to various connections between them.

      Rhenania Intermodal Transport GmbH is active as an intermodal transport operator in
      Germany, Benelux, Switzerland and France. They offer services in the field of ports and
      storage, inland waterways and short sea shipping, container traffic, railway traffic and
      work as general freight forwarder. Rhenania Intermodal works with about 700 employees
      and achieves a turnover of 350 million €. Since January 2003, it is part of the Wincanton
      With the Rhine-Ro-Ro-Service, vehicles are carried between Benelux sea ports and the
      Rhine ports. For this service, Rhenania is the only service provider and has two of its own
      terminals in Mannheim and Karlsruhe. Vehicles are carried, tractors for example, which
      are brought from the plant in southern Germany to the sea ports. On this route, a problem
      is to get return freight, as only a few vehicles are carried from the northern sea ports to
      the south.
      Container traffic on the water is organised under the name Rhinecontainer. Container
      transports on the Rhine are organised as feeder traffic from Rhine ports to the Benelux
      ports as well as between the Benelux ports. The trimodal (rail, inland waterway, sea)
      route connecting Stuttgart and Neu-Ulm is considered as a special service and runs via a
      rail shuttle with Mannheim for the further transport of containers on the Rhine to the
      Benelux ports.
      Rhinecontainer has two sea port offices in Rotterdam and Antwerp and is present as well
      in Amsterdam, Zeebrugge and Scheldt. This local presence is considered as very
      important for access to the customers and for local execution. Ocean carriers are the
      most important customers and are also situated in the ports. All types of products for
      import and export are carried in the containers.

  e.g. in the Italian market new connections were opened to France, Spain and Greece which are
widely accepted by the interviewed companies on this route (Stante Spedizione, Militzer & Münch,
Stante S.R.L.)
                                                                                                 Page 47
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

A very special segment is overseas shipping: It is not an alternative for intra-European transportation
but plays an important role in the development of containerised traffic as well as in the relevance of
short sea shipping as a feeder service. Demanding the containerisation of all products and
representing an intermodal solution out of its nature, the overseas shipping segment can be seen as
one of the major driving forces for the further development of intermodal transportation.

6.3.6     Problem area “education / staff”
In the area “education and staff” there are a wide variety of problems, often with a regional
background. And in general, no standardised nor comparable vocational education in Europe exists.
The main problems are:
o          While in some countries, such as Italy, no specific vocational training in the field of
           transportation and logistics exists. Other countries such as Germany or Sweden are very
           proud of their systems but still need a greater knowledge of intermodal matters.
o          A lack of knowledge, especially in the field of intermodal transports or modes other than
           road, is considered a problem. The reasons for this are seen in the fact that it is mainly the
           forwarding companies engaged in the field of truck transport, that are offering vocational
           training rather than the companies operating in other fields.
o          There is a lack of higher qualified personal with bachelor or university degrees. Higher
           qualifications obtained at a university are often also coupled with a lack of practical

        The following remarks came from the forwarders:
        Italy (Ambrogio):
        Basic logistics principles can be learned at the college.
        Hungary (Ati Depo):
        In the education, intermodality has to play an important role:
        Netherlands (Dow Chemical):
        The specific situation of each mode can not be learned by a master program on
        intermodality and freight integration.
        There is a need to set up specific case-oriented logistics / mobility-cause on postgraduate
        level (seminar based) to discuss on items as strength, weaknesses, opportunities and
        threats for intermodality and freight integration.
        Poland (Euroad):
        For Freight Integrator as a new profession, vocational training has to be updated.
        Germany (Interspe Hamann):
        Education is not seen as a point to ameliorate.
        Italy (Stante S.R.L.)
        Staff not trained in the own company do not correspond to own requirements for
        combined traffic.
        Knowledge from high school is estimated as good
        Staff with university degree mostly lack experience. Practical work during the time at
        university exists, but still is not common or standard. Universities require this, but still not

                                                                                                     Page 48
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

      Sweden (Roadlink):
      Most of the staff I acquired out of the excellent apprenticeship system in Sweden.
      Demand since a united Europe are much less than they were 10 years ago. Therefore
      special skills of the forwarding business like in depth knowledge of several modes or
      customers requirements are not longer needed. This makes the young forwarders more
      clerks working on a computer than forwarders and skilled salesmen.
      United Kingdom (Freightliner):
      In the field of education and staff, no problems are seen in the office field.
      Spain (Hamann International):
      The educational situation in Spain for vocational training or at a higher degree is
      considered as insufficient concerning transport, no people with education in transport are
      Since one year, people with some education are available (the University of Gijon offered
      for one year a Master Study including an internship), but the training is considered as too
      far from reality.
      Germany (Rhenania)
      More higher qualified personnel is needed at university or bachelor degree.
      Higher qualified people are often lacking experience.
      Education has the focus on road. For this reason, it would be good that trainees should
      have the duty to do practical work in a company offering transport with at least two modes
      or to visit more companies offering services with different modes.
      Germany (RSB Logistic)
      To get experienced people (university degree / vocational training) for road and
      warehousing is easy, shipping is possible, but for rail is very difficult. Here, people can
      only come from DB Cargo, and there are no people which can be acquired as this is a
      very restricted group of experienced people in this field.
      Concerning the vocational training, it is seen as problem that rail and shipping are nearly
      no subject, and mainly the daily experience of work in these fields is missing.
      Denmark (EuroShuttle)
      The finding of skilled and specialised staff in general is seen as a problem.
      Italy (Stante Spedizione)
      In Italy, no school exists where a education for freight forwarders is offered. In school,
      other knowledge is transmitted, but for the transportation area, knowledge has to be
      achieved in the company.
      Denmark (Fellowship)
      The topic of skilled staff has gotten more and more problematic over the last ten years.
      Denmark had a quite good vocational system, based in an apprenticeship. Today only, a
      few companies are still training young people to become skilled shipping agents. One of
      the reasons is the well developed data system in use today, with which almost everybody
      can organise a container transport. Yet it is believed to become a large problem as not
      enough educated staff will be available on the job market in the near future.
      Germany (Ried Gruppe)
      The Freight Integrator has to posses a vast knowledge of all the transportation markets,
      not only divided by modes but also all of them in the whole Europe.

                                                                                                 Page 49
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

        Austria (Lkw Walther)
        For people from the universities, it is considered to be essential to spend some time in all
        parts of the company, starting in the warehouses, accompanying truckers on their routes
        or dispatching the trucks, and visiting ports and rail-terminal before they are trained for
        managing positions.
11 of 17 companies explained in interviews that they acquired staff from high school / school, trained
and educated their own people in-house or offered vocational training. Asked in the questionnaire,
where their specialists gain their knowledge, 82% of the companies indicated that the main source
was long-time experience. Responses also mentioned learning by doing / training on the job, post-
academic training and special training, each by 23% of companies. In addition, 14% added internal
training and 9% knowledge from high school.
Further problems in the area besides vocational and high school training which were mentioned were:
o          Lack of operational staff in certain countries .
o          Particularly a lack of train drivers. Due to the privatisation of the railways many
           apprenticeships in this field have been cut, leading to less drivers in general and making it
           even harder to get experienced drivers. Another problem in this context is the fact that train
           drivers are not allowed to drive in other countries and in this way limiting their operational
           field and generating longer transport times in the rail sector.
o          In Italy it seems to be hard to get skilled staff with foreign language knowledge making a
           more international orientation of the companies more difficult .

6.3.7     Problem area “mentality / attitude”
One of the major problem areas is the field of mentality or attitude. It is a more abstract topic but it is
nevertheless of an astonishing importance in this case, as a future Freight Integrator is supposed to
chose the most efficient way among all available modes. A lot of problems are seen in this area today.
One of the main issues in this context is the lack of awareness of other modes and their possibilities
amongst the freight forwarders. Although there may be several reasons for this, it is most often
mentioned that it is hard to get in touch with the specific service providers with national railways being
seen as especially problematic in this. But even when the first contact has been established,
sufficient information on services of other modes cannot be provided, be it schedules, timings or
simply the costs. How far this can be accounted for by the often claimed insufficient experience in
the intermodal field due to a lack of vocational or university training, is not clear.

        Forwarders described it like this:
        Italy (Ambrogio):
        Freight Integration is ‘management by exception’.
        Netherlands (Geest North Sea Lines):
        Important task for the EU … is ‘creating awareness by disseminating intermodal
        knowledge and best practices already in an early stage among future transport planners.

