Efficient Intermodal Pre and Post Haulage
Paper i proceeding, 2010

The demand for inland freight transport in Europe is mainly met by road transport leading to unsustainable impacts such as air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and congestion. Since rail transport has lower externalities than road transport, a modal shift from road to rail is an accepted policy goal for achieving a more sustainable and competitive transport system. However, intermodal road-rail transport is mainly competitive for long distance transports and as a consequence the potential for modal shift is limited. The cost-efficiency of road-rail intermodal transport is particularly sensitive to pre and post haulage (PPH) costs since this activity typically has a larger cost mass compared to its share of the total distance of the transport chain. For intermodal transportation over shorter distances, e.g. below 300 km and where there is substantial PPH activities in both ends of the chain, the competitiveness of the intermodal transport system compared to direct road is low. Improving the efficiency of the PPH activities is therefore of outmost importance for the competitiveness of the intermodal transport system. This paper looks into the issue of improving the cost-efficiency of an intermodal transport chain by implementing an innovative and flexible legal framework regarding the PPH activities in the chain. By extending the legal framework with exceptions for longer vehicles in the pre and post haulage the cost efficiency can be greatly improved. The purpose of such a framework is to allow and enable for PPH of 2*40 foot or even 2 semi-trailers using only one vehicle in the context of Swedish regulatory framework. Within the existing framework there are some degrees of freedom given that the cargo is divisible. This paper suggests extending that framework to the context of intermodal transport. Exceptions to the given regulations require different measures, such as accompanying car, route travelled, etc. This paper aims to investigate the consequences of such a framework and gives some normative suggestions for its setup and design. Furthermore, this paper investigates the potential associated with such a framework in terms of cost-efficiency. In sum, a more innovative and flexible legal framework regarding vehicle length in the PPH links can contribute to greater modal shift, improved cost-efficiency and more environmentally friendly transportation systems.

Intermodal transport


combined transport

modal shift

pre- and post haulage


Rickard Bergqvist

Sönke Behrends

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport

Selected Proceedings of the 12th World Conference on Transport Research Society

978-989-96986-1-1 (ISBN)


Hållbar utveckling




Ekonomi och näringsliv



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