The UIC ERIM study has estimated that average annual growth for rail freight will be around 3%- 3.5% up to 2020 on the major European rail freight corridors. Another UIC study, DIOMIS has established that Combined Transport has been and will continue to be the most dynamic segment within the rail freight traffic:
In 2005, the total combined transport traffic by rail accounted for 125 million tons, corresponding to 12.7 million TEU. About 56% of this volume was transported in maritime containers from sea ports to the hinterland and 44% in continental movements (domestic or international) between inland combined transport terminals. The annual growth is estimated to be 8% for container hinterland traffic and 6% for domestic continental and almost 9% for international continental traffic.
Whereas Diomis has established the best practises for more efficient use of existing infrastructure along the corridors and in CT terminals, ERIM study has estimated the future capacity needs along the corridors to carry the forecast traffic.
Whilst the above-mentioned studies are complementary, TEMA was commissioned to complete them with analysis on the infrastructure capacity on nodes and on the so-called last mile, the link connecting the CT terminals to the main line.
The project aimed at analysing and defining an optimised management model for railways / intermodal freight terminals with special reference to linkages to major harbours.
For the analysis TEMA selected the following sample of nodes with regards to the existing or potential demand for international combined transport and in connection to the main freight corridors and / or to the central European transport area:
• 53 maritime port CT terminals
• 10 inland waterway port CT terminals
• 57 inland CT terminals and
• 34 border stations
As a second step TEMA has proposed a method to assess the infrastructure capacity in CT terminals and border stations and has established a broad overview of the current and future capacity utilisation in these nodes.
As a third step TEMA has developed a set of recommendations for the planning and management of the last mile operations by taking into account the detailed examination of 16 terminals across Europe chosen as case studies.
TEMA has identified about 150 main nodes (CT-terminals, sea- and inland port terminals and border stations) within the central European railway area and along the main international freight corridors.
TEMA has analysed the capacity and technical capabilities in the above mentioned nodes and the infrastructure connections, so-called last mile, between them and the main lines.
TEMA project has analysed some case studies on main line and the terminal slot planning and has illustrated different management models and pricing structures.