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Intermodal Transport Real-time Information Platform

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Increasing the market share of intermodal transport is a policy of the European Union because the use of transport modes such as rail and short-sea-shipping has the potential to improve quality of life and reduce pollution. Integration of the different transport modes (maritime, road and railway) is a major focal point, and information technology is one of the instruments to achieve this integration. However, information exchange in intermodal transport is characterised by a number of different approaches each with its own terminology and regulatory framework, and by a complex network of small and large organisations each with its own culture, procedures and degree of automation.


The general aim of INTRARTIP was to develop a common framework for intermodal information systems such that information can be exchanged easily, effectively and promptly. The specific objective was to design and test a real-time, multi-regional information network able to provide selected and standardised market information. This would be useful for organising the delivery of cargo and for making bookings, trade agreements and contracts, as well as providing travel information including infrastructure capabilities, routes, facilities, timetables, tariffs and reliability of delivery.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The INTRARTIP project has provided a conceptual definition of the full information network and, based on this definition, a working prototype in which a representative portion of the network services have been implemented to demonstrate the full network feasibility.

A survey of user requirements has resulted in a consistent and Europe-wide validated list of user requirements and associated constraints for the information platform. Services have been grouped into three categories:

  • information platform services, providing a one-stop-shop for information on transport services available;
  • real time services providing capabilities for booking and ordering transport services and getting immediate confirmation;
  • support services providing monitoring information on cargo delivery.

The project has developed a data model, integrating all information relevant to pre-contract intermodal or point-to-point transport, as the semantic framework of the INTRARTIP information system. The system architecture includes a service model, defining the services provided by the INTRARTIP platform, a platform architecture including one or more co-operating web servers, and a legacy systems interface for services, like booking or tracing, that cannot be provided without accessing legacy systems of transport service providers.

The INTRARTIP platform can be adopted in three exploitation scenarios as demonstrated in the project pilots:

  • a 'single transport operator system' scenario where there is only one transport operator which offers its services to its clients (Italian pilot involving the intermodal operator Italcontainer);
  • a 'forwarder system' scenario where the system is used internally by a forwarder to organise its own shipments (Belgian pilot involving the Ahlers Maritime Agency);
  • a 'community system' scenario where a group of actors (including transport operators, terminal operators, forwarders) around a transport platform or node uses the system (French and Spanish pilots involving the port communities of Valencia and Marseilles).

Policy implications

The evaluation of the INTRARTIP pilots has concluded that the system is functional in terms of adaptability of the business of the different companies, reliable in case of system malfunction or user error, and usable because of good ergonomics. However, improvements are needed in order to provide information that is more accurate and to reduce process and download times.

The INTRARTIP project has set the basis for the creation of a multi-regional real-time information network able to provide a set of open and globally accessible information services to support the multi-modal transport operators. The proposed network specifically provides information services to support the pre-contract stage of intermodal transport and can be regarded as a first approach to electronic commerce in transport.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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