Title: Shifting towards sustainability? Questioning the effectiveness of policymaking for intermodal freight transport

Authors: Patrick Witte; Bart Wiegmans; Tom De Jong; Frank Van Oort

Addresses: Department of Human Geography and Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht Province, The Netherlands ' Department of Regional Economics and Heritage, Province of Noord-Holland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands ' Department of Logistics, Faculty of Economic and Management Services, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa ' Department of Applied Economics, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: Stimulating combined and Intermodal Freight Transport (IFT) to foster sustainability has been on the global policy agendas for a long time. An understudied dimension in this debate is the effectiveness and efficiency of IFT policies. This paper presents an academic literature review of goals, indicators and methods of IFT policies. An ex-post evaluation of the 2001 and 2011 EU white papers on freight transport shows that from a policy dimension, attention to modal shift, sustainability and capacity is visible, but that ambitious goals are oftentimes not supported by concrete targets and realistic budgets. Our proposed alternative, a GIS data-based exploration of the dense IFT network in the Netherlands shows that many industrial or logistics companies are already located at strategic locations with multi-modal accessibility. That despite this precondition the market share of combined and intermodal freight transport is still so small, seriously questions the effectiveness of 30 years of policy attention to IFT.

Keywords: combined transport; intermodal freight transport; network integration; policy; ex-post evaluation.

DOI: 10.1504/WRITR.2022.127223

World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, 2022 Vol.11 No.2, pp.133 - 154

Received: 21 Feb 2022
Accepted: 08 May 2022

Published online: 29 Nov 2022 *

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