One COMBINE partner organization, German Promotion Centre for Intermodal Transport (SGKV, The Studiengesellschaft für den Kombinierten Verkehr e.V.) has published "Recommendations to Politics and Authorities on Ensuring the Operation of Combined Transport (CT) Transshipment Facilities to maintain Supply Chains." At this moment, some CT terminals in Italy suffer from a shortage of personnel and it can be assumed that a significant personnel shortage will also occur in German CT terminals in the near future. The recommendations state that in order to prevent this, timely countermeasures must be taken to maintain the supply chains even with fewer personnel. These include temporary loosening restrictions / framework conditions such as supporting contactless production processes and temporary exemptions on restricted opening hours of CT terminals so that staff with children can work at night and at weekends. To maintain supply chains, setting freight transport as a priority and rapid financial aid for CT terminals are recommended. Ensuring (emergency) operation in CT terminals includes procurement and distribution of suitable personal protective equipment such as disinfection and masks as well as avoiding the closing of entire CT terminals.
Intermodal transport offers the possibility of transporting large quantities "contactless" with few personnel, avoiding inter-regional personal contact and preventing congestion at borders. The fundamental condition for this is to maintain the (emergency) operation of the terminals by avoiding cases of illness / infection of the core operational personnel. It is urgent to make preparations or emergency plans to minimize the risk of breakdowns and maintain operations as far as possible in the event of the loss of some or many employees. Therefore, SGKV has published a "guideline for CT-Terminals in dealing with COVID-19." The concrete prevention measures that are already being implemented in European terminals serve as general proposals for action. The overarching measures include for instance the creation of an emergency plan, consistent compliance with hygiene regulations and procurement and provision of hygiene articles. The measures related to administration and personnel include flexibilisation of working hours and surface disinfection. Measures related to operational processes include separation of shifts and teams, automated check-in at the gate and transshipment adhering to safety distance.
Read all recommendations and the whole guidance from the SGKV publications above!
German Promotion Centre for Intermodal Transport aims at strengthening and developing Combined Transport further by bringing together research and practice. SGKV unites over 80 members under the same roof. Through terminal operators, universities and haulage companies, different opinions regarding Combined Transport meet and share a common goal: organizing freight traffic in an environmentally friendly, more efficient, and sustainable way by means of intelligent intermodal transport chains.