01 December 2023


CLECAT joined a panel of stakeholders this week at the FERRMED conference to respond to the final FERRMED study on the EU freight transport system and modal shift optimisation. Ms van der Jagt welcomed the study and in particular the need to identify bottlenecks and to prioritise investments in the most impactful network segments. She noted the importance of embracing combined transport, to meet the EU’s environmental targets.  But she also observed that every freight transport and logistics actor will have to work continuously on improving operational efficiency of the multimodal supply chain to be able to respond to the growth whilst at the same time seeking to decarbonise freight transport in line with the objectives of the European Green deal. The success of attracting new customers to rail freight is held back due to poor performance of rail freight services. Shippers and freight forwarders expect a rail freight transport system which is better aligned to service quality with client needs, by improving punctuality, reliability, client communication and increasing dynamic innovation.

Referring to the new proposal to amend the EU Combined Transport Directive, Ms van der Jagt said at the event: ‘We welcome publication of the Combined Transport Directive and the important positive elements it includes to modernise the directive. She also voiced some concerns about requirement to prove eligibility for benefits which are related to external costs in view of its complexity and need for more transparency.

The FERRMED study gives valuable insights into effective investment strategies and modal shift approaches to achieve sustainable freight transport in the EU.  The study revealed that prioritising investments in 24% of the EU Extended Core Network would generate a 99% of the total net present value (NPV). This highlights the significant impact that targeted investments can have on maximizing the economic benefits of infrastructure development.

Furthermore, the study emphasises the importance of implementing the Fast Flexible Integrated Rail-Road System of Transport (+FIRRST) to facilitate multimodal transportation of all types of interchangeable load units (ILUs), including semitrailers, containers, and swap bodies. This approach, combined with the concept of Mobility as a Service (Maas), is crucial for reversing the stagnant share of rail in land freight transport and boosting its competitiveness.

More information can be found HERE