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Promoting Integrated Transport in Peripheral Areas of the Union

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


Background & Policy context

Transport in peripheral regions of the EU may face particular problems such as a lack of infrastructure and limited levels of demand, which constrain the financial viability of certain services. An example can be found in parts of Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark), where short and long distance transport services are currently not satisfactorily integrated. Closer links are needed between hinterland transport modes and ferry connections in the Scandinavian countries and between Scandinavia and the Continent.


The objectives of SCANDINET were to:

  • estimate actual and potential demand for intermodal transport services in peripheral and isolated areas of the EU;
  • identify the possibilities for combining national, international and transit flows into selected corridors and terminals by using intermodal transport;
  • assess the possibilities for extending the viable usage range of intermodal transport to 700-800 km;
  • identify the gaps and bottlenecks in information flows and to define a concept for operational organisation of real-time information services.


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)


SCANDINET demonstrated the viability of creating intermodal transport services in peripheral areas and over short distances on a commercial basis. A study of freight flows revealed a number of factors that are important to the success of intermodal freight transport between the Nordic countries and the Continent:

  • reasonable intermodal track rates;
  • a fair railway slot practice;
  • consolidation of flows into fewer terminals and corridors like continental freight freeways;
  • correct and relevant information in different phases of the transport chain;
  • closer co-operation between intermodal operators.

By identifying and quantifying important service characteristics for both single-mode and intermodal freight transport, SCANDINET showed that a gap exists between the quality of service desired and the quality of services supplied. Ultimately, successful operators will be those who combine assurance in meeting service vector requirements with the lowest price.

Policy implications

SCANDINET has demonstrated that there is a need for policy-oriented actions in peripheral areas and over short and medium distances for the development of intermodal freight transport, in spite of small flows, large areas and sparse population in the Scandinavian countries. New fixed links will improve connections from Scandinavia to the European mainland. As all transport from the Nordic countries to continental Europe involves at least one sea leg, port terminals should be considered in all policy measures promoting intermodal transport, because problems arise from incompatibility between ferry and rail terminals. Currently, no port in the Baltic Sea operates a full-size intermodal terminal that is able to handle complete block trains.


Such policy actions will be integrated into the decision by the European Commission to develop short sea shipping inside the EU (Green Paper, December 1997) and, particularly, with the Nordic countries. From a legislative point of view, the imbalance between transport modes will have to be redressed, either by the re-imposition of certain restrictions on road-freight or via the accelerated liberalisation of the rail sector - probably the best solution will involve a combination of both policies.


SCANDINET recommended that the European Commission should speed up initiatives for improving the collection of statistics on international flows of Intermodal Transport Units, in order to support better targeting of policy action.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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