Route planner optimises logistics between Eastern and Western Europe

28 June 2016 3 min. read

Ecorys has developed a new intermodal route planner for the East-West Corridor in Europe. Intermodal Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is aimed at improving the existing transport corridors between Eastern and Western Europe across different modes of transport. According to Ecorys, intermodal transport logistics can lead to cost savings and a lower environmental impact for participant companies.

In recent years the number of vehicles on European roads has continued to increase, while, at the same time, a focus on environmentally friendly transport and transport modes also continues to rise. The sustainability of both passenger and freight transport and the promotion of alternative means of transport other than road, are therefore, among the objectives of European transport policy. One way in which to reduce the environmental impact and the use of road by logistics companies is to encourage intermodal transport. Intermodal transport uses multiple transportation methods, made possible by the use of loading units that are compatible across transportation types.

Research and consultancy firm Ecorys has long been in favour of intermodal transport, and, in 2013, launched a dedicated tool: Intermodal Links. Intermodal Links is an online search engine/route planner for logistics companies that allows them to determine the optimal transport route between 800 terminals in 45 countries. In total, the search engine includes more than 11,000 direct connections via rail, inland waterways or sea transport, offered by 130 intermodal service providers.

New route planner optimises logistics between Eastern and Western Europe

East-West Corridor route planner

Ecorys recently announced the development of its latest intermodal route planner. The planner includes the entire East-West Corridor in Europe, and thus integrates two European CEF* corridors: the North Sea - Baltic Corridor and the North Sea - Mediterranean Corridor. The East-West Corridor route planner is a plug-in version of Intermodal Links, and is the first intermodal Intelligent Transport System (ITS) within the European ITS platform. According to Ecorys, the planner also provides an example for others and for future (corridor) projects in this area.

"A special for the East-West corridor developed intermodal route planning will improve the visibility of intermodal transport facilities in the corridor and also encourage companies to use them. By making greater use of intermodal transport logistics options, companies can save costs while reducing their environmental impact. In addition, the intermodal route planner will act as a catalyst for more collaboration between public and private parties in the East-West Corridor and thus contribute additional synergy benefits,” says Ecorys about the new route planner.

During the TEN-T days (June 20 to 22 June) in Rotterdam Ecorys demonstrated the first version of the route planner. Since, the Intermodal route planner is being actively promoted in all countries along the East-West Corridor.

* CEF stands for Connecting Europe Facility, an institution established to support trans-European networks and infrastructure for transport, telecommunications and energy sectors. This support is provided, among others, in the form of financial support to projects that improve the network or infrastructure.