Paradigma has been commissioned by the Port Authority of Venice to investigate the economic feasibility to provide regular train services from and to Venice. Specifically the four following transport relations were examined:
- Accompanied transport (ROLA) between Venice & Munich/Vienna
- System/Block Trains between Venice & Munich/Vienna
- System/Block Trains between Venice & Szczecin/Swinoujscie
- Block Trains between Venice & Szczecin/Swinoujscie
The analysis pursued two different approaches to assess the market potential for each of those initiatives. Firstly we looked at trade data collected at different levels (port level, regional level, national level) to get an understanding of the volumes and commodity types traded between countries, which represent potential cargo for the planned train services.
Secondly we performed a series of interviews with logistics service providers, freight forwarders, rail operators and carriers as well as with Port Authorities in Venice and Szczecin /Swinoujscie to obtain a more business oriented and more immediate view of the potential.
Sources interviewed saw limited applicability of accompanied traffic in Europe: only where either restrictive transport policies are in force, or conversely public administrations subsidizes these services, are they accepted by logistics operators and truckers. Given the situation in the Alpine Area where Austria wields both these instruments, a ROLA service between Munich and Venice, however seems feasible.
An even more positive case can be made for the three unaccompanied transport relations, where both business and evidence from trade statistics support all three initiatives for regular train services.