    In total, 17 companies mentioned educational subjects.
    Internal training and knowledge were not proposed on the questionnaire as specific responses, but
were entered by companies under “others”.
    mentioned for truck drivers by Hamann International Ltd. (Ireland), Freightliner Ltd. (United
    “Even worse (in comparison to truck drivers) is the situation with train drivers, as only experienced
drivers are hired and those are very rare. In addition to that are there no longer apprenticeships for this
profession as in the days when the railway system was publicly owned. For private companies in turn,
it is not affordable to offer apprenticeships.” (Interview with Freightliner Ltd., United Kingdom)
    mentioned 7 times as substantial problem for international rail transport (companies in Sweden, UK,
Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands)
    mentioned by Stante Spedizioni (Italy), Ambrogio (Italy)
                                                                                                 Page 50
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

      Italy (Merzario)
      When looking at the image of intermodality, the availability of such services is not aware
      in the public and sometimes not even in the own company. Mostly it is easier to push
      things that have already be done for years than try to experiment with something new. It
      is appealing that if any, mainly large competitors ask for intermodal services .... It is seen
      as inevitable that public authorities are spreading information on existing services.
      All this can work only when alternatives to the today dominating truck services exist.
      Therefore a major information campaign initiated by public authorities is believed to
      achieve the best results.
      Hungary (Ati Depo):
      Not only in an overall discussion but also in education, the topic of intermodality (should)
      play an important role. This will probably help to further sharpen the awareness of the
      existing possibilities and the integration of new ideas in this field.
      It has to be easier to get the necessary information (from the railway companies,
      especially the Hungarian) and this information must be reliable. That would need a
      dramatic change in the attitude and way of thinking of the employees of these companies.
      Ireland (Hamann International Ltd.)
      So far the availability of information is too sparse, it frightens the customers to think about
      the lack of information availability as soon as the shipment is handed over to another
      Greece (Militzer & Münch)
      For long distances, the importance of intermodal transport is rising, but still retains the
      problem of missing infrastructure and bottlenecks. The offering of information on free
      capacity should be done by Brussels.
      Spain (Hamann International)
      In general, Hamann states that for use of railway services, it would be necessary to get
      information on how the train can be used for certain relations and as a second point, how
      this traffic works in general. In addition, information on transport times are necessary to
      be able to compare with road. If this is not possible, it has to be expected that transport
      times are longer than by road.
      Germany (Rhenania Intermodal)
      Intermodality is often not a topic in industrial training. As many trainees do their practical
      work in trucking companies, they have no possibilities to gain experience with other
      modes and as a consequence, a mental problem can be seen – that modes beneath road
      are avoided.
      Italy (Stante Spedizioni)
      To enter this market (rail transport) is considered as interesting but too difficult. To have a
      business in this field, it would be necessary to provide own wagons, without this no
      business is possible. And then again connections to railway companies are needed,
      prices and services have to be known and experience is needed.

Furthermore a lack of intermodal culture in general is apparent. So far, intermodal transports are
not seen as the normal method, but rather as an extraordinary solution for special projects that are
not often conducted and therefore rarely researched. Mainly it is considered to be easier to follow
common handling procedures, which at the same time puts the truck in a leading role. The rather bad
general image of intermodal transports is underlining this fact.

   Today only active in road transport. Made the statements when asked for the obstacles to engaging
in intermodal transport.
   Stante is at the moment only using the rolling road. Direct activities in the field of rail services as
operator are not done because of the problems mentioned.
                                                                                                  Page 51
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

      Transport service providers mentioned:
      Netherlands (Geest North Sea Lines):
      Geest researches the customers logistic chain. Often the result is astonishing in the
      sense that ... one can (save) a lot of money. In practice unfortunately, the transport
      manager picks up the phone and calls an expensive road haulier to execute the whole
      Hungary (Tibbet and Britten):
      The overall image of intermodal transports in the public is considered to be slow .... ... it
      might be hard to convince customers of actually switching from truck to rail as the right
      attitude is missing and the general image of rail is bad.
      (It would be a good idea) to advertise and better communicate the possibilities of
      intermodal transport.
      Poland (Euroad):
      Intermodal transport and Freight integration are not well known in practice as well as in
      education, and maybe that is one of the reasons why it is not popular.
      Italy (Effepierre)
      Although the image of intermodal transportation in Italy is not bad, a better image would
      be wishful. This is mainly seen as a task for the railway companies in Europe. Therefore,
      more cooperation between the mainly national oriented rail operators would be needed,
      along with more competition in this field. Today, the rail companies are too much closed
      up, minding their own business instead of orientating on the needs of their customers.
      Portugal (Burmester & Stüve)
      For transports within Europe, road transports are clearly preferred and Burmester has to
      do a hard work in convincing that short sea shipping is seen as an alternative.
      Germany (Ried Gruppe)
      As for the image of intermodal transports, it is believed that the services should be
      communicated far better by the operators. Their advantages have to be underlined and
      sold to the forwarders and their customers. In this area especially the Deutsche Bahn
      has not done enough in the last couple of years. But is also important that the freight
      forwarders see these possibilities and actually take them into consideration for certain
      transport projects with higher volumes and weights. The choice in general is there, with
      sometimes great combination possibilities.

When looking at “environmental-mindedness”, a very clear, yet at the same time alarming, condition
can be seen. Although environmental issues are definitely on people’s minds, they do not in any way
                                                                           influence their behaviour.
             Ecological awareness and implementation                       This means that everybody
                                                                           is aware of the alarming
                                                                           condition on the roads, the
   80%                                                                     bad influence of trucks on
                                                                           our environment and the
   60%                                                                     fact that something has to
                                                                           be done. But when it comes
                                                                           to doing something about it,
   20%                                                                     like choosing other modes
                                                                           or actively promoting other
    0%                                                                     solutions, it is unanimously
            environmental        customers ask for   customers show a      stated that this could only
           sustainability is a  ecological subjects willingness to pay for happen if no additional
          question in the daily                      more ecologically     costs or longer transport
                 work                                friendly transports   times would result.
   yes no                       basis: 42 companies

Figure 33: Ecological awareness and implementation

                                                                                                Page 52
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

Another reason for the low usage of intermodal transports, which pretty much goes along with the lack
of experience mentioned above, can be seen in the high professionalism believed to be necessary
for intermodal transport chains. A possible fear of failure in this system and the involved risk of
transhipments might prevent some from engaging in intermodal transport.

         Freight Forwarders mentioned:
         Italy (Ambrogio):
         Intermodal freight integration is not too be learned at the college, it is too specialised.
         Hungary (Tibbet & Britten)
         Transhipments ... are clearly seen as increasing the risk as further handling procedures
         are included that always raise the risk.
         Poland (PIFFA )
         Intermodal transport can help to increase the image of the transport sector from the
         peoples point of view. From freight forwarders and transport operators point of view,
         reloading times, transhipments, damage control and safety should be better under
         control, then they will get more and more interest for intermodal transport.
         The idea for the use of water highways is far from reality now. To compete with road is
         not easy while the transhipments are two times less than with the use of water transport.
         Italy (Effeprierre)
         The coordination of the several modes is still an existing problem. Naturally several
         modes involve a more complex organisational situation, locating the shipments to prepare
         the next step of the chain demand high information availability.
         Germany (Ried Gruppe)
         The disadvantages for intermodal transports (are ) not seen in special characteristics of
         the diverse modes, but more in the superior knowledge that has to exist on the side of the
         logistics service providers to organise these transports at a certain quality.

6.3.8      Problem area “lack of incentives”
Companies today not engaging in the field of intermodal transportation often see no reason why they
should do so. They mainly see disadvantages and more complicated processes when including other
modes than road and are convinced that the result may be a worse flexibility, higher prices and lower
quality. In the short term, these companies need incentives - reasons why they should use intermodal
To come over this problems, several aspects may be regarded:
      1. To convince companies about the quality and advantages of intermodal transportation.
         Specific problems for this have already been discussed under the aspect of mentality /
      2. To show the companies that freight integration is an business where money can actually be
         earned. This is also a question of publicity. One possibility is shown in chapter 7.1.3.
      3. To give additional financial incentives.
As the feedback from the companies showed very clearly that price is seen as the main issue when
organising transports, the problem of a lack of financial incentive can be seen as very important.
Freight forwarders proposed in the interviews a “financial support of the shippers and forwarders that
really do use intermodal transports”.
A transport service provider today not offering services stated: “In the near future, respectively in the
next 5, 10, 15 years, surely everybody has to adopt to intermodal transports not only out of congestion

     Polish International Freight Forwarders Association
     Interview with Tibbet & Britten, Hungary
                                                                                                       Page 53
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

on the roads. But now and in the future this topic will be a political question and only be solved by
economic advantages for the customers or forwarders.”
Measures that reached even further were mentioned:
“If governments want more balance between the different modes of transport to become more
environmental and social friendly (sustainability), they have to create the atmosphere, the legislation
and control it. … In our opinion, there are two possibilities: Firstly, the use of intermodal transport
should be obligatory where possible, defined by the governments our EU, for all forwarders. Secondly,
governments should give forwarders advantages who implement intermodal transport, for example
extra permits, lower rates, reduction of eco-taxes.”
Yet, would direct subsidies in this field be the right way to achieve these incentives? There have to be
other ways found to inspire companies to actually engage more actively in the usage of intermodal
traffics and a broader choice of modes when conducting transports. Notwithstanding the promotional
aspects, one possibility for financial incentives is shown in chapter 7.3.2.

6.3.9      Problem area “liability and documentation”
During the course of the review, it was obvious there were no real barriers preventing the service
providers from offering multimodal freight integration. All parties involved, e.g. shippers, forwarders,
carriers, insurance companies and consignees appeared to have learned to cope with the present and
undoubtedly complicated legal system.
Coupled with this, was the fact that suitable and sufficient insurance cover was available at an
affordable cost to shippers and forwarders / carriers. Of all those interviewed only 21% claimed to
have      difficulty   in    obtaining
appropriate insurance cover. It                                    Liability
should be appreciated however, that     100%
almost 40% of the companies taking
part of the survey are obliged to self
insure parts of the risk by deductible   60%
and / or exclusions applicable to
their insurance contracts. If the cost
of this practise is included, the        20%
overall premium charges might be
disproportionably high, if available at
all.                                            getting sufficient liability a bigger deductibles in the
                                                      insurance          problem for     insurance
Figure 34: Liability                                 coverage is a        intermodal
                                                       problem         tranport chains
                                                                     than for unimodal
                                                                      transport chains
                                          basis: 35 companies                                yes     no

On the surface, the interviews did not reveal any major problems and/or obstacles for intermodal
freight integration from the liability and/or insurance point of view. Nevertheless, there exists major
concerns within the industry that the current legal situation, though not preventing intermodal
transports, does incur unnecessary friction costs. In view of this concern, it is considered prudent to
address the issue of “hidden/contingent” problems and analyse them in relation to liability for
intermodal freight integration.

