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Multimodal Promotion - Intelligent Bundling of the Stream of Goods

Up to 70 per cent of the total cargo shifted in North Rhine-Westphalia – a state with many docklands – is suited to transport by inland waterway. NRW also has the densest railway network in Germany, yet the majority of goods transported within the region are currently transported on the roads.

If carriers are to meet the demands of rising capacity in future it is essential that they learn to work together more effectively. As the situation currently stands, small and medium-sized shippers in particular have insufficient opportunities or planning instruments for combined transport. For the existing infrastructure to cope with the growth in freight traffic, marketable solutions for multimodal transport chains are urgently needed.

The Objective of the Joint Project

Neutral and anonymous evaluations will allow a bundling of transport flows between companies for the first time. Using the web-based strategic analysis and planning tool Multimodal Promotion, small and medium-sized businesses can check the shifting potential of their transport flows simply, quickly and with no need for any prior knowledge of combined transport. The largest multimodal consolidation points in NRW, the docks of Duisburg and Dortmund, are taking part in the project. If a shift successfully takes place, the inland waterways sector promises to grow by up to five per cent: for the link from Duisburg to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp alone, this amounts to around 40,000 standard containers and 16 million lorry kilometres per year.

Specific Innovations

The tool is able to plan and organise direct door-to-door routes, taking into consideration the timetables of the various modes of transport (road, rail, waterways), making it easier to work out more efficient new connections. Companies simply have to enter their transport quantities and general requirements into the system and they immediately receive specific recommendations for transportation alternatives by waterway or rail. Opportunities for cooperation and combining resources are also indicated. The more companies in the region get involved, the greater the opportunities, since the potential for modal shifts is determined by analysing all of the transport data entered. If long-term alternatives for combined transport are sought throughout the whole region, the volume of empty or incomplete trips can be reduced.

Partners in the Project

Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML


Port of Dortmund




Verkehrslogistik Consulting & Engineering GmbH

It should be easy for logistics companies to organise multimodal transport chains – at rates and with an environmental impact which compare favourably with transportation purely by road

Contact person

Dipl.-Logist. Achim Klukas


Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML


Facts & Figures

Start of the Project


Project Duration
36 months

Project Volume
1,1 Mio. Euro

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Members of EffizienzCluster

EffizienzCluster Management GmbH
Kölner Str. 80 - 82
45481 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Tel.: 0208-9925 - 255
Fax: 0208-9925 - 222
E-Mail: info@effizienzcluster.de