(WP.24) Working Party on Intermodal Transport and Logistics (64th session)
Recent actions and projects in support of sustainable development of intermodal transport and logistics (agenda item 2)
This workshop was founded on the consideration that availability of good practice and knowledge in the implementation of specific actions and measures as well as understanding the positive impact they had on the sector can be a valuable input for governments and national experts in prioritizing their own work for further advances in the sector. The workshop also built further on the actions and measures included in the Handbook for national master plans for freight transport and logistics.
The workshop was organized to facilitate sharing of good practice for development of the sector. The workshop focused on measures and solutions, government should consider, to support/assist the sector to:
• increase efficiency or optimize processes,
• enhance environmental performance,
• create decent jobs,
• enhance staff competence, and
• improve resilience.
The programme can be found here
The workshop considered various measures and solutions to increase the freight transport and logistics sector’s efficiency, enhance its environmental performance, create decent jobs, improve professionalism and workers’ competences and increase resilience. The workshop agreed that:
- Intermodal transport with railway as its backbone is the solution to make freight transport become more climate neutral;
- Rail transport needs to change to become borderless, flexible, seamless, faster and easier;
- Solutions do exist to transform the sector through standardization, digitalization, automation, or increase in interoperability. The transformation also requires investment in adequate standardized infrastructure both on railway lines as well as terminals;
- Achieving the infrastructure parameters in terms of train length, weight and loading gauge across complete corridors or networks is a must to increase the efficiency of rail transport and make it more competitive vis-à-vis road transport. The implementation of agreements such as the European Agreement on Important International Combined Transport Lines and Related Installations (AGTC) appear still valid;
- Understanding the future demand for rail capacity, plan for it and establish a fund for adequate enhancement and for its necessary maintenance are essential;
- Decent employment and gender equality have not yet been achieved in the sector. More focus and attention should be given to assess these elements in the rail and intermodal sectors;
- Knowledge and training gaps exist in particular on intermodal transport. Future transport staff, if inadequately trained, would not be able to foster the development of intermodal transport. This needs to change, all levels of education need to be equipped with learning material and tools on intermodal transport;
- Intermodal and rail transport will fail to deliver on its role if they are not made resilient;
- Bypass lines should be determined for the main rail lines or corridors so that traffic would not be fully disrupted in case of emergencies or unpreventable incidents. Preparedness for effective contingency situation management should be improved;
- Investment decisions for achieving resilience should be based on systematic methodologies that help optimally improve resilience taking into consideration future uncertainties;
- Encouraging resilience investment also requires the elaboration of a business case for resilience – understating the costs of inaction leading to potential disruption or damage versus costs of resilience investment;
- Achieving more flexibility in intermodal transport based on rail is also a crucial response measure to support more elasticity in supply chains.