chapter  6
9 Pages

The Road Haulage Role in Intermodalism

Road haulage is a vital constituent in virtually all intermodal movements. In fact, very little cargo moves intermodally without, at sometime being carried on the back of a lorry, either before being transferred onto a rail wagon, a waterway barge or a coastal ship, or after shipment by one of these alternative modes; the so-called ‘initial’ and ‘final’ legs of an intermodal journey. It is by far the most predominant modal choice for freight movements, accounting, across the whole of Europe, for some 75 per cent of the total freight moved – on a weight basis alone it accounts for about 82 per cent of freight lifted; the difference in the figures is that when travel distance is brought into the equation, freight on rail, while less in total weight, tends to travel greater distances, apart from coal and other quarried and bulk materials which invariably travel a very short distance.