Designing and implementing “good practices” to become more efficient in supplying (intermodal) railway services, completed by a “good practice manual”.

WP1 is the backbone of the project, as here the basics will be elaborated and the prospective use in all other work packages and beyond the project is depending on the exploitable results of this work package. The exchange and dissemination of success stories and “good practices” among market parties will start with the project and continue throughout and even after the end of the subsidy, and involve the following technical and operational issues (optional listing):

1 – Understanding market requirements:

  • Identification of major international trade lanes for both target markets (continental and maritime/container hinterland).
  • Understanding how the transport of the target goods is produced by road thus highlighting the challenges for implementing competitive intermodal services.
  • Revealing the fundamental service requirements of forwarders - and shippers – towards intermodal services for each target market particularly as concerns transit time, earliest cut-off time, latest time of delivery, rate of punctuality and tolerances, consistency, cost, and, eventually, accompanying logistical services.
  • Identification of the type of intermodal equipment (loading units) employed (semi-trailers, 45’ units, swap bodies, reefers, containers).

2 – Rail production including train path scheduling:

  • Definition of time-table and frequency: fast or priority train paths required
  • Definition of train parameters: weight; length; speed.
  • Design of production system against the background of the expected volumes.
  • Planning of rail traction service: through-traction vs. change of locos; type and number of locomotives; border-crossing; change of loco-drivers.
  • Need for back-up and emergency concepts

3 – CT wagons:

  • Evaluating the employment of a standard, common-use wagon against a set of specialized wagon types with respect to the anticipated mix of loading units.
  • Round trip scheduling and planning number of wagon sets and reserve capacities.

4 – CT terminals:

  • Requirements for rail access and last-mile logistics.
  • Planning of terminal handling time-slot(s).
  • Planning the control and management of handling intermodal loading units including the prioritization of delivery and pick-up.
  • Considering the need for intermediate storage of intermodal loading units and the type of equipment (stackable; non-stackable; semi-trailers).

5 – Information and communication:

  • Organising the exchange of operational data and communication along the entire transport chain.
  • Planning tracking and tracing (Train Monitoring using innovative tools).

6 – Commercial conditions:

  • Door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal service?
  • Pricing model: potential for price differentiation.