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ITPS REPORT ABSTRACT <No.0501>

AUG.2005 インターモーダルロジスティクスの発展可能性―日本の現況を踏まえて―

Burkhard HORN (Visiting Researcher)

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The development of intermodal freight logistics has become an important policy priority. Judging from intermodal container flows, there has been sustained growth in intermodal freight traffic. There is no globalisation and international trade without logistics. The basic challenge for intermodal policy makers is therefore to initiate an effective circle where economic and transport conditions enhance intermodal freight logistics and enhanced intermodality in turn helps to improve transport, economic and trade conditions.
The promotion of intermodal transport and logistics operations will achieve benefits by reducing negative environmental impacts, congestion and accident risks of transport, i.e. predominantly road transport. Both market forces and public authorities are called upon to further develop their strategies and to work on specific intermodal actions and projects. Intermodal attractiveness can be built up by pursuing actions that reduce direct intermodal costs and internalise some portions of the social, external costs connected with freight transport, but that are not reflected in market prices.
A fair amount of R&D has been performed over the years to assess intermodal transport concepts, strategies, systems, technologies, infrastructure elements and operations. What has been lacking in policy and practice is the acceptance of a holistic approach to the intermodal transport and logistics system - seen as one entity - and convincing directions and promotional efforts for programme and project implementation. As to Japan, there is not yet a common vision nor a driving sense of urgency in both administration and industry to launch a large size effort to innovate the current freight transport system and achieve a real substantial competitive logistics advantage, especially with a view to the Pacific-Asia arena and the North East Asian zone in particular.
The study is situated in the framework of demand driven logistics and supply chain management and evolving intermodal logistics structures and networks, so important to many countries high on the international trade agenda.The report summarizes recent initiatives in advancing intermodal freight logistics policies and presents a comparative scoreboard covering the EU, Japan and the U.S. The basic policy development process and the principal policy directions and instruments are reviewed. Recent and ongoing intermodal support programmes are evaluated. Because of the close relations between intermodality, innovation and possible improvements, the results of a pilot survey amongst Japanese and a few foreign logistics professionals are documented. The report ends by proposing a range of actions to enhance the intermodal logistics sector in Japan.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The author of this report wishes to express his sincere gratitude to Professor Hideo Nakamura, former President of ITPS, who encouraged this study, to members and researchers of ITPS as well as to the experts and professionals in various agencies, institutions and companies contacted during the course of this research and involved in the survey. Their contributions and the efforts they expended helped significantly in assembling the policy assessment presented in this report.

 

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