Rail and inland waterways need to truly become part of the solution

Description:

Current go-to-market strategies of railway operators and IWT services are inadequate as they do not consider sufficiently the actual needs of freight users. Most relevant segments of freight users (e.g. retail, FMCGs) do not have a proper intermodal market offering.

It is of critical importance that logistics nodes and intermodal transport services across corridors are fully integrated and interoperable developing a European intermodal network with sufficient intermodal services with easy access[1].

Logistics nodes such as train terminals, logistics platforms and ports need to be supported to act as the first renewable energy hubs exploiting synergies and effectiveness of infrastructure investments. European standards for charging and slot booking should be encouraged to reduce potential logistics losses (e.g. lack of interoperability, waiting times for charging).

Recommendations:

Designing and realising a carbon free multimodal cross-border network linking main logistics and manufacturing nodes should be a priority. It could extend the current TEN-T infrastructure supported by standardized charging, increased visibility, advanced and flexible booking systems of standard logistics units transport in regular train/IWT services.

[1]     Nov. 2021. ETP-ALICE feedback on the draft Masterplan Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking. (Link)