Organisation of Swedish dry port terminals, A report in the EU Interreg project SustAccess
This report is commissioned by Falköping Municipality as part of the EU Interreg IIIB North Sea Programme project SustAccess. SustAccess intends to contribute to an improved and sustainable accessibility between rural areas and gateways around the North Sea. The improved accessibility between gateway and hinterland should be achieved by promoting and by delivering sustainable transport solutions.
The purpose of this report is to describe the dry port concept, and to identify and classify existing dry port applications in Sweden. The emphasis is on organisational forms of the dry ports as well as on roles of the actors involved in the implementation process. The report will be used as a base for the future work within SustAccess. Responsible for the report is Division of Logistics and Transportation at Chalmers University of Technology.
After presentation of a theoretical framework with the dry port concept, the Swedish intermodal transport system, that is the context in which the terminals work in, is explained. Then a terminal inventory including intermodal rail-road terminals that handle unit loads and have or develop a rail connection to a seaport is forwarded. Data about the surveyed terminals is also presented in an appendix. The issue of intermodal terminal development is deepened in the five case studies Älmhult, Eskilstuna, Åmål, Alvesta and Jönköping. The terminal developments are selected for illustrating and investigating different aspects and they represent different scales of operation, ownership and maturity.
As there are differences in sizes of terminal areas, in TEUs handled a year, or in range of services offered there are also differences in organisational forms and types of ownerships of the same. Many of the surveyed terminals are owned either entirely by a municipality or jointly by a municipality and commercial actors within the system, such as rail operator or shipper.
Even within CargoNet's terminal network, ownership differs; those terminals situated in the ports of Trelleborg, Norrköping and Helsingborg are owned and operated by the ports. While, for example, Älmhult is operated by CargoNet but owned jointly by CargoNet, the municipality and IKEA. However for many of the CargoNet terminals, the rail tracks are owned and maintained by Banverket, and the land is owned by Jernhusen.
Activities regarding the implementation of the Åmål terminal went in a very informal way probably due to the fact that a transhipment terminal already existed and only had to be moved to another place. In addition, the terminal is of a small-scale and simple type. Therefore no official planning report was made nor were consultants involved in the planning of the terminal; however the implementation was financed by various actors, including the EU programme Mål2 Västra.
Compared to Åmål, where goods flows already existed at the old terminal and was just moved to the new one, Eskilstuna terminal was built to create a flow, i.e., to attract H&M in the area. Hence, the terminal was a pawn in a larger game aiming at attracting logistics activities to Eskilstuna. The Eskilstuna terminal implementation was then financed entirely by the public utility organisation Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö.
Älmhult is an example of a mature terminal that was the first to diverge from the norm of being owned and operated by the national railway. The terminal was initiated and is partly owned by the dominant shipper IKEA, a fact that reputedly has deterred other shippers from using the terminal. The reasoning is that IKEAs strong role might imply that the terminal pays less attention to other shippers' load units. Alvesta is an example where the location at an intersection between main rail lines has fostered an interest in developing a terminal.
Jönköping, finally, has a terminal in Ljungarum and the area is likely to be appointed a national intermodal terminal. The issue is that Ljungarum is old, restrained in capacity and extension possibilities are meagre while the logistics activities are expanded in Torsvik. The local and regional authorities and shippers together with transport operators and infrastructure administrations have been strongly committed to the task. Personal commitment by the municipality's development manager and by some strong shipper representatives has been instrumental for the development.
For the future structure of the Swedish intermodal terminal network, the awaited freight transport bill will be of utmost importance. The risk is that the increased interest and funding by the government will imply further concentration to fewer and larger terminals, but vague statements have been made by Banverket that also smaller terminals might enjoy funding and at least not worse conditions. Nevertheless, the relative competitiveness of smaller terminals close to the national terminals might suffer.
dry port terminals