Multimodal transport Comparison of the US and EU

As the footings multimodal conveyance and containerization will be used frequently in this paper, it is necessary to give a full definition of these constructs.

Containerization is a method of administering ware in a unitized signifier thereby allowing an intermodal conveyance system to be developed supplying a possible combination of rail, route, canal and nautical conveyance. ( Branch, 2007, page 346 )

Combined conveyance can be defined as the combination of at least two manners of conveyance in a individual conveyance concatenation, without a alteration of container for the goods, with most of the path travelled by rail, inland waterways or ocean-going vas, and with the shortest possible initial and concluding journeys by route. ( Economic Commission for Europe, 2001, page 20 )

On the other manus, intermodal conveyance involves the motion of goods in one and the same loading unit or vehicle which uses in turn several manners of conveyance without managing of the goods themselves in altering manners. ( Economic Commission for Europe, 2001, page 19 )

As mentioned in the definition of combined and intermodal conveyance, the innovation of the container was necessary for the success of both constructs. It was non until the 1950 ‘s that the first container ships started to emerge.


In the center of the 1960 ‘s the thought of containerization was largely perceived as a ballyhoo. High investings in transit stuff, ports and in peculiar terminuss, as a consequence of the handling and the stacking of the containers, would be needed. Stevedores were afraid that there would be a immense loss of occupations because of the mechanization of the handling of the containers. On the other manus tonss of clip could be saved as a consequence of this mechanization of managing. The maritime transportation sector is a really traditional sector with conventional ships. The ship proprietors themselves were loath towards invention as immense investings would be made necessary to implement the construct of the container onto the ships. The usage of the container would besides do it more hard and time-consuming for the imposts service as they would hold to look into every individual container individually. The reaching of the container made it necessary to add new signifiers to the imposts formalities. On top of all this, there was a large diverseness in container sizes because of a deficiency of standardisation that made it useless to put in managing stuff for the different containers. ( Notteboom, 2009 )

If all of the subjects mentioned above pointed towards a failure, so what made the container such a large success? In the beginning of the 1970 ‘s, the International Organization for Standardization proposed two criterion sizes for the containers: the TEU ( 20 pes tantamount unit ) and the FEU ( 40 pes tantamount unit ) . In the hereafter, these two sizes would be known as the two dominant sizes for harmonisation. The success of the containerization was largely due to the downswing of transit costs. Freight could be stacked decently in a container which would intend less loss of infinite. Containerization lies at the footing of globalisation. Containerization made transit around the universe really inexpensive. For illustration, the portion of freight monetary value in gross revenues monetary value of a minibike 250cc transported from a port in Europe to a port in the Far East is merely 1,4 per centum. Another part to the success of the containerization was the growing in universe trade and the congestion in the ports. Due to the manual handling of cargo, the ships were remaining excessively long in the ports and the limited figure of positions made it necessary to contrive a new engineering that would get the better of this constriction in ports. A last factor of the success was the addition in labour costs of the stevedores in the ports due to economic prosperity. ( Notteboom, 2009 )

As can be seen on figure 1 the acceleration of containerization started in the twelvemonth 1992. The excess accelerated growing in 2002 is a consequence of the enlargement of trade in China. The export of China increased in 2002 with 22,4 per centum in comparing to 2001 and continued lifting until 2009, that twelvemonth the export decreased with 16 per centum in comparing to 2008. After the fiscal crisis in 2008 the containerization of cargo clearly declined and is now stagnated. Peoples have lost their religion in the trade market and so export and container trade have declined. Analysts believe that there will be a stagnancy or little growing in the undermentioned old ages. There are several elements indicating to this decision. First of all, China already had an impact in 2002 because of their economic growing but will China go on their growing with large figures in the hereafter after the fiscal crisis? Second, the US and the EU have already reached their bound to containerise goods so they have to seek for new chances to containerise different types of cargo such as bulk goods. Finally, other states such as India still may hold an impact on the growing border. ( Notteboom, 2009 ; US-China concern council, 2009 )

