Developing user-centered measures to increase the share of multimodal freight transport

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The European Commission has dedicated itself steadily to multimodal freight transport to reduce problems such as air pollution or congestion and to reach the goals set by the Paris Agreement. Despite the political efforts to promote multimodality, the majority of freight transport is still carried out by truck. The aim of this paper is to capture the reasons for the small share of multimodal transport and suggest measures to promote multimodal transport. To collect data, a multiple-case study was conducted involving ten logistics service providers. The barriers to multimodal freight transport are analyzed in a holistic manner using interpretive structural modeling. Overall, fifteen barriers are presented which are classified as demand-related barriers, shipment characteristics, infrastructural/supply-related barriers, organizational barriers and legal / political barriers. Based on that, a bottom-up approach involving the ten logistics service providers (LSPs) is used to develop user-centered policy measures for multimodal transport. The direct involvement of LSPs facilitates acceptance of the proposed measures. The internalization of external costs, efficient information provision and education/training/awareness raising are rated as high impact measures to promote multimodal transport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100729
JournalResearch in Transportation Business and Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Freight transport
  • Interpretive structural model
  • Modal shift
  • Multimodality
  • Policy measure


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