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Intermodal transport

Marco Polo


Conference on eFreight,
17 February 2009


Measures to support freight transport
18 October 2007




Exercise to identify bottlenecks in Freight Transport Logistics

Research, Demonstration and Co-ordination Activities

Public consultations



Modern logistics solutions for competitiveness and sustainability




Logistics is the planning, organisation, management, execution and control of freight transport operations. It integrates individual transport acts to door-to-door supply chains, determining the efficiency of freight transport.

Logistics has also become an industry in its own right, enjoying sustained growth over the past years. Several of the leading companies world-wide are European.

With ever increasing volumes in freight transport, logistics needs to find solutions to the emerging consequences of this growth. In economic terms, these relate to the costs incurred through congestion, labour shortages and to the dependency on fossil fuels.  Regarding the environmental and social dimensions the challenge lies in reducing freight transport's negative impacts on the natural and social habitats. Logistics service providers need to help develop solutions to these issues.

In 2006, the European Commission reformulated its policy on freight transport logistics, taking up the issues highlighted above and describing how to take forward work to address these. The Communication is being followed up through a Logistics Action Plan that was adopted in October 2007, as part of a package of measures. It suggests a range of concrete actions in priority areas such as electronic information on freight, training and quality indicators, simplification of processes, vehicle sizes and loading units, urban transport and long-distance corridors. The Action Plan will determine the Commission's work on logistics over the medium term.

In parallel to these initiatives, the European Commission launched a call to industry and interested parties for the identification of obstacles to the efficient provision of logistics services, the so-called bottleneck exercise.  As a result of the high response rate it has been decided to make this an on-going process, and reported bottlenecks are being addressed in a collaborative effort with industry.


last update: 19-12-2008