     Interview with Roadlink spedition, Sweden
     Interview with Pekaes Multi-Spedytor, Poland
                                                                                               Page 54
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

Similarly there are further concerns regarding the inefficient and widely adopted practice of using the
so called Through Bill of Ladings in an attempt to achieve international uniformity as a means of
simplifying documentation.
       I. Shippers and forwarders make widespread use of these contracts, including the FIATA FBL,
          BIMCO’s Multidoc95 and BIFA STC. These contracts are predicated upon the UNCTAD/ICC
          Model Rules. These Rules are based on the liability network principles introduced to fill the
          gap in intermodal transport liability following the failure of the 1980 UN Convention on
          Multimodal Transport of Goods 1980 to attract sufficient support.
      II. In addition, the FIATA FBL met other important mandatory criteria and the full approval by the
          ICC provided recognition for it to be utilised as a negotiable document under Documentary
      III. According to the survey around 85% of all intermodal transports are already conducted on the
           basis of a through bill of lading, from shipper to consignee. As for the issue of the German
           issuing office of the FIATA documents (Verein Hamburger Spediteure ex.), more than 90% of
           all intermodal transports currently conducted by German forwarders are done on basis of the
           FIATA FBL. In the year 2002 alone 257.000 documents have been handed out to German
           forwarders for use in conjunction with both uni- and multimodal transports.
      IV. However, the Rules, being contractual in nature, will have no effect in the event of conflict with
          mandatory provisions of international conventions or national law applicable to the multimodal
          transport contract. Thus, the actual Liability remains rather unpredictable for all parties
      V. As long as these rules are contractual in nature, they are by definition subject to any
         applicable mandatory law and are thus not an effective means of achieving international
Again it is considered necessary to address certain issues that have arisen during the review:

         Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading
         The FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (FBL) is a carrier-type transport document
         set up by FIATA for the use by freight forwarders acting as multimodal transport operators
         (MTO). The FBL can also be issued as a marine bill of lading.
         The document is negotiable unless marked “non-negotiable”. It has been deemed by the
         International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to be in conformity with the UNCTAD/ICC
         Rules for Multimodal Transport Documents. (…)
         A freight forwarder acting as Multimodal Transport Operator (MTO) or marine carrier
         issuing a FBL is responsible for the performance of transport. The freight forwarder does
         not only assume responsibility for delivery of the goods at destination, but also for all
         carriers and third parties engaged by him for the performance of the whole transport.
         By issuing a FBL the freight forwarder accepts a basic liability limit of 666.67 SDR per
         package or unit, or 2 SDR per kilogramme of gross weight of the goods lost or damaged,
         whichever is the higher (Art. 8.3 of the FBL conditions), or, if a multimodal transport does
         not include carriage of goods by sea or inland waterways, a basic liability limit of 8.33
         SDR per gross weight (Art. 8.5 of the FBL conditions). When loss of or damage to the
         goods can be attributed to a particular stage of transport in a multimodal transport
         operation, the freight forwarder’s liability is limited according to mandatory national or
         international law applicable to this stage of transport (Art. 8,6 a of the FBL conditions).

     source: Verein Hamburger Spediteure e.V.
                                                                                                    Page 55
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

      Legal Expert Opinion on the FIATA FBL
      The standard of liability represented by the FBL and the Model Rules conforms with
      contemporary law and, to the extent that no legislation exists, with customary practice.
      Limitations of liability in transport law, the FBL and the Model Rules are based on the
      expected average value of the goods and on the principle that the service provider should
      not be exposed to a greater risk than could be contemplated at the time of conclusion of
      the contract. The customer could always get higher compensation by making a
      declaration value.
      The time for notice of claims purports to avoid difficulties connected with proving the
      cause of loss or damage and, with respect to freight forwarders, to ensure the possibility
      to institute recourse actions against responsible parties
      The FBL and the Model Rules generally provide a system which is at least equivalent to
      and in many cases better for the customers than other rules and conditions of transport
      and freight forwarder contracts customarily used in world trade.

Problems and Barriers

a) Lack of Uniform Legal Framework
Gradually, more and more operators have taken responsibility for the whole transport chain under one
single contract. In the event of loss or damage to goods involved in multimodal transport, shippers /
consignees preferred to pursue one single operator responsible for the overall transport, rather than
claim upon several unimodal carriers. At this stage, despite various attempts to establish a uniform
legal framework governing multimodal transport no such international regime is in force.

      Historical Development of International Liability
      In the absence of a uniform international regime of liability in multimodal transport, it is
      covered by a jigsaw of international rules and conventions. The Hague, Hague-Visby and
      Hamburg Rules cover maritime transport; the Convention on the Contract for the
      International Carriage of Goods by Road and the Convention concerning International
      Carriage by Rail, in some countries, cover international road and rail transport
      respectively; while the Warsaw Convention covers global air transport. Apart from the
      confusion as to the applicability of conventions, when a loss cannot be localized and
      blame attributed, liability often depends on national laws or contractual agreements.
      MTO Convention
      As a first attempt to clarify the very complicated liability issues in international transport,
      the United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods, the so-
      called MTO (Multimodal Transport Operator) convention, was developed and firstly
      expressed under the UNCTAD in Geneva in 1980. This general agreement concerning
      international multimodal transports was signed by 71 States. But the MTO-convention
      itself will not come into force, unless ratified by at least 30 States.. Today, only ten
      States signed.
      But if so, it will be binding for all adequate consignments if at least one participating State
      is affected by the shipment Adequate consignments would be every shipment using
      several means of transportation and being transported between two sovereign States.
      Where at least one of these States being concerned has ratified the MTO-convention.
      Whereas concerned means, that the shipment is destined, transiting or departing from
      one of these States.

   source: Jan Ramberg on the FIATA Model Rules on Freight Forwarding Services
   Lorenz (1997)
   Contracting parties: Burundi, Chile, Georgia, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal,
Zambia (
                                                                                                  Page 56
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

      The idea behind the MTO-convention is basically to cover all international transports
      where at least two different transport modes are involved. Meaning the transport has to
      be operated multimodal. The aim was to create standardized contract conditions for
      freight forwarders and transport operators on a worldwide scale. According to Lorenz
      (1997), the today common waybills would be affected by the MTO-convention
      dramatically. Especially the today binding agreements like CMR for road, CIM for rail and
      Warsaw Convention for air transports would be affected, if not totally displaced.
      New and essentially about the MTO-convention is a so called through liability of the
      Multimodal Transport Operator for the total transport course. This means the Multimodal
      Transport Operator (MTO) can be held liable by his customer from the time he takes over
      the shipment until he delivers it to the consignee. If anything happens to the consignment
      while in the possession of the MTO, which basically is the whole duration of the transport,
      he has to compensate the loss or damage.
      Looking at the MTO-convention more thoroughly, the basic elements resemble pretty
      much the well known Airway bill in air cargo transportation or the bill of lading in sea
      freight shipping. All of them can be made negotiable or not, made out to order or bearer
      and have mainly the same contents, as to the information they provide. Except that the
      least mentioned papers are only for one transport mode, in this case air or sea, and are
      only valid for that part of the voyage. The MTO-convention document would cover every
      participating transport mode.
      Further development – UNCTAD/ICC Model Rules
      Since the MTO convention failed, “a substitute emerged in the form of the UNCTAD/ICC
      Model Rules.(…) These do not have the status of mandatory law, but may be
      incorporated into a (private) contract. They do, however give precedence to mandatory
      law. The Rules are based on the so-called ‘network principle’. This means, providing
      that the unimodal stage of the transport where the loss occurred can be established, the
      liability limit that applies is that which corresponds to the national or international law that
      would have been applied for that stage under a unimodal contract. That this set of rules
      was a compromise has been reiterated a number of times, none of the sets of multimodal
      Rules, including the latest UNCTAD/ICC Rules 1992, provides those operating the supply
      chain with a truly multimodal solution.
      Since the publication of the Rules they have been adopted formally in standard
                                         77                      78
      documents such as FIATA FBL 1992 and BIMCO’s Multidoc 95.” Since the FIATA FBL
      incorporates some of the MTO concepts which is the most commonly accepted
      international multimodal transport document, these rules have now gained wide

b) Inability to Establish Uniform / Appropriate Rules
According to experts, the main difficulty in establishing appropriate rules on a worldwide level stems
from the traditional risk distribution in maritime carriage. Here, in principle, the maritime carrier’s duty
is limited to exercising due diligence in providing a seaworthy ship so that i.a. liability for errors in the
navigation and the management of the vessel and fire is excluded. Further, the average value of the
goods carried is lower than for goods carried by other modes of transport. Also, the maritime carriage
is more exposed to adverse weather conditions than carriage by other means. This results in
comparatively low monetary limitations of liability and a reluctance of maritime carriers to accept
liability for delay.

   compare to Ramberg (1998)
   see further on
   IM Technologies Limited (2001)
   see United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (1999)
                                                                                                   Page 57
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

c) Mode Orientation of Transport Law
A multimodal operation is made up of a number of unimodal stages of transport, such as sea, road, rail
or air. As there is often no direct access to rail, inland waterway or short sea shipping trucks have to
be used as a first or last part of the transport chain. Each of these modes is currently subject to a
mandatory international convention or national law.

