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International Forwarding Association Blog » Intermodal transport in Europe » Intermodal logistics in Europe

Intermodal logistics in Europe

The intermodal logistics solutions are very easily achievable in the modern freight forwarding sphere, especially given the close cooperation between the freight forwarders Europe for ensuring shorter routes at more attractive prices for the customers. Intermodal logistics have a great benefit for our society as well – due to the shorter routes and the optimized transport with the help of two or more types of transport – significant fuel economy is achieved.


The connectivity of the transport networks is essential for intermodal logistics

Excellent connectivity and communications within the transport network is essential for providing efficient intermodal transport, which combines road, with rail, sea or air transport for a single shipment. The combined work by the forwarders throughout Europe when intermodal transport services are being provided is essential. Every member company of IFA knows its local transport networks well and can be of help for the organizing of optimized routes and combined freight forwarding services.

Knowing the specifics and the structure of the local road networks is also important for providing safe and environmentally friendly logistics services.


The intermodal forwarding services in Europe have a bright future

The trade and travel among the different European countries are increasing in intensity. Along with them – there is a growing need for efficient, secure, fast and cheap logistics. The European logistics network is working on different variants for intermodal transport, because the demand for this type of freight forwarding services will be growing in the future. For example, every day 200 intermodal trains leave the Port in Hamburg, Germany and travel to various European destinations. And this is just one of the many transport centers for intermodal transport spread across Europe.


There are not only container vessels and road transport in intermodal forwarding

Until recently, the common belief was that transport logistics consisted mainly of sea transport with container vessels combined with road transport of the international freight forwarders association. But recently the combination or road and railroad transport is becoming very common as well. It allows for intermodal forwarding to even more destinations throughout Europe. More European railway stations are turning into centers for intermodal forwarding transport transfer and switching between rail and road transport.


Railroad logistics is used for intermodal forwarding of shipments at longer distances, and then they are transferred to the final destinations via trucks

By combining rail and road transport, the advantages of both types of transport can be utilized to the maximum. The member companies of the freight forwarding association use trains for the transport of containers at longer distances. At some point, the containers are transferred to trucks in order to be forwarded to their end destination at smaller distances near the railway station.

The use of rail transport for the longer sections of a route allows for lowering the road traffic throughout Europe. Forwarding of shipments via one intermodal train equals the volumes which can be forwarded with 280 container trucks. This also helps reduce the harmful CO2 emissions as well as reduces the costs for fuel.


The infrastructural development plan of the European Union for up to 2020

The planned development of the transport network which includes all member countries of the EU includes nine main corridors, two of which will cover the North-South axis, three will cover the East-West axis, and the rest will be diagonal corridors. This will allow for the shipments forwarded by the European network for logistics to be performed without having to deal with traffic jams and will help optimize and modernize the entire European transport infrastructure.