Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The Scandria Corridor is the shortest way between the Adriatic Sea and the Baltic Sea and stretches from the harbors in the Adriatic Sea to Scandinavia, with branches to Stockholm and Oslo. By offering the shortest route it should be an area in focus for transporting goods. But a large share of European freight traffic goes through the western parts and most main development routes are in east-west connections. Indications have however been made that higher amounts of goods will enter the European market through the harbors in the Mediterranean Sea. As Western Europe is already crowded and congestion is a problem the Scandria Corridor offers new routes with free capacity and shorter south-north connections.
An immediate problem of European freight traffic is the large use of trucks as means of transportation. As trucks causing large negative environment affects such as high emission levels, congestion on roads and deterioration of the infrastructure the European Union promotes use of other transport concepts. But the alternatives, railway and inland waterway transports, faces different kinds of barriers making them less competitive which obstructs their implementation.
The information above leads to the thesis purpose “to suggest a sustainable and innovative concept for transporting goods applicable in the Scandria Corridor.” To be sustainable the concept should be future considerate (consider changes in transport conditions), feasible (achieve competitive customer service at reasonable costs) and environmentally friendly (less negative environmental affects than the alternatives). Innovative translates as being open-minded when it comes to combining and implementing ideas, concepts and methods.
Through a mapping of the infrastructure in the corridor, conditions for the transport methods and customer values the conclusion can be drawn that railway transportation is the best option for transportation in the Scandria Corridor. There are however some barriers that obstruct the set-up of the concept and what route that should be used. A large barrier is the complexity of cross-border transport in Europe because of several different railway electrification systems. Another large barrier is different train control systems that calls for large investments in trains compatible with all systems crossed and staff educated in each system. Another barrier is the low standard of railway tracks in Eastern Europe.
A mapping of customer values informs that the price is the most important aspect followed by the delivery dependability, given that the lead time is similar to the alternatives. Flexibility is important to some but for most the aspects above are more important. Low environmental affects is important to all parties but no one wants to pay to achieve it. Through analysis of the mapping with support of the theories train needs to offer a lower price than truck alternatives offer to be competitive due to trucks flexibility and ability to reach all destinations. Furthermore train has better possibilities in profitable the longer the distance is.
Goods flows are studied for the northern Adriatic ports which give that Trieste, Venice and Koper handles the largest volumes. But the amounts of goods between the ports and northern parts of the corridor are probably too low to use one port as the south end point of the concept. Instead a strategic location like Villach (Austria) or Verona (Italy) is better suited as they can work as funnels for larger areas. The solution with a funnel seems to be the best solution for Scandinavia where Trelleborg can be the north end point as a rail ferry from Rostock, suitable for the transport from Germany to Sweden, enters the port of Trelleborg. From Trelleborg goods can be spread to other parts of Scandinavia mainly through branches to Oslo and Stockholm.
To be sustainable a train concept needs a high fill rate in both directions. To get a high fill rate loading points can be used between the end points. Through a mapping of goods flow between Sweden and regions in the corridor suitable loading points tend to be Berlin (Germany), Munich (Germany) and Vienna (Austria). It is the demand of transport that decides how many loading points that should be used but the fewer the better since they increases the costs and lead time.
The suggested concept is a train line with green trucks as back-up to irregular demands and problems on railway tracks. Three different concept routes are presented in the thesis.
The concepts could be arranged in order of implementation. Concept 1 probably has the best chance of getting a high fill rate but the competition is hard on the route. If concept 2 is ready for implementation depends on the demand of transport on this route. When the goods flows are large enough it would probably be a better option because of the few electrification systems and train control systems crossed. Concept 3 is more of a concept for the future, due to many barriers. By using this route bottlenecks and congestion can be avoided.
2010. , 160 p.