Rail conveyance


European train theoretical account

From the beginning of the railroad conveyance until the early 90 ‘s, railroad traffic had to confront many jobs due to national monopolies of individual and cargo traffic. The companies had a bad fiscal state of affairs, client service and about none value added services. On top of this, the railroad companies were runing with non-competitive monetary values. The monetary value was the amount of all monetary values per national rail web. The deficiency of interoperability and interconnectivity between different national rail webs, which will be farther explained in the following subject, makes the monetary value really high since at the boundary line of every state the locomotor and train operator demand to be switched. As a consequence of these factors, conveyance by train loses land in the average split from 33 % in 1970 to 14 % in the twelvemonth 2000. In decision, there is a demand for deregulating the cargo railroad conveyance. ( Notteboom, 2009 )

The first measure in the deregulating was made in 1991 by the European Council. Guideline nA°91/440 suggested to do the cargo railroad conveyance competitory by saying conditions for competition and fiscal rehabilitation. Every substructure director and railroad mortician needed to be fiscal healthy. All railroad companies had to let entree to the substructure non merely to the national operator but besides to others. The biggest alteration of guideline 91/440 was that substructure director and railroad mortician should be administrative and financially separated as can be seen on figure 2. ( Notteboom, 2009 ; Eurolex Europa )

However, pattern shows that states were loath to implement this guideline. The motivation being the low capacity for conveyance by trains. Merely 14 % of the cargo was transported by trains so national substructure directors and railroad morticians were non willing to portion this little per centum with other companies. The European Council provided guideline 2001/12 to modify guideline 91/440. The guideline stated that by 2008 the whole European railroad web should be unfastened for international cargo services. Guideline 2001/12 was a portion of the ‘First Railway Package ‘ which was adopted by the European Commission. The first railroad bundle was a major effort to reform the railroad sector. The chief aims were to better competition, offer better international services and better the efficient usage of substructure capacity. The bundle planned to deregulate international cargo conveyance by train on the Trans European Rail Freight Network ( TERFN ) by 2003. The TERFN are a limited figure of axes across Europe and can be found in annex 1. The bundle planned to deregulate the international cargo conveyance on the full European railroad web by 2008. The ‘Second Railway Package ‘ stated that by 2007 all national and international cargo traffic on the full European railroad web should be deregulated. The ‘Third Railway Package ‘ passed by the European Parliament in 2007 suggests to open and deregulate the market of international rider traffic by train. It introduces unfastened entree rights for international rail rider services including cabotage by 2010. Operators may pick up and put down riders at any station on an international path, including at Stationss located in the same Member State. ( EIM, ERFA, ERFCP, 2006 ; European Commission: Mobility and conveyance ; Notteboom, 2009 )

Interoperability and interconnectivity

The European Rail Traffic Management System ( ERTMS ) aims at doing the European rail traffic interoperable. “ Interoperability refers to the administrative, proficient and organisational compatibility of the conveyance system for the common satisfaction of conveyance traffic in a manner that eliminates barriers to interrupted web entree. ” ( KA?nstantinos ChlA?moudA“s, Athanasios A. Pallis, 2002, page 86 ) Presently every state in the EU has its ain safety system on the railroad paths and every member of the EU is free to follow ERTMS. On the other manus, the system is obligatory on some corridors. For illustration, in the EU, the system is already used on the international high-speed lines and on freight corridors. The ERTMS consists of a managerial system and a security system. Figure 3 shows the different constituents of ERTMS. The green blocks on the train way and the train are called the European Train Control System or ETCS. The managerial system concerns with the control of the train and the release of the paths. The security system ensures safe handling of the traffic. For illustration, the train receives a first signal to decelerate down from 90 kilometres per hr to 60 kilometres per hr. When the driver does non react by hitting the interruptions, a 2nd signal will be send to the train. When the driver once more does non react, the exigency brake system will step in and set the train to a full halt. The ruddy receiving system and sender on top of the train takes attention of the transmittal of signals ( informations and address ) between the Command House and the train. The constituent is called a GSM-R and is a radio information connexion that operates via the GSM-network. When the GSM-R operates merely as a receiving system it is said to be inactive as opposed to active when it besides transmits informations from the train to the Command House. ( Notteboom, 2009 )

