Developing intermodal transport for small flows over short distances
Journal article, 2004

Intermodal road-rail freight transport works best within markets with relatively large flows occurring over long distances, which corresponds poorly to the current demand for transport in the European Union. The purpose of this paper is to compare the capabilities of conventional European intermodal transport, with special reference to the competitiveness in markets with small flows over short distances, and to explore innovative concepts. Using a technological systems approach, key functions are identified as being the inducement and blocking mechanisms that affect the development and diffusion path of this 'small flows over short distances' (SFSD) system, providing a tool for empirical delineation of the system. These concepts are illustrated and analysed through a case study of the Swedish development project Light-combi. The results show that market and financial uncertainties, insufficient network connectivity and policies favouring the existing technology paradigm, severely hamper the development and diffusion of SFSD systems. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.


Fredrik Bärthel

Chalmers, Department of Logistics and Transportation

Johan Woxenius

Chalmers, Department of Logistics and Transportation

Transportation Planning and Technology

0308-1060 (ISSN) 1029-0354 (eISSN)

Vol. 27 5 403-424

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics



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