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French Equivalent: Transport intermodal

Movement of goods (in one and the same loading unit or a vehicle) by successive modes of transport without handling of the goods themselves when changing modes.

Vehicle can be a road or rail vehicle or a vessel. The return movement of empty containers/swap bodies and empty goods road vehicles/trailers are not themselves part of intermodal transport since no goods are being moved. Such movements are associated with intermodal transport and it is desirable that data on empty movements be collected together with data on intermodal transport.

Multimodal Transport

- European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) defines multimodal transport as the "carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport". Intermodal transport is therefore a particular type of multimodal transport.

- United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods defines international multimodal transport as "the carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport on the basis of a multimodal transport contract from a place in one country at which the goods are taken in charge by the multimodal transport operator to a place designated for delivery in a different country;"

Combined Transport

- UN/ECE used the term combined transport as being identical to the definition for intermodal transport described above, but recently has taken account of the ECMT- definition for combined transport given below.

- According to the rules of application of the ECE/FAL Recommendation No.19 “Code for Modes of Transport” the definition is: “Combined transport: Combination of means of transport where one (passive) transport means is carried by another (active) means which provides traction and consumes energy";

- For transport policy purposes the ECMT restricts the term combined transport to cover: "Intermodal transport where the major part of the European journey is by rail, inland waterways or sea and any initial and/or final leg carried out by road are as short as possible".

Source Publication:
Glossary for Transport Statistics, prepared by the Intersecretariat Working Group on Transport Statistics – Eurostat, European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Statistical Theme: Transport statistics

Created on Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Last updated on Tuesday, April 29, 2003