“ The term interconnectedness refers to the creative activity of the necessary international and multimodal connexions to ease the usage of webs of different conveyance manners and different states. This procedure will convey about the positive effects of cooperation and higher efficiency of the conveyance system. ” ( KA?nstantinos ChlA?moudA“s, Athanasios A. Pallis, 2002, page 86 ) Interconnectivity in the railroad conveyance is the construct of different national railroad webs that are decently connected to each other. Presently about every state has different electromotive forces and signalisations as can be seen on figure 4. In the past cargo had to be offloaded and reloaded back onto a different train which is compatible to the electromotive force used in that state at the boundary line. This resulted in a immense loss of money and clip. The solution to this job would be investings in a Trans European Network of Transport ( TEN-T ) and in substructure. An international organisation would hold to be put together to guarantee the cooperation of the different substructure directors. ( Notteboom, 2009 )

As already mentioned, conveyance webs have been developed from a national position. There was a deficiency of equal interconnectedness between the different national webs. Therefore, one of the agencies of the European conveyance policy is to develop an efficient, just and sustainable European conveyance system. The European conveyance system would hold to incorporate the different conveyance manners and the different substructure webs. ( INTERCONNECTIVITY, INTEROPERABILITY ) The aim of these integratings created the necessity of a Trans European Network of Transport ( TEN-T ) . The determination to follow a TEN-T was made by the European Parliament and European Council in 1996. The intent of such a TEN-T is to incorporate route, rail, H2O and air conveyance to function full Europe. TENT-T consists of 5 constituents. The first one being the designation of undertakings of common involvement in footings of substructure for junctions ( havens, airdromes ) , substructure for conveyance connexions ( roads, railroads, waterways, main roads of the sea ) and services necessary to do usage of these substructures ( traffic direction and command systems ) .

Differences in railroad traffic between the US and EU

One of the biggest differences is that the cost base in the US lies much lower than that of the EU. This is the consequence of two constituents. First of wholly, the train waies are much longer in the US than in the EU. This has as a effect that the mean cost per stat mi will be much lower in the US than in the EU. Second, the length of the trains besides differs from an norm of 700 metres in the EU to 2,5 kilometres in the US. As a consequence, there will be more containers on the trains of the US which cascades in a lower norm cost per container in the US. On top of this, the railroad web in the US has made it possible to duplicate stack the containers on top of each other on the trains. Double stacking increases the productiveness and reduces the capital cost per stat mi. The downswing of dual stacking is that it has a higher handling cost but this is the chief ground why dual stacking is merely used on long distance. The railroad web in the US is really extended as can be seen in figure 5. ( Notteboom, 2009 )

The figure shows that development of the railroad web, which began on the eastern seashore and easy progressed to the West. The railroad web of the US is besides regionally structured with a practical mistake line in Chicago as can be seen on figure 6.

Sing the type of railroad transit, there is another difference between the US and the EU. The railroad web in the US is largely oriented on cargo traffic whereas in the EU the railroad web is oriented on rider traffic. The cargo traffic in the US has precedence on the rider traffic. In the EU that is merely true on a twosome of paths.

The big railroad morticians in the US are about wholly in custodies of the private sector. The public railroad morticians arose merely as a consequence of the bankruptcy of some companies. However since the 1990 ‘s, all railroad morticians are operated in private. Since the 1970 ‘s the railroad market has been deregulated. The Staggers Act made a immense alteration in the railroad market. ( THESIS TOM )