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With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611 and       the co-financing of Green Fund, Greece

The Concept of Co-Modality

The European Commission has attempted steady endeavors to encourage the modular move in the cargo coordination’s showcase over the most recent 10 years as a way to keep up and strengthen the landmass' monetary aggressiveness, and to decrease ozone depleting substance emanation and to achieve the goal to lessen CO2 by 80-95% beneath 1990 levels by 2050. Numerous definitions were utilized to depict this wonder, in particular flexibility, multi-methodology, co-methodology, and as of late synchro - methodology all of which have been utilized conversely in numerous written works.


The concept of co-modality covers the following technical aspects:

  • The use of more than one mode of transport for seamless logistics;

  • The use of the Intermodal Transport Unit (ITU – a container that is standard and can be moved from one mode to another);

  • Efficiency optimization of the modes of transport (i.e. truck fill).


Apart from the technical dimension of the definition, co-modality encompasses three building blocks:

  • It is a means to reduce the environmental impact of freight transport;

  • It requires a specific legal and interoperability framework;

  • It entails a management framework for supply chain coordination – i.e. channel leadership, logistics performance, and risk and benefit sharing.


The term co-modality was first used in the mid-Term review of the European Commission’s Transport White Paper 2001 (2006) with a specific meaning: “the efficient use of different modes on their own and in combination, [to achieve] an optimal and sustainable utilization of resources”. The idea is acquainted as a route with separate versatility from its negative reactions (for example, blockage, ozone depleting substance discharges, mishaps, low resource usage, and so on.). The term was acquainted with take a marginally extraordinary edge on modular move, keeping in mind the end goal to lessen the disappointment among street hauliers that considered the Transport White Paper 2001 as an immediate danger to their business. Truth be told, the pronounced point in the EU was to decrease street transport. The move starting with one mode then onto the next was reviewed predominantly for the whole deal – and specifically with regards to the solidification of global players in the financial situation.


The term co-modality contrasts from inter-modality in its emphasis on improvement: from one viewpoint, the asset streamlining is identified with the utilization of cleaner and less dirtying vehicles. On the other, the streamlining can be perused as far as resource use in transport. The wasteful aspects in street cargo transport are colossal because of a general proficiency score of around 45%, predominantly because of request discontinuity at shippers following without a moment to spare generation and working capital decrease approaches. Thus, the term co-modality presents the idea of between firm cargo unions, as associated with the utilization of various methods of transport.


In 10 years, the outcome of this policy was not as successful as expected, as later stated in the White Paper 2011, where the term co-modality was dropped in favor of multi-modality.

Edited by: LIFE GYM project team

The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.


The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.


Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months

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