Improving cross-border freight flow on land and sea

Led by the Central European Initiative, one of the largest regional cooperation organizations in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, the ADRIPASS project is improving and streamlining the efficiency and planning capacity of both maritime and inland freight transport flows in the Adriatic and Ionian (ADRION) region.

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The project is improving cross-border freight flows in the Adriatic and Ionian region ©ADRIPASS The project is improving cross-border freight flows in the Adriatic and Ionian region ©ADRIPASS

" The ADRIPASS project has defined nodal points of interest, such as ports, intermodal facilities and border crossing points, along the corridors of the ADRION region through study, the development of tools for data collection through desktop research, questionnaire-based direct surveys and interviews with stakeholders, and the mobilization of the partners and their associate partners at higher level in data collection. Currently, more than half of the data collection has been completed and an integrated database has been established to host all incoming information and it has been used for the preparation of a preliminary Corridors analysis that in its final version will set the basis for the definition of a transnational action plan to enhance multimodal transport operations. "

Paolo Dileno, ADRIPASS Project Manager, Central European Initiative-Executive Secretariat

ADRIPASS set out to analyse, assess and address any physical and non-physical bottlenecks freight transportation infrastructure the ADRION region and the Western Balkans in particular are currently facing. The project’s objective is to establish a transnational strategy for multimodal transport efficiency and competitiveness in the region.

Top to bottom, front to back

Both transport stakeholders such as port terminal and logistic operators, freight forwarders and railway companies are facing the same challenges as European policymakers. That is why ADRIPASS is combining a bottom-up and top-down approach and is involving all relevant stakeholders in the process. 

The project is considering the needs of the involved territories as a foundation for any proposed policy actions, while at the same time relying on those actions to implement any short and long-term transport facilitation measures in the region. This systematic bottom-up top-down approach is improving the planning capacities of everyone involved, both from a strategic and operational perspective. What’s more, the project’s multilevel and multidisciplinary collaboration is also strengthening the region’s overall multimodal transport accessibility and network efficiency.

Tackling obstacles through ICT

While ADRIPASS aims to streamline freight flows throughout the entire region, the project is focusing significantly on the corridors of the Western Balkans, where border crossing point are a relevant issue. To achieve a more streamlined and efficient flow at these points, several new specific ICT solutions are currently being tested in relevant ports. 

For instance, the project is supporting the upgrade of the current port community systems, not only to improve local communication and coordination efficiency, but also to share information with relevant stakeholders from the entire logistic chain. As a result, key requirements and technical specifications regarding the upgrade have been identified and testing of the upgrade is well underway.

Identifying obstacles, improving flows

The project’s partners have also been focusing on the identification and analysis of any existing issues by performing an intensive data collection phase. Based on research and direct surveys held at both maritime and inland border crossing point and logistic nodes, the project was able to pinpoint crucial obstacles in the region. 

This has led to the development of an interim report that provides a first insight on corridor analysis and suggestions on how to improve freight flows. A final report detailing priority measures and their expected impacts will be published in May of 2019, followed by a practical transnational action plan in July.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “ADRIPASS – Integrating multimodal connections in the Adriatic-Ionian region” is EUR 1 462 373, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 243 017 through the “Interreg V-B Adriatic-Ionian” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Jobs, growth and investment”.