01 February 2018

Scania’s freight hubs expected to continue their growth

But modal shift to reach environmental and climate goals might be difficult to reach without further action

These are two findings, a recent study reveals that was commissioned by Region Skane within the Scandria®2Act project. The study has been mapping the current situation of the Scania ports as strategic freight hubs in the Swedish transport system as entry/exit points for international traffic.

The mapping includes freight volume development, operations, infrastructure including hinterland access of the Scania ports as wells as of other ports in the Scandria corridor region around the Baltic Sea. The potential future development has been analysed with regard to trade and transport growth forecasts bearing in mind the restrictions set by the climate goals.  

The authors indicate growing importance of transport links to the eastern part of Europe, as in the last decade Swedish trade with Eastern European countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine have shown the highest growth rates. IMF World Economic Outlook foresees an overall GDP increase of 3.2% annually in the emerging and developing countries in Europe, among others Poland, compared to 1.9% in the EU28.

 

Given the expected growth in trade and transport volume, the Scania ports have potential to continue to grow in the coming years. There is a need to look into the future hinterland infrastructure to/from the ports and terminals in order to cope with this growth. Sufficient capacity in the hinterland connections is vital for smooth land-based operations to and from the hubs. There are already some bottlenecks, especially in the rail infrastructure, where capacity for freight trains is scarce. This could be an obstacle for achieving the overall goal of shifting long-distance road traffic to more environmentally-friendly transport modes, such as rail and sea, in the years to come especially considering the present low costs for road transport.

Due to among others low fuel prices and cheaper drivers from Eastern countries, the modal shift as politically requested in the light of reducing transport greenhouse gas emissions, so far did not fully work out.Thus, the study suggest that collaboration, new thinking, new service offers and new business models will probably also be needed, in order for the shift to take place, especially concerning coastal shipping, connecting the long row of Swedish ports. Internalisation of external effects of transport will be on the agenda even further in the future and this means that the different transport modes will face further taxes and other burdens.

The study attests that Scania freight hubs are already well ahead as regards introducing different measures for more sustainable operations, such as alternative fuels for equipment, and land electricity for the calling vessels.

Mätta Ivarsson, Chairman of the Regional Development Board, Region Skåne

"Region Skåne has ambitious goals in terms of modal share of sustainable transport modes for both passenger and freight transports. Further Region Skåne aims at being fossil free by the year 2030. Multimodality and clean fuels are important measures for realising those goals. As a region with a large share of cross border transport it is important to collaborate with neighbouring regions, both nationally and internationally to reach our goals. This is why collaboration In Interreg projects, such as Scandria®2Act and other cross border platforms are prioritised by Skåne."
 

Contact / Further information:

Petra Stelling, Ph.D.
Region Skåne,
Infrastructure Strategist
Department for Regional Development
Phone: +46 (0) 40-675 34 97
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