d) Legal Liability Unpredictability
The present legal framework consists of a complex array of international conventions designed to
regulate unimodal carriage, diverse regional/sub regional agreements, national laws and standard
term contracts. As a consequence, both the applicable liability rules and the degree and extent of a
carrier’s liability vary greatly from case to case and are unpredictable. The shippers might find it often
hard and only achievable under extensive administrative effort to determine the scope of the liability
and its limits.

e) Localized v/s Non-Localized Losses
The liability of the multimodal transport operator for loss of or damage to goods can differ depending
on which stage of transport the loss has occurred. The question becomes even more complicated if
the loss or damage cannot be localized, or the loss occurs gradually during the entire transport.

f)   Container Packaging
Where goods are carried in sealed containers, it is often, if not impossible, to identify the stage / mode
of transport where a loss, damage or delay occurs.

g) Impact of Legal Structure Upon Friction Costs
Intermodality and International Freight Transport (COM(97) 243) advised a lack of uniform carrier
liability arrangement, which tends to lead to additional (i.e. friction) costs surrounding the associated
insurance system, is an impediment for further development of freight intermodalism in the European

h) Current Legal Framework Puts SME’s In Disadvantage
The current legal framework governing multimodal transport gives further rise to concern. A
fragmented and complex legal framework creates uncertainty, which in turn creates transaction costs
as it gives rise to legal and evidentiary enquiries, costly litigation and rising insurance costs. For
developing countries, and for small and medium-size transport-users, particularly, the concern is
considerable. Without a predictable legal framework, equitable access to markets and participation in
international trade is much harder for small and medium players.

i)   Distortion of Competition
Although international law has been ratified by the European Union Member States (including the
2004 newly accessing countries), there are significant deviations in the interpretation by the judical
systems of the member states as to the international conventions referred to, such as the CMR. This
has tremendous effects on the liability of the Freight Integrator; especially the suppositions made
regarding the perceived breakthrough in monetary limitations and, consequently, the distortion of
competition can be envisaged due to the practical implementation of the regulations. The end result
may well be the introduction of higher charges because of eventual regulated cases or higher
insurance costs, each contributing to an increase in the overall prices.

                                                                                                Page 58
6 Actual conditions and challenges in intermodal transports

j)   UNCTAD/ICC Model Rules Do Not Solve The Problems
A study by IM Technologies Ltd and Studiengesellschaft für den kombinierten Verkehr found, in
relation to the UNCTAD/ICC Model Rules, that
      I. Although the UNCTAD/ICC Model Rules as adapted by i.e. the FIATA FBL give the
         impression of simplicity they mask the precedence of the International Conventions and the
         contracts adopting these Rules are effectively private contracts which are subject to different
         interpretations by different courts and jurisdictions. The result is remaining uncertainty in the
         terms of liability and legal position.
     II. Carrier liability regimes are still modal based; this is true even for network liability regimes,
         such as UNCTAD/ICC, which aims to facilitate intermodal transport. These network liability
         regimes are plagued by uncertainty – the actual liability depends on the ability to identify the
         mode and / or place within the transport chain were loss / damage occurred.
     III. That shippers surveyed were not very knowledgeable of the many different carrier liability
          regimes, which could apply. This was demonstrated by the low response rate when shippers
          were asked to provide the terms of their transport contract. (As the present research showed,
          lack of knowledge regarding applicable liability regimes still prevails and applies for forwarders
          and carriers too. Contrary to almost every second forwarder claiming to be suffering from the
          somehow unclear liability situation, none has voiced major liability problems preventing him
          from performing as intermodal freight integrator.)
     IV. Harmonisation of conditions, such as uniform liability limit for all modes, to facilitate intermodal
         transport, could yield savings in frictions costs to intermodal transport of up to 10% = 50m €
         per annum.

        For further readings the following reports are recommended:
        UNCTAD/SDD/MT/7 “Facing the challenge of integrated transport service”, 28 April
        “Intermodal transportation and carrier liability”, EC-Study, (DG VII), June 1999
        “The Economic impact of carrier liability on intermodal freight transport” by IM
        Technologies Ltd / Studiengesellschaft für den kombinierten Verkehr e.V., 22. January
        UNCTAD/SDTE/TLB/2 “Implementation of multimodal transport rules”, 25 June 2001
        UNCTAD/SDTE/TLB/2003/1 “Multimodal Transport:                   The     feasibility   of   an
        international legal instrument”, 13 January 2003

                                                                                                   Page 59
7 Policy Recommendations

7 Policy Recommendations
Today’s traffic market is dominated by unimodal transports. But certain companies are acting
intermodally, and are doing their business with economic success. On the other hand, several
companies cited a lack of information on intermodality, and therefore do not participate in this market
segment. This situation is illustrated in the following view on the transport market:
                                                                                          model where the relative
                                                                                          shares     are    shown      as
                                                                                          examples only and are not
                               intermodal                                                 based on data). Within the
                                                       intermodal                         unimodal transports, a hidden
     total volume of traffic

                                hidden                                                    potential    for    intermodal
                                                                                          transports can be found,
                                                                                          which is purely due to a lack
                                                                                          of information. This potential
                                                                                          consists of transports which
                               unimodal                                                   would be efficient from an
                                                       unimodal                           economic point of view, but
                                                                                          which are just not acted on
                                                                                          intermodally          because
                                                                                          transport service providers do
                                                                                          not    have     the    relevant
                                                                                          information and knowledge.
                                                                                          To tap this potential as a first
                                            1st step              2nd step
                                                                                          step, necessary information
                                                                                          has to be provided to the
Figure 35: Market potential for intermodal transport
                                                                                          potential freight integrating
The first column describes the situation today, with a certain amount                     companies.
of unimodal and intermodal transports (the figure is theorectical
In addition to providing information, measures have to be taken to support the success of intermodal
solutions. In the second step, these measures (some of them are described below) provide favourable
conditions for Freight Integrators in the sense that additional intermodal transports may become
interesting from the economic point of view. This means, transports - today not considered as
economic efficient when carried out intermodally - then will be interesting under the new framework
Having discussed the problem areas seen by the companies in the freight forwarding business, five
main barriers which are essential for a future Freight Integrator to consider could be defined. These
main barriers are the most important aspects which deter businesses from a first or further
engagement in the field of intermodal transportation.
The main barriers are seen in the
1. lack of incentives
2. lack of information / qualification
3. infrastructure and technical problems
4. bad image
5. liability and documentation

   compare chapter 6.3.8
   compare chapter 6.3.7 for information and 6.3.6 for education
   compare chapter 6.3.3 for infrastructure and 6.3.2 for containers as well as 6.3.4 for rail
   compare chapter 6.3.7, as well as 6.3.4 for rail and 6.3.5 for water transport
   compare chapter 6.3.9
                                                                                                                Page 60
7 Policy Recommendations

These main barriers encapsulate the major problems found to be inhibiting the further successful
development of freight integration and intermodal transport. The ways of addressing these barriers are
described in the following main recommendations:
              o     Establishment of promotion centres
              o     Composition of an intermodal web page
              o     Awarding the best performance
              o     Benchmarking system and certification
              o     Harmonisation of vocational systems
              o     Standardisation of liability and documentation
              o     Improvement of the infrastructure
              o     Harmonisation of toll systems
              o     Development of intermodal loading units
The link between main barriers and recommendations is shown in the following figure:

                                                         Establishment of promotion centres

                                                                                                            short term
                                                                                                            short term
                                                         Composition of an Intermodal web page
  4     Bad image                                        Awarding the best performance

  2     Lack of information and qualification            Benchmarking system and certification
  5     Liability and documentation                      Harmonisation of vocational systems

  1     Lack of incentives                               Standardisation of liability and documentation
  3     Infrastructure and technical problems            Improvement of the infrastructure

                                                                                                            long term
                                                                                                            long term
                                                         Harmonisation of toll systems

                                                         Development of intermodal loading units

Figure 36: Main Barriers and related recommendations
The stated recommendations concentrate on the main barriers and are divided into short, medium and
long term approaches They are considered as the main steps that would focus directly on the
implementation of the Freight Integrator concept in Europe. They will be supported by all of the
measures taken to develop modes such as rail and water transport which, providing that the
necessary conditions for these modes can be met without problems, also be part of the Freight
Integrators transport chain. Such measures are already part of the European Commissions policy
approach as described in the White paper and should cover all major problems described and include
others that are not part of the following recommendations.

7.1     Short term approaches
To quickly enable widespread name recognition of the term Freight Integrator the first step is to get the
transportation world to familiarise itself with the concept and the idea of a Freight Integrator. By this, in
a rather short timescale, the awareness to the problems that exist today can be widened, allowing the
creation of an environment where solutions are actively sought. To achieve this, an enormous interest
in this topic has to be raised showing the freight forwarders the possibilities that are worth adopting in
daily routines and offering the potential to expand or secure their business in other fields.

7.1.1      Promotion centres
To promote the idea of Freight Integration at a local level, near to shippers and freight forwarders, the
idea of promotion centres for short sea shipping can be taken over and adapted to the needs of
intermodal transportation.

