Freight transport is responsible for around 25% of the European Union’s (EU) green- house gas emissions, making it the second largest emitting sector after energy. Sig- nificant reductions in emissions are needed to achieve long term climate goals in the EU with projections showing an increase in the total freight transport activity of about 58% (1.2% p.a.) between 2010 and 2050.

Many efforts to achieve a modal shift have already been taken in recent history. The most promising market segment is combined transport (CT). However, even in this segment, the focus has always been on the “racetracks” with large point to point volumes, such as block trains in the rail sector and inland shipping services on the Rhine and Danube. In the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries CT still plays a minor role in the transport system.

To change this situation, nearly 30 partners from ten countries in the BSR have joined forces in the COMBINE project. With support from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region program, various ministries of transport, lobby organizations, and industry partners, the project has developed strategies, initiated promotion campaigns to strengthen CT, and tested new solutions and services in pilot demonstrations.

COMBINE’s aim of achieving a modal shift towards ship and rail was achieved. Pilot activities in the project have proven the feasibility of CT solutions, even though it is in many cases not yet on the table, or mind-set, of relevant stakeholders.

For further development of CT and implementation of new technologies (and thus investments into CT infrastructure) this would be an important starting point. COMBINE attempted to increase knowledge about CT among relevant stakeholders by raising awareness through the political sector by demonstrating the benefits of CT and its significance—disclosing developmental aspects for CT financial need and support .

As a response to stakeholder involvement, the COMBINE partnership has devel- oped this CT e-book to describe all CT-related issues in the BSR, e.g., terminals with their service portfolio, operators, and other stakeholders. Most important rules and regulations as well as the most promising last mile solutions and handling technolo- gies have been looked at in a BSR-centric manner. The use of the e-book should make it easier for CT organization and development.