More than 15 years ago a scientific article, titled ‘Gateways and Intermodalism’, proposed that gateways (i.e. seaports) are in a unique position to stimulate intermodal transport and use intermodal systems as a tool to enlarge their hinterland. It suggested that, as the potentials for intermodalism are not directly exploited by commercial organizations, port authorities should take the lead: have a vision on the hinterland, identify markets to be reached by intermodal transport and bring various parties together to start new connections.
Today, the content of this article by Van Klink and Van den Berg (1998) remains, to a large extent, valid. The only difference is that market circumstances have significantly changed. Container volumes have almost tripled, the intermodal transport market has become much more competitive and the attention for the environmental impact of transport has substantially increased. Despite the growth of intermodal transport, there is still a huge potential for further growth
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