Decision Support System for Intermodal Transport (DSSITP) project

Intermodal transport receives an increased attention due to problems of road congestion, environmental concerns and traffic safety. As intermodal transport is more environmental friendly and provides a potential to reduce congestion, European policy as well as federal and regional policy measures try to stimulate growth in intermodal transport.

The importance of hinterland transport is growing considering the intermodal context within Belgium. This is mainly due to the increase of the amount of containers handled in the seaports. On the other hand, the transport policy in Belgium is scattered over different policy levels. In how far have the policies been effective and are there alternatives to stimulate the growth of intermodal transport? Currently no post-evaluations of the policy measures are taken in Belgium. Are there alternative policy measures to stimulate intermodal transport and what would be the impact of these measures?

The objective of the DSSTIP project is to develop a framework to assess policies intended to enhance the growth of intermodal inland waterway and rail transport. Both combinations have a particular market structure and operations, but it is important to analyse them together in order to take care of potential competition distortions. Our research anticipates the need for information about policy measures to stimulate intermodal transport. To this end, a clear insight will be gained into the current situation of intermodal transport in Belgium and Europe, stakeholders will be consulted and an overview of existing and future policies will be presented. This will also allow to integrate the policies for intermodal transport on a federal and regional level in a better way. Next to the stimulation of the growth, it is also important to predict the limits of their growth. In how far is the intermodal terminal landscape saturated? Is the capacity of our inland waterway network and railway network high enough to cope with a further increase? The congestion in the port of Antwerp is identified as a major bottleneck for inland waterway terminals. What kinds of alternatives are available to resolve these problems?

During the execution of the project the complete intermodal transport chain is taken into consideration. Attention is focused on the effectiveness, feasibility and sustainability of suggested policy measures.

Click here for project fact sheet.



Results of the  project is presented on December 11, 2008 in a workshop, followed by a debate between policy officials and actors from the sector.

For details: Which intermodal transport policy for Belgium?