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Barriers to and enablers for European rail freight transport for integrated door-to-door logistics service. Part 2: Enablers for 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 (published in Transport Problems VOL. 9 Issue 4, pp 43-56) 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. The part 2 of the paper is dedicated to recommend some concrete steps and actions as enablers to remove the barriers identified in the part 1 to develop multimodal rail freight transport. The enablers for multimodal rail freight transport include: • European rail freight transport market needs full liberalisation so that incumbent and new entrants can compete freely. • The rail operators need to acquire service (e.g. customer tailored services, door to door service) quality offered by road freight operators. • They need to conduct a combination of ‘terminal-to-terminal’ and door-to-door operations, as and when needed; • They must build partnership with freight forwarder or 3PLs to include all types of customers including SMEs and customers of non-rail (low density high value) cargo. • They need to use the consolidation centres that facilitate bundling of cargoes in particular for the urban areas which are the location of majority European customers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Islam DMZ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transport Problems

Year: 2014

Volume: 9

Issue: 4

Pages: 5-13

Online publication date: 28/01/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 1896-0596

ISSN (electronic): 2300-861X

Publisher: Politechnika Slaska Wydzial Transportu