The workshop took place online on the 21st April 2021, and gathered a wide range of stakeholders from several fields of business, for instance, associations and umbrella organizations, science and education, terminals, industry as well as regional and national ministries. The main goal of the workshop was to promote content on the improvement of terminal efficiency in Combined Transport generated within the COMBINE project as well as the general goal of the COMBINE project, namely strengthening Combined Transport in the Baltic Sea Region, to a wider audience. The other aim of the workshop was to generate valuable information on how the performance of terminals is currently assessed by actual CT stakeholders and in which areas (i.e., political/legal framework conditions, infrastructure, technology, organization, and communication) they see need for action to improve the terminal performances in CT and to push forward interregional CT development in general.
The workshop commenced with some content inputs from project partners on how to increase awareness, knowledge and acceptance of terminal handling and operation innovations (Ernest Czermański , University of Gdansk) and on measures to improve combined terminal operations (Bogusz Wiśnicki, Maritime University of Szczecin), supplemented by a presentation of the intermediate results of the report “Combined Terminal Strategy” by Jan Wedemeier from HWWI and a keynote speech by Ralf-Charley Schultze and Akos Ersek from UIRR on the legal and political framework of CT and why it is time to act to increase the capacity and quality of Combined Transport.
Next, the program led into a policy discussion, moderated by Can Dincer and Vivin Kumar Sudhakar from project partner SGKV. It primarily aimed at collecting suggestions and generating a wish list from the discussants on concrete measures in the aforementioned areas and assessing these in terms of their potential impact on CT and their time horizon for implementation (short to long term), thereby also taking up some results from a previously conducted interactive survey.
In general, the workshop participants do not see significant differences in the performance and the overall integration into the transport chains of CT terminals within the BSR compared to the European level. This might be due to the generally interregional perspective of CT and the extensive cross-border freight transportation within Europe including the BSR. With respect to the satisfaction with the overall framework conditions for Combined Transport in the EU and the BSR, the opinions of participants who took part in the evaluation are inconclusive and on average show neither a negative nor a positive tendency.
Need for action to improve the efficiency of CT is seen in various organizational and infrastructural areas. The workshop attendees saw the most urgent need for improvements in the areas Political/legal framework conditions and Infrastructure. The fields Technology, Organization and Communication were not regarded as important as the former ones, but still relevant, to foster efficiency of CT. Based on this first evaluation of the participants’ thoughts on the question in which fields action is mostly needed to strengthen CT in the BSR, the policy discussion was used to identify and assess a plethora of desired, specific measures in the different fields. A selection of measures suggested by the participants is presented below.
- Political and Legal Framework: Disincentivize road transport, Increase payload gross weight, Uniform regulation language, Harmonization of national rules
- Infrastructure: Service infrastructure like On-/Pre-carriage, Capacity increase in terminals and rail corridors
- Organization: Better utilization of night transport windows, Better management of existing capacity, Removal of barriers for market entry, International train driver license
- Communication: Standard ETA prediction and data exchange, Digitalization
- Technology: no specific suggestions as technology already exists
A more detailed evaluation of the workshop’s survey and the policy discussion can be found in the report “Combined Terminal Strategy – A strategy to push forward interregional CT development” which will be published in June 2021 via the EU-Interreg COMBINE project under the title Project results.
Jan Wedemeier, HWWI, email@example.com