Toxic cocktail for intermodal transport

Toxic cocktail for intermodal transport
© Hupac

With more than 200 participants from over 15 European countries and a number of prominent speakers from the shipping industry, logistics service providers, intermodal operators, terminal operators, rail operators, politicians and institutions, Hupac held its annual Intermodal Forum in Lugano on Friday.

Its purpose was to highlight what multimodal transport needs in today's unstable world. Special attention has been given to infrastructure, transport services and international integration with regard to European climate change objectives.

Michail Stahlhut, CEO of the Hupac Group, said that intermodal transport is currently facing stagnation and an unprecedented number of negative external factors. He pointed out five of them:

  • energy-intensive sectors such as steel, chemicals and paper are under pressure from high energy costs in Europe
  • a second factor is the high energy and rail costs resulting from the war in Ukraine
  • the third and relevant point is the critical situation on the rail network with bottlenecks and construction works especially in Germany
  • the fourth factor is the consequently declining quality of rail services, which has a huge international impact
  • strong competitive pressure from road transport

He said: "All these factors combine to create a toxic cocktail that requires urgent action from all of us."

In order to stop the reverse modal shift, he suggests that intermodal transport needs a stable and reliable rail network. Then to continue to work for stability on the north-south corridor as a prerequisite for modal shift. For example, it's necessary to support a redundant line through France to overcome the reliability bottleneck in the Rhine Valley.

And he concluded by saying that, step by step, all the players, together with customers, partners and the relevant political institutions, are going the intermodal way.

© Hupac
© Hupac
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