Study by Leading Intermodal Research Group Shows Opportunity for New Technology in European Markets
Report identifies RailRunner as “the most advanced technology”
WALTHAM, MA, March 14, 2007 – A study by one of the foremost organizations studying intermodal transportation in Europe has concluded that the market there is ripe for the introduction of a new, low-cost system that can deliver the benefits of containerized truck/rail transport more fully throughout the European Union (EU). The study underscores the opportunity in Eastern European markets that are dramatically underserved by the traditional intermodal system, built around the expensive “hubs” for shifting from truck to rail and back, primarily located in Western Europe.
The report by the Studiengesellschaft für den Kombinierten Verkehr (Research Association for Intermodal Transport or SGKV) identifies RailRunner NA, Inc., as having the
most advanced bimodal (truck/rail) technology available and a business model well suited to the structure of the EU. RailRunner is a U.S.-based leader in bringing the “green technology” benefits of intermodal transport to a much wider range of markets, helping reduce fuel consumption (and the accompanying pollution) of transportation, while serving as a spur to economic growth.
SGKV, founded in 1928, is a non-profit research institute that provides research on and consulting services to companies and governmental units involved in intermodal transportation in Europe. It receives majority financial support from the German government, as well as from companies involved in intermodal transportation. The study was commissioned by RailRunner.
SGKV identifies three key factors that create a conducive environment for a new containerized intermodal system such as RailRunner’s:
- The unification of rail regulation across the EU, due early this year, allowing new intermodal technologies to serve a large, integrated market instead of grappling with a series of smaller, national markets.
- The commercial liberalization of the EU rail market, opening it to a wide array of transport providers.
- The pace-setting economic growth in parts of Europe – especially Eastern European countries – that are not now served by traditional intermodal transport.
The study singles out RailRunner as offering “the most advanced bimodal technology” – proposed or implemented – and also notes that other systems placed ownership of the separate physical pieces of the systems in different ownership, “which causes conflicts in case of technical problems and interoperability.” Under the RailRunner system, the same organization owns and maintains the rail-or-highway chassis and the “bogies” that allow the chassis to run on the rails. The containers are all standard international ISO containers.
SGKV also concludes that RailRunner offers the lowest overall cost per ton shipped in any markets that do not currently have a traditional intermodal terminal with high volumes; that it provides by far the lowest tare (bogie plus chassis) weight – and thus, by far the greatest fuel efficiency – of the few systems that are in actual use; that the RailRunner system’s articulated bogies cause less friction and wear and tear on wheels and axles – improving fuel efficiency, while reducing maintenance costs; and that RailRunner operates with the lowest capital investment for infrastructure and terminal equipment needs: according to RailRunner estimates, no more than 20 percent of the investment required for traditional intermodal terminals.
Both the Executive Summary of the report and the full report can be downloaded from https://railrunner.com.
RailRunner (www.railrunner.com) is an innovative rail products and services company bringing a new Road-Ready intermodal rail product to shippers worldwide. RailRunner’s worldwide patented container-carrying bi-modal system is designed to quickly; simply and efficiently shift chassis and container to and from highway to rail and back. With RailRunner’s low-investment Terminal Anywhere™ technology, no flatcars, pocket or well cars, huge cranes, high-value lift equipment or expensive terminal infrastructure are involved. Road-Ready trailers or chassis extend trucking or container services to markets and locations not previously reachable, improving shipping efficiency, lowering fuel cost, and reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, thus supporting environmental goals of transferring freight transport from road to more environmental-friendly rail. The company is privately held and based in Waltham, MA.
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