Unaccompanied combined transport with rail legs in Romania

  • 1 CFR Marfa – National Company of Freight Railway Transport, Bucharest, Romania


The paper deals with the development of the unaccompanied combined transport (UCT), in Romania. Firstly, it presents statistics and performs a quantitative analysis, depicting a sharp decline of the UCT after 1990, its low weight in the total freight transport volumes and the main characteristics of the domestic traffic which has had a higher weight than in the neighbouring countries and is almost completely connected with the Port of Constanta. The qualitative analysis indicates a great weight of the empty boxes (generating higher costs and prices), the disappearance of several type of services during the time and the fact that the Port of Constanta has not become a real engine for UCT yet. The paper identifies as reasons for these evolutions the changes in the economy, the cancelation of the support measures implemented before 1990, the route competition, the competition with other ports at the Black Sea, the constraints for the transit through the Bosphorus Strait and the lack of practical support measures. It is interesting that the policies and the strategies before and after 1990 are practically identical, but the measures implemented before 1990 are not compliant with the European legislation. Secondly, th e paper performs a comparison between the UCT with rail legs and the road transport. The analysis depicts several structural, technical, and operational issues (poor status of the railway infrastructure and container terminals, the charges for the use infrastructure that are higher in the railway case and the investments in the roads) making UCT not attractive on the market. On the other hand, the calculations based on the method used in the Marco Polo Programme, respectively using the EcoTransit application indicate lower external costs and important savings in CO2 and other polluting gases. Thirdly, the paper deals with the possible support measures, emphasizing that the measures implemented in Austria could be models for the Romanian authorities. European legislation related to the state aids also need s revisions, so that it would not embarrass the transport policies. The main conclusion is that UCT could develop only if subsidies and other appropriate support measured would be implemented.



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