Analysis of the Flemish multimodal nodes

For the further development of the Flemish hinterland freight transport nodes, we identified the most important multimodal nodes during several rounds of stakeholder consultations. Based on their geographic location, their operational profile, and the modalities they handle, we selected six multimodal nodes and performed a detailed analysis of the specific bottlenecks they experience. We proposed possible solutions for each node, in which we made a synthesis with policy advice on the role that the Flemish Government can play in these solutions.

We were able to group the solutions for the main bottlenecks into 6 major types of measures:
  • Corridors: The government supports corridor operations; multimodal services on the corridors connect the nodes.
  • Clustering: The government supports clustering between multimodal nodes. High-frequency services can be set up between hub and port via a hub-and-spoke system. A hierarchy is created between nodes.
  • Multidisciplinarity: The government encourages the combination and integration of different logistics services in multimodal nodes.
  • Open access: The government facilitates the open access of nodes both for the accessibility of physical goods flows and for the exchange of data.
  • Co-modality: The government stimulates coordination and cooperation between the various transport modalities through integration and chain initiatives.
  • Innovation: The government supports trajectories or projects related to innovative technologies, data connectivity, and new processes and concepts.
In order to guide the whole process, we proposed to work with cross-thematic task forces for multimodal transport at the Flemish level. Here the common aspects of the various nodes can be discussed in a structured way in order to work on solutions with other stakeholders. In the longer term, we propose that Flanders participates in the Physical Internet programme. This is a vision of logistics in which the concepts of the sharing economy are central. An important part of this is formed by standardised, modular loading units or containers that can be linked together and controlled autonomously using intelligent software. Another important building block is interconnectivity. Standardised IT systems, protocols, and certifications are an important precondition for automatic coordination and communication between the participants. Flanders can play a leading role in this by combining its excellent research expertise with state-of-the-art logistics knowledge.

TML and TRI-VIZOR worked together in an equal partnership, based on our typical background in quantitative methods and transport economics analysis. Each selected multimodal node was personally visited and discussed extensively with the local stakeholder.
We delivered the study in early July 2021. The client can use this to make concrete proposals to the Minister concerned in order to arrive at a practical work plan.




Flemish Government, Department of Mobility and Public Works, Policy Division



Our team

Sebastiaan Boschmans
© 2021 Transport & Mobility Leuven | Westsite: Online Oplossingen en Webdesign