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COMPETITIVENESS AND SEA-RAIL INTERMODALITY IN THE RO-RO SERVICE MARKET OF ITALIAN PORTS

Ennio Forte and Lucio Siviero ()
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Ennio Forte: University of Naples

Articles, 2014, vol. 41, issue 2

Abstract: Many international studies operate a distinction between intermodal or combined land and sea transport. The present paper aims at investigating whether, in the Italian context, this distinction characterizes the market both at the supply as well as at the demand level. Port regionalization has been encountered in many international situations such as the expansion phase of ports towards the hinterland with the creation of satellite structures closely connecting them. However, in many cases in Italy the birth of inland infrastructures for “independent” road-rail intermodality has been witnessed, albeit enjoying poor connections with ports. Investigation has been made into the capacity of Italian ports to compete in the Ro-Ro market through an evaluation model of the competitiveness of Italian ports specialized in Ro-Ro traffic, based on the principle components analysis (PCA) for determining a specific index. In order to assess the statistical significance of the variables considered for this index of competitiveness a linear regression has been carried out. A further opportunity for Italian terminals may be the possibility of carrying out intermodal sea-rail transport services directly within the port ambience and in particular “Ro-Ro-Rail” services or the transport of road-transported semi-trailers with Roll/on Roll/off ships directed at a later stage by rail from the ports for inland forwarding, and vice versa. In Italy this kind of opportunity has hardly ever been explored, if not completely ignored, whereas it might represent a significant market quota for north-south goods traffic, which is less and less frequently carried by rail and by intermodal road-rail transport.

Date: 2014
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