The objective of this project is to both encourage a shift from road to water transport and increase the use of rail in port hinterlands where inland waterways cannot be used. The three and a half year project, which is being led by the City of Mulheim in the Ruhr, will promote multi-modal integrated transport chains designed to make better use of ship transport and rail connections with port hinterland areas. The 17 partners will analyse the bottlenecks holding back enhanced short-sea, inland waterways and port-hinterland rail transport. The project will then identify and implement measures for their removal, working with logistics partners to design improved inter-modal transport arrangements. Knowledge gathered on potential transport flows will be fed into an information network, available over the internet both to partners and interested parties, particularly logistics providers. Initially, the network will contain information on transport and available sites in harbours for the location of new logistics and production companies. The project is essentially trans-national in nature and it is hoped that other ports will join the initiative as it develops.
- Partners will cooperate regularly for common market development to promote non-road transport chains which include inland waterways, railways and/ or short-sea shipping.
- Common information will be made available and accessible (transport and sites related information).
- Contacts and links with other logistical cooperation initiatives will be established & maintained and links with other logistical cooperation initiatives.
- Other ports not yet participating at the stage of the application but with an interest will be involved (within NWE and beyond).
- The port-port cooperation group and its information platform will make itself known and used by other actors in the logistic chain.
- Other actors will be involved as information suppliers and as multipliers (e.g. chambers of industry and commerce, rail operators and companies, local authorities, harbour or industry associations, short-sea shipping promotion centers)
- Port-port market development cooperation and new initiatives will be continued so that inter-modal freight transport communications beyond the project can be improved.
- Measures will be implemented to remove other barriers for enhanced short-sea freight traffic.
The project shall contribute to a modal shift from road to ship (on waterways and short-sea) and will support increased rail use in sea port hinterland transport where no inland waterways can be used. This reflects priorities identified in ESDP, in the Interreg IIIB NWE programme complement, but also in national and EU-wide sector papers. Such shift shall be achieved through enhanced cooperation among sea and inland ports, between different sea ports, and between ports and other logistic services providers.