AGORA Seminar “Role of Inland Terminals in the intermodal supply chain”


Intermodal terminals are decisive for the growth of intermodal transport since they facilitate the physical interfacing between different transport modes and often moderate the interests of intermodal stakeholders. The seminar convened 30 high level experts of intermodal terminals in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, and Romania) representing a total handling capacity of more than 6 million loading units per year.
The exchange of experiences performed in the framework of the Marco Polo Common Learning Project is important to improve business and competitiveness towards road. The seminar demonstrated a large need in such kind of events and will be continued in AGORA – which stands for the “market place for exchange of information and opinion”.

The role of inland terminals – framework presentation (831KB)

conducted by Erich Possegger (Rail Cargo Austria) and Uwe Sondermann (KombiConsult) in English

Forum 1: Good practices in terminal management

Uwe Sondermann (KombiConsult): Measures to increase efficiency and performance quality of intermodal terminals (see framework presentation)

Benchmarking of intermodal terminals (131KB)

by Erich Possegger (Rail Cargo Austria) in German language

Example Railfreightportal (361KB)

by Sandra Gehenot (UIC) in English language


  • Several „good practices“ for improvement of capacity, efficiency, quality and environmental impact exist; They will be documented and published in the framework of AGORA step-by-step;
  • Knowledge is (often) concentrated on “old” Europe, or fragmented along stakeholders of the transport chain: a common learning is needed in both directions;
  • A data base on terminal issues requires permanent update and edited formats to be recognized and accepted as business sensitive compared to just „google“; AGORA seeks for a solution;
  • We need more detailed insight in specific subjects inside and on the interfaces of a terminal (- > Forum 2) and we need an intensified / continuous exchange of opinions (- > Forum 3).

Forum 2: Good practices for interface management

Uwe Sondermann (KombiConsult): Slot allocation in a liberalized market (see framework presentation)

Ketenregie (Chain Management) in the Port of Rotterdam (377KB)

by Cor Hoenders (RSC Rotterdam) in English

Services offered by intermodal terminals (131KB)

by Roland Klein and Michael Probst (KTL Ludwigshafen) in German


  • Multiple interfaces within and between stakeholders in the intermodal supply chain; increasing demand on terminals by railway undertakings, intermodal operators and customers
  • Buffers are required to reach / maintain punctuality / reliability or compensate delays / malfunctions in the chain
  • We need discipline and responsibility of actors / employees
  • We need to raise awareness on the important role of „terminal“ which is a place for value added service and not only lift-on/lift-off
  • We need an intensified and continuous exchange of opinions – > Forum 3 includes a debate on how that could work

Forum 3: Intensifying cooperation between European terminal operators

Panel discussion: Johan Gemels (Interferryboats), Ulrich Altmann (Neuss Trimodal), and all participants moderated by Rainer Mertel.


  • This seminar as well as workshops performed so far during the projects DIOMIS and AGORA have demonstrated the need for a structured, regularly and continuous exchange of experiences and opinions between the managers of intermodal terminals
  • Different forms and organisation schemes were discussed and will be outlined to a proposal for continuation after AGORA’s formal period ends

Summary and Conclusions (25KB)

by Uwe Sondermann for download

For questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards
Uwe Sondermann
KombiConsult GmbH
for the AGORA-Partners
phone +49.69.2443293172

The AGORA Common Learning Project is partly funded under the Marco Polo Programme of the European Commission.