                                                                                                          Page 61
7 Policy Recommendations

         Shortsea Promotion Centres
         The establishment of the Shortsea Promotion Centres (SPCs) at a European level,
         stemmed from the need indicated in the Communication of the Commission of 1999, and
         already recommended by the Maritime Institute Forum (MIF) in 1995, to change the
         incorrect and negatively perceived image of the maritime transport industry that was
         obstructing its potential future development.
         The first promotion office was established in Holland in 1997, followed by Belgium,
         France, and then Finland. In 2000, all the offices that currently exist had been
         Right from the start, it was clear that the promotion of information within a single country
         would not have been sufficient and that for a more effective way of developing Short Sea
         Shipping (SSS), there needed to be a way of acting collectively, as one unit. In addition, it
         was also clear that there had be a ‘level playing field’ on a European level.
         After there was a sufficient number of countries with SSS promotion offices, the process
         of making the network a reality was started. Although some offices have different
         structures and objectives, all have in common the desire to promote SSS, in the broad
         sense of the term, which allows a very practical approach to the activities of the

To establish a network of offices for the promotion of intermodal transports, three approaches should
be followed in parallel:
o           Change existing short sea promotion centres into intermodal promotion centres
o           Enlarge existing short sea shipping centres by adding an “intermodal department”
o           Establish new intermodal promotion centres
The last approach is needed in countries or regions where short sea promotion centres do not exist
today, like Austria, the accession countries or all inland regions. The first approach could be used
where the awareness of short sea is already wide spread and will remain the mode mostly used
(regions directly located at the sea and already active in this field). The second approach should be
used where the other modes (inland waterway and rail) also play an important role and should be
further developed.
The idea to use the existing short sea promotion centres may not be always welcome among short
sea promoters, but it has to be made clear that short sea is also one of the modes used in intermodal
transport and should be further promoted. In addition, short sea may gain from the possibility to
provide information on other modes concerned in the pre- and on- haulage.
To use the existing short sea promotion centres as a base for the development has the advantage of a
network that already exists, with in depth knowledge on one of the modes, which may lower the
financial input necessary to set up a European-wide network and allow a fast implementation.
Tasks of the intermodal promotion centres should be:
o           Promotion of the modes short sea, inland waterway and rail, to ameliorate the image of all
            three of these modes.
o           Promotion on the idea of intermodally combined transports
o           Provide information of the mentioned modes and intermodal transport both in general and on
            certain routes (where a mode shift from road to others may be especially needed)
o           Provide detailed information on services offered on the different routes and connections
            between the modes (transhipment possibilities, terminals)
o           Provide detailed information on the frequency of the services, (intermodal) lead times,
            service providers and price ranges
o           Provide support in the elaboration and planning of optimal intermodal transports for
            individual projects

                                                                                                   Page 62
7 Policy Recommendations

To provide the above mentioned information, the promotion centres will need an extensive database
containing all details on routes, transhipment possibilities, timetables and price ranges. The
establishment and maintenance of this database (accessible for all promotion centres) should be
supported by the EC.
The promotion centres should become a first address when looking for information and provide help
when trying to make the first steps in the intermodal environment, with its experts in this field being
neutral. This could lower the barrier of a lack of information tremendously, under the assumption that
the introduction of these intermodal promotion centres is accompanied by an extensive public
relations campaign showing the abilities of such a centre and making them known to the vast
majority in the field of transportation. The focus in this campaign should rather be on the centres than
on intermodality, as later these centres might be better able to show the advantages of intermodality to
different customers more specifically than any mass-advertisement could do.
In the first phase these centres should be funded by the European Union or their respective countries,
allowing them to offer their services free of charge and by this means not building up resistance to
their use from the start.

7.1.2    Intermodal Website
The establishment of promotion centres should be accompanied by the creation of an internet
presence on a European level as well as on the respective country level. Information provided on this
website should first cover general information to interest newcomers as well as detailed information on
the services for people already active in the intermodal business and wishing to get details, for
example, on new routes
On detailed information should be available:
o        Details on offered services (to chose per route)
o        Transhipment possibilities
o        Timetables and lead times
o        Price ranges
o        Contact addresses of operators / transport service providers
o        Links to the intermodal promotion centres
This detailed information should be provided from the database established for the promotion centres
(to guarantee a regular updating) and user-friendly edited.
On the issue of pricing, only price ranges should be indicated. This would give the shippers an idea
about the costs on the one hand but on the other hand it would not remove the flexibility of the
operators to respond directly and to offer negotiations with the customers or forwarders. Nevertheless
a simultaneous comparison across the modes on a route would be helpful, presenting information
about the existing possibilities and at the same time showing interesting alternatives not only for one
mode but across all the different modes.
Preferably, the website should be established each time with the same domain name, just the top-level
domains should be adjusted to reflect specific countries and the EU.
This idea could be implemented in a rather short time frame, lowering the barrier of a lack of
information by providing a database. Once established, the content of the database could be provided
and updated by the service providers themselves. This could even revitalise a more competitive
thinking among the operators resulting in better offers for the customers.
On a medium time scale, an intermodal map could additionally be integrated, showing the locations
of intermodal access points: harbours, terminals, tracks and waterways. This could be broken down to
the region of interest, supplying information about offered services, provided equipment and operators
located at certain access points.

  A comparable approach has been made by the short sea promotion centres but unfortunately not to
the fullest extent.
                                                                                              Page 63
7 Policy Recommendations

Whether the above described services should or could be supplemented by an intermodal freight
exchange service in the future should depend on the success of freight exchanges in general.
Overall it is still a very promising idea, but as yet the usage numbers of these exchange services are
still very low. Nevertheless freight exchange might tap its full potential only by using intermodal since
this, so far, rather complex environment could be a nourishing ground for such a technique. Therefore
the future implementation of this service should be considered, even though not pursued, from the

7.1.3    Awarding the best performance
The opportunity for making money in intermodal transportation is not well known, it can have a rather
bad image, and it has to be brought to the forwarders minds. Therefore another procedure for raising
awareness and showing incentives for intermodal transports and their implication in logistics solutions
should be the presentation of an annual intermodal award. Supported by extensive public relations
measures to gain a high publicity, it should find and highlight best practices which would later be made
The award should be given under the patronage of the European Commission. An intermodal
orientated association like the European Intermodal Association or a big international organisation
like the European Logistics Association should be responsible for organising the award.
Invitation to this award should be given by the organising body together with the European
Commission directly asking for submissions through trade journals and other media in the form of a
description of successful intermodal processes. If started now, this could be achieved by mid 2004,
giving the decision board enough time to evaluate the award submissions, choosing the one that best
fits the idea of a Freight Integrator or offers most material to show best practices to other forwarders.
After the presentation of the award to the winner in an official ceremony, preferably involving the board
of transport ministers in Europe, the best examples should be published in various media to show to
a wide public. By this, even non-winning forwarders would have the chance to be mentioned in the
media in a positive environment and it would be stressed that intermodal transportation is not a
specialised and closed niche market.
Combined with extensive publicity, companies should be somehow forced to actually inform
themselves about the topic of the Freight Integrator and maybe even try to adjust their handling
procedures in the following years to better fit the idea. This process will later on be supported by the
publishing of the success stories. Actually reading about the successful business models that the
other companies are following might inspire a lot of companies to also get involved in this kind of
business, giving them the chance of opening new business fields and markets and to be at the leading
edge and able to realise profits.
Another organisational scenario could be the presentation of the award under the patronage of the
European Union still with the same outcome but delegating the processing of the inquiries to the
intermodal promotion centres. In this case a two-staged competition could be held. The first round
would be concentrated on the countries resulting in a single country winner, elected by the intermodal
promotion centres and maybe presented as a national award handed over by the ministry of
transportation. All the winners could then be passed on to the European level, resulting in a European
winner. Although the effort that has to be put in it would be higher, more coverage, first country
orientated and later European wide, could be the result. As a by-product the promotion centres would
become better known. Public relation efforts could be combined covering both the award and the
promotion centres. It would also allow more inputs to be handled as they are concentrated on country-

  The European Intermodal Association gives in November 2003 3 awards for intermodal excellence.
The awards are given for best practice in the categories “service”, “product” and “shipper’s logistic
chain”. The award is only given to members of the association.
Further information:
                                                                                               Page 64
7 Policy Recommendations

7.1.4     Benchmarking system and certification for Freight Integrators
Future Freight Integrators should have the possibility of benchmarking their performance as Freight
Integrators in a regulated way to get information about strengths and weaknesses and in which
directions developments are needed. For this purpose, a benchmarking system, tailored specially for
the needs of Freight Integrators, has to be developed.
In addition, companies with high performance as Freight Integrators should have the opportunity of
getting a certificate proving the quality of their service. This certificate should be related to the
benchmarking system, as for a certification, the same detailed analysis of the companies’ processes is
The ISO system is widely known as a system guaranteeing the service quality of their owner and for
which every year a great number of companies also from the transport sector are assessed. For this
reason, it should be seen if the ISO system can be the basis or related with such a benchmarking

        ISO 9000 and 14000
        ISO 9000 and 14000 contain standards and guidelines relating to management systems
        and related supporting standards on terminology and specific tools. ISO 9000 is primarily
        concerned with quality management, meaning what the organisation does to ensure that
        its products conform to the customer’s requirements. Whereas ISO 14000 is concerned
        with environmental management, ie: what the organisation does to minimise harmful
        effects on the environment caused by its activities.
        Both ISO 9000 and 14000 concern the way an organisation does its work, and not
        directly the results of its work. Meaning that both concern processes, and not products.
        However, neither ISO 9000 nor ISO 14000 are product standards. The management
        system standards described in ISO 9000 and 14000 state requirements for what
        companies have to do to manage processes influencing quality (ISO 9000) or the
        processes influencing the impact of the organisation’s activities on the environment (ISO
        ISO 9000 is clearly focused on process quality. This means especially that processes and
        procedures are described and responsibilities are defined so that everybody within a
        company acts according to the defined processes and that processes are constantly
        ISO 14000 supports the implementation of an environmental management system,
        making a structured approach in setting environmental objectives and targets in achieving
        these and in demonstrating that they have been achieved.
        ISO 9000 as well as ISO 14000 is a generic management system standard. According
        to the International Organisation for Standardisation this means that the same standards
        can be applied to any organisation, large or small, whatever the product – including
        whether its "product" is actually a service – in any sector of activity, and whether it is a
        business enterprise, a public administration, or a government department.

