The infrastructural network of the European Union is of crucial importance for the functioning of its internal market, for the cohesion of the more peripheral countries and for the competitiveness for Europe as a whole. However, the expected increase of cargo volumes as well as the need for sustainability has created pressure on the existing network. The revised structure for the Trans-European Network for Transport aims therefore at increasing the capacity of the network and facilitating a shift towards usage of sustainable modes as rail and inland waterway transportation. At the same time, a spread of cargo is envisaged as well by the EU as they included 83 ports into their proposed Core Network. It is however questioned whether this spread enables at the same time the desired effect of TEN-T on the use of sustainable modes. Therefore, this thesis tries to assess the effect of the implementation of a new TEN-T structure on the modal splits of European ports, as well as on their supported hinterland volumes. The Global Simulation Model (GSIM) is used to make this assessment. The initial status of the European infrastructure is analysed and quantified into tariff equivalents. These are part of a total trade barrier tariff equivalent that is established as well. Infrastructural projects carried out under two time periods of TEN-T form two scenario’s of infrastructure improvements which both contribute to lower trade tariff equivalents. The two scenarios are assessed on their impact on port hinterland volumes towards EU27 countries for various modes of transport, calculated trough GSIM. Both scenarios showed little impact on modal splits and port volumes of European ports. However, changes between ports, clusters and importing countries were identified. The Priority Project scenario showed a polarization among European ports in hinterland volume changes. On the other hand, the Core Network showed a wider spread of increased volumes due to infrastructure improvements. The Priority Projects have proven themselves to be influential on all three inland modes. In terms of shares on a European level, rail benefited 0.02% and IWW 0.01%. The focus of the Core Network projects was predominantly on rail improvements, leading to an estimated shift in modal shares of 0.02% for rail and no shift for the share of inland waterway usage. For the effectiveness in achieving a change in the usage of sustainable modes, it is expected that the Core Network Scenario contributes less to this objective than the previous TEN-T structure of Priority Projects.

Berden, K. (Koen)
Maritime Economics and Logistics
Erasmus School of Economics

Elswijk, J. (Joey) van. (2012, September 14). Assessment of the TEN-T policies on the hinterland flows and modal splits of European Seaports. Maritime Economics and Logistics. Retrieved from