4th Intermodal Road Map completed for Romania


The Round Table convened high-level representatives of the Romanian inter-modal industry and international stakeholders who discussed recent achieve-ments and future prospects of intermodal transport in Romania. They achieved a consent about the challenges that need to be faced for further growth and relevant measures that will be necessary to foster the increase of intermodal rail services.

The meeting was moderated by COSMOS project manager Uwe Sondermann (KombiConsult, Frankfurt am Main) who concluded the following results which were agreed upon with invited participants:

  • The Romanian transport sector provides for various forms of logistics concepts in-cluding CT-Operators for rail/road transport.
  • Private sector railway’s increased to gain market share of 53% in 2012, one of the highest in Europe. However, the “competition on rail” has not prevented from a total decrease of rail volumes.
  • After the fall of the iron curtain, and during the „accession period“ quick wins could be realised by road transport which was often more flexible, open to entrepreneurship and promoted by truck industry.
  • In contrast to that the rail sector lacks coherent infrastructure investments, both in maintenance, refurbishment and new builds while improved roads can be used on sections, already.
  • Alignment of TEN-T and RFC-Corridor on rail network were achieved by the RFC-Implementation Plan in November 2013, but also highlighting lines with limited ca-pacity. Improvement measures are (partly) identified but require effective implemen-tation (financing, timing, monitoring).
  • Accompanied intermodal transport (RoLa), only in 2005 and 2006 (Wels-Arad/Oradea) until accession to EU.
  • Intermodal market dominated by container traffic with a clear importance of domestic (~ 60%, Constanta hinterland) over international transport (~ 40%, focusing on Western Europe).
  • Growth of intermodal transport is directly depending on the country‘s own economic performance and not generated by transit traffic.
  • Semi-trailers became standard equipment in international road transport and thus in-termodal operation, but all rail loading gauges are too small for continental CT, mainly due to tunnel profiles.
  • Intermodal terminals, generally, provide for sufficient handling capacity for the cur-rently (low) handling volumes.
  • Training of personal engaged with transport decisions on the merits of intermodal transport would be required.
  • An intermodal strategy is needed at country level to guide public and private invest-ment. The intended “dialogue” is appreciated by the stakeholders but did not take place, yet.
  • The strategy needs to be revised taking into account the recent market development, terminals developed by the private sector, shortcomings on rail infrastructure and transparent rules for application by market parties including realistic business plan.
  • The strategy should investigate (re-)activating incentive scheme in favour of intermo-dal transport such as
  • Derogation from Directive 96/53/EC governing the weights and dimensions of heavy good vehicles (“44 tonnes”).
  • Exemption from driving bans for road vehicles, e.g. weekend ban
  • Vehicle tax exemption of up to 100% for vehicles used exclusively in terminal pick-up and delivery operation
  • Exemptions from road usage fees or tolls for vehicles in CT

The Road Map on Intermodal Transport in Romania can be downloaded here.

Further Round Table meetings will be organised within the COSMOS project for Bulgaria and Croatia in the next 3 months. The first Round Table was held in Ljubljana in April 2013.
Klaus-Uwe Sondermann, KombiConsult GmbH
Phone +49.69.244 32 93 – 172, Fax +49.69.244 32 93 - 179
E-Mail usondermann@kombiconsult.com, Web www.kombiconsult.com