Transportation and logistics services are covered by ISO 9000 standards, as are all other services.
The aim of ISO is that processes within the company are defined by the company itself and then
performed in this defined way to ensure a uniform product quality. But ISO 9000 does not require
particular procedures nor sets any particular measures for quality. Therefore, it might be seen as a
quality sign if a company is certified according to ISO 9000 but it is not absolutely necessary for a
Freight Integrator.
The ISO 14000 standards as well do not specify any levels of environmental performance. This aim is
simply to set a framework for an overall, strategic approach to the organisation’s environmental policy,

   International Standard Organisation (2002)
                                                                                                 Page 65
7 Policy Recommendations

plans and actions. Therefore, there are no specific requirements how to act – only that it must be
environmental friendly in one way or the other.
Freight Integrators select and combine without prejudice the most sustainable and efficient mode(s) of
transportation. With this, they choose amongst different modes, and in looking for a sustainable
solution, the environmental aspect is addressed. ISO 14000 shows no clear way as to how to come to
environmental friendly solutions since companies define their ecological aims themselves. Using
intermodal transport may be one solution. Simply using trucks with low emission value might be
another way – but that is not going to conform with the idea of Freight Integration. This leads to the
conclusion that there is no reason to assume that the ISO norms cannot be implemented for
intermodal transport and/or freight integration, but they do not indicate whether a transport service
provider for full loads is a Freight Integrator or not.
For these reasons, ISO certification should be considered as a suitable indicator for high service
quality and/or ecological conscience for freight integrating companies. But as no defined measures or
requirements how to act are set, it cannot be used as a benchmarking system.
The European Commission is currently promoting EMAS, the EU Eco-Management and Audit
Scheme, as a “management tool for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report and
improve their environmental performance.”

        EMAS is a management tool open to all sectors, including public and private services. To
        receive EMAS registration, companies conduct an environmental review, establish an
        environmental management system aimed at achieving the organisation’s environmental
        policy defined by the top management, carry out an environmental audit and provide a
        statement of its environmental performance. The environmental review, EMS, audit
        procedure and the environmental statement must be approved by an accredited EMAS
        verifier. Approved companies can use the EMAS logo.

EMAS is not applicable as a benchmarking system for Freight Integrators for the same reasons as ISO
14000: Ecological strategies and aims are set by the company themselves and their completion is
therefore not comparable between companies or with regards to fulfilling the definition of a Freight
Integrator, especially regarding the necessity to use intermodal transport.
To identify highly developed Freight Integrators within the study, a system of 10 indicators has been
developed. These indicators can serve as a basis to develop a benchmarking system for Freight
Integrators: The indicators are already identified and the system for measuring and weighting the
indicators has been evolved. To establish a benchmarking system on this basis, it is necessary
              o   to detail the qualitative indicators where necessary,
              o   to clarify the specific definition of the quantitative indicators where necessary,
              o   to develop a computer data base,
              o   to define the necessary performance which has to be achieved to be approved as a
                  Freight Integrator,
              o   to develop logos and certificates,
              o   to develop processes for the accreditation,
              o   to set up an independent accreditation institution.
To minimise the effort needed to establish an accreditation institution, an international institution
already active in the field of multimodal transports should take over the responsibility and work for the
accreditation. The European Commission should take over the patronage and support in publishing
the idea. A suitable institution for the accreditation could be for example the European Intermodal
Association, an organisation which is already established and which has a great deal of interest in
promoting intermodal transports, or the European Logistics Association with its international structure.

                                                                                                   Page 66
7 Policy Recommendations

The detailed measuring system and computer database can easily be set up within a project with the
help of, for example, ZLU.
Not combining this system with any ISO or EMAS certification has the advantage that the accreditation
as Freight Integrator is based on the developed indicators and can be done with a little effort, whereas
the accreditation for ISO or EMAS takes many months and is very cost-intensive (which might be a
reason, especially for smaller companies, for not to certify as a Freight Integrator if they do not need
ISO or EMAS in general).

7.2     Medium term approach

7.2.1    Harmonisation of vocational systems
On a medium time scale efforts have to be made to try to address the lack of qualifications in this
industry. Vocational training has to be the main focus for any measures, as this type of education is
very commonly chosen by freight forwarders. Other aspects will be mentioned later.
Vocational training:
Vocational training builds the base on which further experience and daily handling procedures are built
on. It has to be set up involving intermodality as completely as possible and has to represent a broad
base on which development in every direction can be possible; habits and common handling
procedures will take over soon enough.
Currently we have no single such Europe-wide vocational training system, even when we consider the
issue in the broadest sense. There are many different systems applying in different countries and
several examples of countries who have no system specialising in transport .
As Freight Integration is a subject with a special international focus, an EU-wide vocational training
programme should be produced, accepted and offered in all countries of the European Union.
The vocational training should be offered in a dual system as it is already offered in several countries
for other professions. This dual system should combine education in school with parallel on the job
training (or in alternating blocks), enabling the student to immediately use the knowledge acquired in
school and to be able to compare daily work with the theory.
The content of this education should include detailed knowledge in the field of transportation combined
with more general management and business knowledge such as management methods, finance and
controlling, in addition to the standard school education adapted to the required education level in
such as mathematics or languages.
Elements of this vocational training should be among others
- for transportation and intermodality in detail:
o         Detailed knowledge on the different modes
o         Detailed knowledge on combining modes
o         Logistics market overview
o         Liability in (intermodal) transportation
o         International trade
- for management and business in general:
o         management methods
o         accountancy and controlling
o         legal basis for service providers
o         sales methods

   e.g. Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands. The organisational structures vary
between parallel and sequential training on the job and education in school. For an overview on these
vocational systems in Europe see Key Data (2000)
   For advantages and disadvantages of dual systems see BIBB (2001)
                                                                                              Page 67
7 Policy Recommendations

- standard school education:
o         technical English and other languages
o         mathematics
- during the training on the job:
o         detailed practical working experience concerning at least two modes and the combination of
The education in intermodal aspects has to be the main focus, first of all in the vocational schools,
teaching more than the fundamental background knowledge about the modes. All modes, no matter
how important they may be in the daily work process of the students, must be discussed with the same
profoundness as if they were highly essential for the professional development of the students.
As often transportation companies are focused on one single mode and currently companies really
doing active freight integration are not very common, pupils in training in a company operating in only
one mode should be obliged do training of several weeks or months in another company as well.
By learning and gaining experience in several companies and on several modes, a better
understanding of the problems of the respective modes and an appreciation of their possibilities could
be acheived, allowing an improved co-operation between the modes. From the companies’ point of
view this might not be desirable, teaching young people something and having to risk that other
companies might by this get an insight view on the handling procedures inside the company. Yet,
nevertheless this could trigger an exchange process of ideas and views on certain topics that might be
invaluable for the future.
The introduction of such a vocational training in the European countries could be supported as a
project within the Leonardo da Vinci programme, a programme of the European Community in the
area of vocational training which subsidies various projects with the aim of contributing to the
modernisation and restructuring of training provision.
During the project, it would be necessary to set up a project group tasked
o         to set up a curriculum for the vocational training programme
o         to elaborate training material and guidelines for the training on the job
o         to research the implementation in national education systems
o         to implement the curriculum in pilot schools
o         to bring forward the legal acceptance and recognition of the qualification at European level
o         to promote the new education.
As in the Leonardo da Vinci projects, where a project team applies for support, it would be necessary
to set up a group interested in establishing this education. Due to the newness of the freight
integration idea, stakeholders are still missing which could be a problem. Associations of freight
forwarders and logistics companies , major railway, inland waterway and short sea shipping
companies as well as national chambers of industry and commerce could be interested in this subject.
These groups with different economic interests should be brought together by the European
To ease the implementation in the national school systems, one approach could also be the design of
additional elements to existing education. Young people could do a vocational training already
containing most of the elements of the above drafted education plan and could do additional courses
or for example training periods in companies with focus on a second mode. This could also be a
chance for young professionals having already completed their education and wishing to qualify
further in the field of freight integration.

