Systems for combined rail/road transport
Intermodal transport combines different means of transport: road, rail, sea and air.
In unaccompanied combined transport (UCT), the loading units are carried by road or by vessel to the transhipment terminals. There they are loaded onto trains to continue the journey by rail, generally over long international distances. Only the loading units - containers, semi-trailers or swap bodies - are carried, while the drivers remain at the terminals. At the destination terminal the consignments are picked up by truck and transported to their final destination.
Unaccompanied combined transport combines the advantages of road and rail and offers an important alternative in European freight traffic. On transalpine routes, it is competitive for distances starting as low as 300 km. Transportation and logistics companies are increasingly shifting their long-distance traffic to the railroad in order to effectively respond to traffic jams, shortage of drivers, rising energy costs and fiscal burdens, and meet the demand for environmentally compatible transports.
With Shuttle Net, one of the largest networks in terms of route density and traffic frequency, Hupac connects the main economic areas of Europe from Sweden to Southern Italy, from Belgium to Russia, from the Netherlands to Hungary. In case of longer journeys, an intermediate transfer takes place. At so-called Gateway terminals the loading units are transferred from one train to another. In this way they reach secondary economic areas, thus benefiting from the advantages of an extensive intermodal network.