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Barriers to and enablers for European rail freight transport for integrated door-to-door logistics service. Part 1: Barriers to multimodal rail freight transport

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dewan Islam


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The objective of this paper is to examine and identify barriers to and enablers for the European rail freight transport services as a transport chain partner along the supply chains in the changing market scenario. The changing market scenario includes, among others, requiring 'door-to-door' rather than 'terminal to terminal' and integrated service, competitive ability to attract non-rail cargo type, changes in the customer requirements (e.g. reliable service) and changes in the operational requirements and practices. Using a literature review method, the paper is presented in two parts. The part 1 focuses on the identification of barriers to the European rail freight service by reviewing freight logistics services for global supply chains followed by the current performance of European rail freight transport followed by a discussion on the rail freight market liberalisation in Europe. Then rail freight transport in the Unites States (U.S.) is discussed. The research notes that although the background, scope and necessity for reform measures in Europe differ from those of the U.S., some lessons can be learned and the main lesson is that an appropriate reform measure can enhance rail sector competitive ability in Europe. Examining and identifying the barriers in the part 1 (with the pan-Pacific examples of rail freight transports), the part 2 of the paper focuses on recommending clear actions and steps as enablers for the rail freight industry in general and operators in particular. The research in part 1 of the paper finds that: · In many European countries, the rail freight market is not fully liberalised. In such market segment, infrastructure managers do act independently for incumbents and new entrant operators that hamper the progress of building a competitive market. · The rail operators have not yet achieved the service quality (e.g. customer tailored service) needed for the modern supply chains. · They operate ‘terminal-to-terminal’ but modern supply chain needs door-to-door service; · They act primarily for the ‘terminal-to-terminal’ chain; but modern supply chain needs total transport chain; not a part of it.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Islam DMZ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transport Problems

Year: 2014

Volume: 9

Issue: 3

Pages: 43-56

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Date deposited: 17/10/2014

ISSN (print): 1896-0596

ISSN (electronic): 2300-861X

Publisher: Silesian University of Technology