   Compare to Pietrzyk (2002)
   The FIATA Association is active in the field of vocational training with an “Advisory Body Vocational
Training (ABVT)”. For details see FIATA (2002)
                                                                                               Page 68
7 Policy Recommendations

Post-school education
All this might be helpful when leading young people to a more intermodal minded transportation policy,
but what about those already in the job for a long time now, having forgotten about these possibilities
or even never known them?
Part of this should be solved by the integration of young forwarders having by then experienced the
more intermodal orientated education and by this most certainly inspiring those who have been longer
in the business. Other parts will be addressed by the newly established promotion centres and public
demand for intermodal services. As soon as success stories about intermodal transportation become
public it will move a lot of people into actually thinking about possibilities for their daily work in this
A special training is not considered as necessary as experience can be won – when needed – in the
daily work and combined with information provided.
Higher education
In higher education (universities and their equivalents) a change of minds has to be achieved. So far
intermodal education combined with necessary experience is missing. In an overview on 16 European
Master programmes in logistics , intermodality as a relevant subject is not mentioned, only at one
university “transport modal choice” is in the enumeration of key subjects. Whereas for example supply
chain management as another integrational approach is taught at every university.
The universities have to fulfil the needs of the market, providing highly skilled people for every mode
with a basic practical knowledge. Therefore the further concentration on intermodal skills, topics and
logistics solutions has to be pursued with more insistence. The promotion centres previously described
could promote this subject at universities and provide information at the same time.
In addition to a slightly changed focus in the content of education an improved interlocking of
vocational and university education on the one side and an intensified co-operation and knowledge
transfer between universities and companies on the other side would be hoped for. Through this a
better coordination of the specific needs could be achieved and in the near future the transportation
companies could be dealing with personel in the bottom and medium to high management levels who
are interested and knowledgeable in the field of intermodal transportation.
International train driving licences
Considering education in a broader sense and looking at qualification from a more operational point of
view, the topic of driving licences gains importance. Although showing no problem in other modes, in
the rail sector it is seen as one of the current major problems. Therefore it has to be a major task to
ensure from the highest level in the European Union, either the acknowledgement of train driving
license issue among the member countries or the development of a European wide accepted train
driving licence. By this, more cross-border services could be offered and existing ones accelerated.
Waiting times on the borders could be reduced and with that an overall faster service on the rail, which
would increase the competitiveness with other modes, in particular with road.
In our opinion, not only would improvements in the speed of transport be a result, but also, which
might be even more important, in the number of services. Other railways could easily, if they were able
to get paths on the network, offer services in other countries in addition to, or building upon, existing
traffic. This will most probably not happen as a widespread occurrence across all territory but could be
a factor in the border regions of some countries, raising the number of services and giving customers
a choice of rail service provider.

      ELA (2002)
      mentioned as substantial problem by several companies; see chapter 6.3.6
                                                                                                 Page 69
7 Policy Recommendations

7.2.2   Liability and documentation
Concerning the problems of liability as described in chapter 6.3.9, the following recommendations are
given to the European Commission:
    1) The EU should provide full resources to obtain greater harmonisation of conditions of carrier’s
       liability and secure the reduction in friction costs which should further develop intermodal
       transport and reduce Freight Integrators liability problems.
    2) Since international multimodal transportation, by definition, in most cases goes beyond the
       borders of the EU, it is –at least on the long run- advisable to try to influence world-wide
       attempts to harmonisation. The importance and weight of the EU Member States will
       enormously improve the chance to obtain a valid Convention if the EU Members (by
       intermediation of the Commission) speak with one voice.
    3) Whereas for a transitional period the FIATA FBL might serve as second-best basis, a legally
       binding Convention should be aimed at. For the following reasons:
        o     National laws in many countries (e.g. Germany and Holland) do not entirely accept the
              liability rules of the FIATA-FBL.
        o     The attempts further to deviate from the common liability principles as laid down in the
              FIATA-FBL / UNCTAD/ICC-Model Rules are widespread. Not only national legislators
              but as well international Conventions and Draft Conventions (as in particular the
              CMI/UNCITRAL draft convention for maritime transport) try to include multimodal
              transport in their specific rules; thereby uniformity will be destroyed and further
              development blocked.
    4) There is presently only one international body, the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe)
       dealing with a New Convention on Multimodal Transport, which is intended to govern all kind
       of multimodal contracts, irrespective of the means of transport involved. These attempts,
       however, meet objection by the interested carriers of any specific mode of transport –in
       particular sea carriers- who enjoy benefits from their respective liability rules which they want
       to retain even in multimodal transactions. In our opinion the ECE-work is the most appropriate
       attempt to reach uniformity, which, from the viewpoint of shippers, forwarders and insurers is
       an essential requirement.
    5) The EU, some years ago, charged a small study group to review problems associated with
       these problems. Unfortunately and not understandably the project was curtailed after some
       meetings, however, a preliminary report was published by the DG VIII in June 1999 under the
       title heading “Intermodal Transportation and Carrier Liability”.
       Various problems were discussed therein and it appeared that the study group favoured the
       view that it was desirable to reach a practical and general solution at the expense of
       overcoming the specific interests of unimodal carriers.
        o     An international Convention should create a liability and documentary system for
              multimodal transport, which has to be introduced and acknowledged by the Member
              States. However, not as binding law automatically applicable, but as an alternative to
              whatever they may foresee in their national law.
        o     This system always –but only- is applicable if agreed upon by the parties to a
              multimodal contract.
        o     The liability regime of these Rules can and should be based on a uniform liability system
              as this will negate the major problem of network principle of liability within multimodal
              transport. The possibility to fall back on the unimodal specific legislation – national or
              international – makes things so complicated and unforeseeable. It is advocated at
              present for the main (but highly doubtful) reason, that some international conventions so
              require. If one applies the uniform system only in case of “opting in” voluntarily, such
              precautions are no longer necessary. The market then will decide what the economy

                                                                                              Page 70
7 Policy Recommendations

      6) In the event of the EU wishing to review and reassess the problems, we propose to re-
         establish the panel of experts mentioned above in order to continue the work. They should
         consult the industry – which was formerly intended but not carried out. The result can either
         lead to an EU-ruling or (if possible, in our mind better) to a motion in the context of the ECE (in
         order to obtain acceptance beyond the borders of the EU).

        Some results of the recent Study (UNCTAD/SDTE/TLB/2003/1) on the feasibility of an
        international legal instrument for Multimodal Transport:
        The great majority of all respondents (83%) do not consider the existing legal framework
        for multimodal transportation to be satisfactory.
        Most respondents (76%) also not consider the existing legal framework to be cost-
        The great majority of respondents representing both Governments and non-governmental
        stakeholders (92% of all respondents) considered an international instrument governing
        liability arising from multimodal transportation desirable.
        Virtually all respondents (98%) indicated that they would support any concerted efforts
        towards the development of a new international instrument.

7.3     Long term approach

7.3.1      Infrastructure
Having shown possible short to mid term solutions for the main barriers so far, a topic that has not
been discussed are the infrastructure deficiencies. Due to the cost and time intensive nature of
infrastructure improvements such matters have to be considered in a longer time frame than the
In the field of rail infrastructure improvements are particularly needed. As intermodal transportation
today is still linked to an astonishing degree to rail transportation, this issue should not be left out of
consideration and applies to the track policies of railway networks all over Europe. The installation of
more freight lines or the upgrading of those existing tracks frequently used for freight services which
do not offer sufficient capacity to extend the services will have to have the utmost importance. This
also applies to the closure of tracks especially for the “last mile” links to the customers premises.
Closure, for economic reasons, does not send the right signals regarding commitment to intermodal
transportation. Rather a further improvement and installation of cargo only rail tracks would improve
the performance and the transit times offered by rail services.
An important topic when dealing with infrastructure is terminals. Tri-modal terminals are particularly
absent which makes certain mode combinations difficult. The development of the so called GVZ in
Germany over the last few years is pointing in the right direction, yet there have also been a lot of
mistakes made. In the future the building of such terminals, most, if possibly, tri-modal, should be
encouraged by public authorities but the requirements should be determined by the market, and built
where they are needed.
Infrastructure projects favouring intermodal transports should be supported in the future as it is today
by local and national authorities. The European Commission should make use of its influence on this
especially as networked routes all over Europe are developed.

    “Intermodal does not need more terminals unless there is a need coming from the market to build it.
Ambrogio does not favour political decisions being taken just to attract cargo in a certain region just
because there are citizens, while the local authorities are angry afterwards that the superstructure is
not being used by shippers. Superstructures should evolve and pay itself backbecause there is a
concrete need.” (Interview with Ambrogio)
    Special projects can not be in the focus of these recommendation as infrastructural bottlenecks
were not in the centre of the interviews and the basis of interviewed companies is too small to provide
information on the needs all over Europe. The major problems are already addressed in the White
Paper for European transport policy for 2010 in the chapters on multimodal corridors and major
infrastructure projects.
                                                                                                  Page 71
7 Policy Recommendations

7.3.2    Toll systems
To provide an offer addressing the lack of incentives to use intermodal transport mentioned by freight
forwarders, a combination of several approaches should be made.
First of all, the conditions to use road infrastructure should be harmonised, in the sense that in all
European countries toll systems for trucks should be implemented. These systems do not have to
equal in the sense that road prices should be the same everywhere, but they should better be oriented
to the demand for road capacity, the quality of road offered and the offers available concerning
alternative modes which could be used the relevant routes.
Tolls do not have to be very high as it is not the idea to make roads more expensive, but freight
forwarders should be aware that road infrastructure is not for free. With this step, an equal treatment
between the modes road and rail could be achieved for the first time since rail infrastructure, in most
European countries, is not free. Earnings from tolls should be used to support traffic infrastructure
for all modes as well as to support special modes where needed and support for intermodality.
Rather than making road usage in the future more expensive, an incentive should be offered making
other possibilities more interesting. In this sense, the use of intermodal solutions or rail, inland
waterway and short sea shipping as alternative, eco-friendly modes should be rewarded. For this
reason, users of these modes or intermodal solutions should get permits for free road usage. These
permits should be valid to drive a certain distance on road for free, e.g. a certain percentage of the
distance covered by the alternative modes. These permits to use the road for free should be made
negotiable, allowing the companies that use intermodal traffic to either benefit directly or indirectly via
the selling of these permits. This would allow a promotion of the environmental friendly modes without
subsidising them or punishing the road traffic too harshly. It would even allow the emergence of a
market making it even more interesting. In our opinion this is a better way of gaining acceptance by
freight forwarders.
Another possibility, in the same context but not going as far as that just mentioned, would be
exemption from road tolls when operating in the direct conjunction with an intermodal transport
movement. In other words this means that the basic feeder service for intermodal transports
performed by truck in the pre- and on-haulage should be exempted from road tolls. To avoid misuse it
should be limited to a certain percentage of the whole transportation distance for that transit or for
example to a maximum of 150 km for each the pre- and on haulage. This again would create
incentives worth considering, especially in connection with a European-wide toll-system.
In dealing with incentive based ways of supporting intermodal solutions, one has to consider also
approaches based on restrictions. Two approaches shall be discussed:
Reducing the weight allowed on the streets could be the right approach to reduce the renewal costs of
infrastructure due to lower wear rates. But this might be hard to present, especially to freight
forwarders and the industry. As it does not affect the directly cost side of transport it could just as well
lead to an increasing use of trucks, especially when shipments intended to go on one truck are loaded
on two trucks because of the weight limit. Besides that it does not say anything about how “clean” the
trucks have to be.
An eco-point system, orienting itself on the emissions a truck is producing such as used in Austria
might be a possibility to support sustainable development of the transportation industry along with an
environmental friendly orientation. Affecting the price issue of transport it sends the right signals; lower
emissions result in a lower price. This builds a bridge to the internalisation of external effects produced
by the transportation and goes along with an improved perceived fairness resulting in a better
understanding and reception of the costs. Toll systems being based on the emission factors of the
trucks are a first step in this direction.

