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Multimodal Swedish-German Services Instigating An Innovative Conveyor Belt Rail Production Scheme And EDI System

European Union
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The project belongs to the Umbrella Action 'LOGCHAIN' in the EUREKA network.


Preliminary customer surveys carried out by the project partners revealed that the Swedish international road transport volume is roughly split up into two halves. One half comprises transports from/to Central and North Sweden. Southbound, in Swedish exports, freight is carried by road, partly by intermodal rail services, overnight to South Swedish ports, for example Trelleborg. Here it is loaded on the morning ferry which is due to arrive at Luebeck in the afternoon enabling forwarders to benefit from intermodal services leaving late in the afternoon or in the evening. For imports, the process is similar. The other half of the transport volume is bound for South Sweden. Generally freight is conveyed by road vehicles on the Swedish side. In export, vehicles leave late in the evening taking the night ferry arriving early in the morning at the port of Luebeck. Since at this time of the day intermodal train departures are not scheduled southwards from Luebeck, freight is carried on by road in order to avoid costly standstill times for both equipment and cargo.


Currently, therefore, intermodal services as a rule cannot meet the logistical requirements of this specific transport market.


The total Swedish road-based market can only be served, thus achieving a major shift of road traffic onto multimodal rail/short-sea/road through-services, if at least two intermodal train services per day from and to Luebeck are supplied. The Mannheim/Ludwigshafen area is likely to be the ideal inland location owing to huge local volume and the opportunity to connect the Luebeck service with international shuttle trains to Italy, Spain and possibly France.


This project's primary objective is to put such a service into operation. The partners envisage designing and implementing an innovative conveyor-belt rail production scheme. This means that intermodal shuttle trains will operate in a permanent round trip scheme five to six days a week between Luebeck and Mannheim/Ludwigshafen both ways, thus achieving two departures per day at each end of this link. The existing over-night freight trains are due to be supplemented by fast over-day train journeys. The intermodal services must be synchronised with the ferry services between Trelleborg and Luebeck and connecting intermodal services at Trelleborg with Swedish and Norwegian destinations.


Both a fast over-day freight train and an intermittent conveyor-belt rail production scheme are innovative features for European intermodal transport.


To summarise, this project aims to achieve the following multimodal chains of transport:


1. Central Sweden - Trelleborg (intermodal service, overnight) - Luebeck (ferry, morning-afternoon) - Mannheim/ Ludwigshafen (existent intermodal service, overnight);

2. South Sweden - Trelleborg (road, late evening) - Luebeck modal service, morning-afternoon = over-day). The competitiveness of this service compared to road will depend upon low production costs, consistently high performance and excellent customer information.


To meet these requirements this project will be pursuing the additional objectives as follows:

  • efficient capacity management and reservation system; 
  • transport monitoring towards a full tracking and tracing system; 
  • road-competitive through chain of information.


Consequently, current manual information interfaces between the partners involved in the physical chain of transport (intermodal operators, port and terminal operators, ferry lines) will be eliminated and EDI put into operation achieving a fully integrated chain of information on operational data and status information.


Provisional work programme:


1. Market analyses - transport and trade statistics Sweden/Finland/Norway/Germany and survey of customer requirements.


2. Conveyor belt production scheme and block train services:

- development of transport programme and timetables;

- analysis of alternative routes and rail paths;

- synchronisation with ferry services and rail transport in Sweden/Finland/Norway;

- round-trip planning for locomotives and wagons;

- cost and price calculations;

- determination of conveyor-belt and block train services (route, timetables).


3. Terminal operation:

- performance requirements;

- design and implementation of operational concept.


4. Train capacity management system:

- economic and operational requirements;

- analysis on customers' preferences;

- design and implementation of train capacity management system.


5. Quality assurance:

- control of new production scheme an


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
No fixed leading institution, but current chairmanship is held by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (until June 2003)


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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