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Multi-modal Innovation for Sustainable Maritime & Hinterland Transport Structures

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Infrastructure Node
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport



Port Integration - Multi-modal innovation for sustainable maritime & hinterland transport structures is designed to identify, exchange & transfer best practices in the transport sector with the aim of an overall integration of related policies.

The background is the recent increase of European transport flows leading to imbalances in the usage of different transport modes. While landside especially the road network is heavily loaded, resulting in traffic congestion & negative economic as well as environmental effects, sea-based transport, especially intra-European short sea shipping, shows high capacity reserves. These imbalances may only be equalized within the framework of integrated concepts for the transport chain as a whole, combining its maritime angle with the hinterland one. By realizing a more balanced usage of transport modes, the demands of an environmentally sustainable & economically efficient transport sector will be met coincidentally.

As ports are the nuclei of maritime & hinterland transport flows, they are the logical actors for a comprehensive integration of transport chains. However, to fulfil this “integrating” function, an analogous political environment on all levels is needed. Existing policies are mainly designed for individual parts of the transport chain, but a really integrated approach is missing. Port Integration will contribute to the development of such a political environment following a 3-staged approach of firstly identifying, secondly exchanging and finally transferring best practices between partners on policy level, e.g. by supporting appropriate multi-modal EDI concepts.

This way strengthening of maritime transport shall be realized in compliance with the establishment of innovative hinterland concepts, thus combining both angles of transport chains within a concerted strategy. Due to the relevance of ports in this approach, partnership has been designed as a mixture of different level political actors & port authorities, all-encompassing direct linkages to the policy level.

With 13 partners from 10 EU countries and Russia, the partnership builds a sound basis to achieve the goals set. Regarding the overall objective, to integrate transport-related policies within a concerted strategy, a three-staged approach has been adopted. Firstly the partnership will identify best practices and summarize them. After prioritizing them according partner needs, they will be ranked as preparatory step for actual exchange activities comprising best practice tours and a capacity-building exchange programme, e.g. to overcome administrative bottlenecks.

Finally, transfer of best practices will begin with the formulation of two Action Plans with measures for actual transfer, brought together into an integrated multi-modal best practice guide. Communication and dissemination being an integral part of the project, it will be guaranteed that project progress and results will spread even beyond the entire partnership.


Parent Programmes
Other Programme
2007 - 2013 Interreg IVC


Maritime and hinterland transport flows meet in Sea Ports, thus port locations are “turntables” of trade and logical centers for multi-modal integration of transport chains. PORT INTEGRATION - Multi-modal innovation for sustainable maritime & hinterland transport structures is designed to identify, to exchange and to transfer "Good Practices" in the port and transport sectors with the aim of an overall integration of related policies. It focuses on transport chains as a whole by combining good practices dedicated to maritime transport (e. g. E-maritime) with those of state of the art hinterland transport (e. g. Dry Ports concepts).

The 13 project partners come from 10 major port locations in EU member states (Baltic-, North- and Mediterranean Sea) and from Russia (Kaliningrad), Hamburg "leading" it in the Hanseatic spirit of "equals among equals".

The project started early 2010 with setting up the internal project management structures and with an intensive thematic screening of the project concept to reflect latest developments in the sector. Since then PORT INTEGRATION has organized six thematic workshops in the fields of “Maritime Transport and Port Interfaces” (Working Group 1 / WG1) and “Hinterland Transport – Gateways, Dry Ports and Innovative Logistic Concepts” (WG 2) at various Baltic-, North- and Mediterranean Sea Port locations. To communicate project activities and outputs also on “Policy Level”, three policy conferences have been so far organized at Hamburg, Tallinn and Brussels/Antwerp, completed by a joint conference “Short Sea Shipping and Customs in Northern Europe”, organized together with an Interreg partner project at Hamburg in September 2011.

Achieving concrete results on E-maritime (single window) and Hinterland Transport issues, the project has produced further “outputs”, namely so far eight "Good Practices" cases and three thematic studies, all being published on the project web-page ( These studies, based on external expert know-how, elaborate in-depth the challenges and practical solutions in both transport sub-sectors. They will be used as an input for “Action Plans Best Practice Transfer” in both Working Groups, being launched in the final project phase which has recently be extended to March 2013. On policy level the project is preparing a comprehensive Policy Paper, to be published on web-page as well. The wide project approach is accompanied by a staff exchange programme among partners in order to gain know-how “on the spot” at other partner locations and to learn about “Good Practices”. Together with the considerable gain of know-how for their staff, partners build up through PORT INTEGRATION a sustainable, professional network which is directed towards a closer cooperation of Sea Ports (Authorities) in the European Union and Russia, project results being available for all partners directly involved and an interested transport community beyond.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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