    Possibilities to compensate partially for the additional financial burden are at the moment discussed
in connection with the German toll system.
    A harmonization of rail track prices and especially the decoupling of infrastructure and service to
diminish mostly existing price advantages of national railway companies is today already widely
discussed and should be supported at the same time. The aims of and easier access and growing
competition through private railways could also be realised with this measures.
    BMVIT (2002)
                                                                                                  Page 72
7 Policy Recommendations

Indeed, both measures do not necessarily lead to a relocation of the traffic from road to other modes
or the further use of intermodal transport possibilities. Although similar systems are showing some
success in countries like Austria, in our opinion this is mainly because of the isolated application and
the position of Austria as a main transit corridor. It would not be worth buying cleaner or newer trucks
just to go through Austria, but as it has to be transited, taking rail becomes an interesting alternative. If
applied throughout Europe, such a system would, make it more interesting to build and buy cleaner
trucks rather than use other modes as an alternative. The same applies partially to the weight limit
where in general smaller trucks would be used instead of transiting the country with the weight
limitation by, for example, rolling road.

7.3.3    Loading Equipment
Another relevant topic that has to be addressed in the future from an official side is that of the
equipment. Measures in this area can support the success of a Freight Integrator and improve the
environment in which he is providing his services.
The main focus for intermodal transport equipment is the ISO-container. Standardised by the
International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) it does not however fully comply with the European
intermodal transport. Therefore a further standardisation of these loading units could be desirable,
adjusting and improving them to match real intermodal loading devices and being able to hold the
common Euro-palettes. Only by means of this can a wide acceptance be guaranteed and intermodal
transport solutions simplified.
The simplification of the processes is based upon the fact that as soon as standardised loading units
are used, the transhipment processes between the single modes can be performed all with the same
processing equipment. Furthermore the nature of the shipments is no longer relevant as they do not
have to be touched when being loaded in equipment that is standardised and suitable for all modes.
This in turn reduces the risk of damage and other complications when dealing with broken transport
chains, eliminating the worries many have when considering intermodal transports.
In general they should be based on the very common ISO-containers, providing the best solution
available today. Their various forms and functions stretch from simple boxes, to refrigerated units, and
to open tops making them suitable for almost every shipment. Were these containers to be slightly
adjusted in their measurements, making them able to hold the Euro-palettes on which most of the
shipments within Europe today are packed, their usage would increase. With the provision of stilts, as
is common on swap bodies today, they could be equipped with even more flexibility and independence
from cranes and the like, yet not losing their stackability.
Due to the medium life range of containers today this could be achieved in 4 to 5 years as soon as a
standardisation is decided and accepted by the industry.
Apart from the standardisation issue, the availability of containers is also seen in part as a current
problem. Today the ISO-containers are mainly owned by the big ocean shipping lines, making it harder
to actually get those containers in areas being located further away from the harbours and possibly
also for transport not involving overseas carriers.
A theoretical solution for this problem might be the initiation of a container pool, comparable to the
Euro-palette pool existing today. Either held by a supranational organisation or in a more locally
orientated organisation scheme, both to be initiated by the European Commission. The questions to
be addressed in establishing the pool would be the organisational structure, financial support and
responsibilities, cost models, access rights to the pool, and questions of liability.

  E.g. Stante S.R.L uses for freight from Italy to Scandinavia the rail on the relation between Novara
and Oostende (further on by ferry), as the price for road and rail on this relation is the same, but in
Austria and France trucks are allowed to load only 24 tonnes and in Italy and Scandinavia 30 tonnes.
Whereas rail may carry with 28 tonnes 16% more than road. (Interview with Stante S.R.L)
                                                                                                   Page 73
7 Policy Recommendations

         The European palette-pool
         The European palette-pool is a European association for simplifying national and
         international transport on the basis of exchange of flat and box palettes. The exchange is
         related to three sorts of freight: palettes as general cargo, as wagonloads and as loads in
         the container traffic. Transports may be effected per rail, truck or ship. The palletes are
         marked by a special sign.
         The railway administration of the following countries have been participating in the palette
         pool, since 1997: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France,
         Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden,
         Switzerland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia. All these countries exchange flat palettes in
         transport as wagonloads and with containers. The exchange of flat palettes as general
         cargo is restricted to particular countries. The exchange of box palettes is only effected by
         some railway companies.

With container pools in the vicinity of the main industrial centres of Europe a better provision of
standardised loading units could be guaranteed and at the same time cost-intensive relocation of
containers could be limited to a more bearable amount. Through this access to the, by then preferably
standardised containers, would be eased and could accelerate the use of intermodal loading units.

108 enzyclopedia/de/paletten_pool.htm
                                                                                                   Page 74
8 Bibliography

8 Bibliography
Baumgarten (1999): Baumgarten, Helmut, Wolff, Stefan: The next Wave of Logistics: Global Supply
    Chain e-fficiency, Berlin/Boston 1999
Baumgarten (2001): Baumgarten, H., Walter, S.: Trends und Strategien in der Logistik 2000+, 2nd
    edition, Berlin 2001
BIBB (2001): Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB): Vor- und Nachteile dualer Ausbildungsgänge –
     ein    internationaler    Vergleich,    2001,
BMVIT (2002): Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie, Austria: Das
    _relid /580/_id/2443
European Commission (1999): European Commission: Transport and Logistics in Europe, 1999
ELA (2002): European Logistics Association: Master Programmes in Logistics in Europe, September
Eurostat (2002): eurostat, Working Papers and Studies, Theme 7 Transport: EU Intermodal Freight
     Transport, Key Statistical Data 1992 – 1999, Edition 2002
FIATA (2002): FIATA: Annual Report 2001/2002, September 2002
IM Technologies (2001): IM Technologies Limited, Studiengesellschaft für den kombinierten Verkehr
     e.V.: The economic impact of carrier liability on intermodal freight transport, final report,
     submitted to the European Commission in January 2001, London 2001
International Standard Organisation (2002): International Standard Organisation: Environmental
      Management       -   The    ISO     14000    Family    of   International Standards, 2002,
Key Data (2000): Key Data on Vocational Training in the European Union – Young Peopüles Training,
     Chapter B, Vocational education and training systems, 2002,
Klinkel (1998): Klinkel, Steffen and Wengel, Jürgen: Produktion zwischen Globalisierung und
      regionaler Vernetzung, Fraunhofer Institut Systemtechnik und Innovationsforschung, 1998
Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (2002): Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, Bundesamt für Güterkraftverkehr: Statistische
       Mitteilungen, Reihe 8: Kraftverkehr, Güterkraftverkehr deutscher Lastkraftfahrzeuge, Dezember
Lorenz (1997): Lorenz, Wilhelm; Korf, Willy: Leitfaden für den Spediteur in Ausbildung und Beruf, 1997
PROTRANS(2002): PROTRANS – The role of Third Party Logistics Service Providers and their Impact
    on Transportation, Project funded by the European Commission under the Competitive and
    Sustainable Growth Programme of the 5th Framework Programme, 2002
Pietrzyk (2002): Pietrzyk, Thomas: Stand und Entwicklung der Ausbildung zum Speditionskaufmann,
Ramberg (1998). Jan Ramberg: Unification of the Law of International Freight Forwarding, 1998,
Rodenburg (2001): Rodenburg, Caroline, Ubbels, Barry, Nijkamp, Peter: A Scenario Approach for
     Sustainable European Transport - How to influence developments in transport?, NECTAR
     Innovations, Competitiveness and Sustainability in the Information Age, 16-18 May 2001,
     Espoo, Finland
SULOGTRA (2002): Effects on Transport of Trends in Logistics and Supply Chains Management
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (1999): United Nations Economic Commission for
      Europe - Inland Transport Committee: Possibilities for Reconciliation and Harmonization of Civil
      Liability Regimes Governing Combined Transport Seite 5, Punkt 11

                                                                                            Page 75
9 Annex: Questionnaire

9 Annex: Questionnaire

                         Page 76
9 Annex: Questionnaire

                         Page 77
9 Annex: Questionnaire

                         Page 78
9 Annex: Questionnaire

                         Page 79
9 Annex: Questionnaire

                         Page 80
9 Annex: Questionnaire

                         Page 81

To top