FERRMED study highlights key investments, modal shift strategies for EU freight transport

At the FERRMED conference held in Brussels on November 29, 2023, the focus was on a comprehensive analysis of the EU freight transport system and modal shift optimisation. The preliminary conclusions of the FERRMED study unveiled valuable insights into effective investment strategies and modal shift approaches to achieve sustainable freight transport in the EU.

The study revealed that prioritising investments in 24% of the EU Extended Core Network would generate a staggering 99% of the total net present value (NPV). This highlights the significant impact that targeted investments can have on maximizing the economic benefits of infrastructure development.

Furthermore, the study emphasised the importance of implementing the Fast Flexible Integrated Rail-Road System of Transport (+FIRRST) to facilitate multimodal transportation of all types of interchangeable load units (ILUs), including semitrailers, containers, and swap bodies. This approach, combined with the concept of Mobility as a Service (Maas), is crucial for reversing the stagnant share of rail in land freight transport and boosting its competitiveness.

The study also stressed the critical role of interlinking identified EU Strategic Logistic Hubs and key interconnection nodes with the +FIRRST system. This interconnectivity is essential for achieving the Green Deal targets on transport sustainability by seamlessly integrating rail, road, and inland waterways transportation.

In summary, the FERRMED study provides valuable insights into strategic investments and modal shift strategies that can significantly enhance the efficiency and sustainability of EU freight transport. By prioritising investments in the most impactful network segments, implementing innovative multimodal transport systems, and fostering connectivity between strategic hubs, the EU can pave the way for a more sustainable and efficient freight transport sector.