T-TRANS Leaflet

Case study 3: Intermodal Transport Units (ITUs) Intelligent inter-modality

case study 3 intelligent ITUsThe capacities of many terminals like seaports and airports have reached their limits but the operators and authorities don’t have always the possibility or political will to invest in new infrastructure or even just land to expand the terminal area and increase the capacity by that way. Since a significant expansion of the existing infrastructure could be socially unacceptable and economically and environmentally unsustainable, ITS is considered nowadays a challenging but highly promising research and technology area.
ITS can provide the answer to transport industrial goods with a lower impact on the environment and on energy resources and can also provide a higher comfort, safety and security for both passenger and goods transport. This case study refers to the maritime and air transport mode in which operations should be improved by the applications of the most advanced IT technologies.
Air and land as well as sea and land transport modes are strongly interrelated at present. Goods arrive and depart from the airport platforms and ports by land mode.
At present in the industry, in the quest for greater productivity, efficiency and quality control, many shippers and freight forwarders use Intermodal Transport Units (ITUs). ITUs include here ULDs (Unit Load Devices) for air and all kinds of containers for maritime transport as well as other involved multimodal load devices like for example swap bodies or semi-trailers. Thus they are received and dispatched from their origin, sent by plane, ship or train, then received and dispatched on arrival and are finally delivered to the client – all without undergoing any additional handling (except ULDs).