There are new challenges facing transport companies and agencies, including the development of a new transport model towards an intermodal transport vision. Companies, especially road transport companies, will play a key role on this new playing field.
Transportation is a key element for any government in driving economic development and overcoming the current economic recession.
While recognizing the prevalence of road freight, the Spanish government and EU legislators are basing their strategies and legislative proposals on medium and long-term models aimed at intermodality in transport, encouraging complementarity rather than competition between modes. Rail and maritime transport will also continue to play a strategic role.
At the same time, infrastructure and transport planning in Spain and other European countries will encourage greater private sector investment in transport modes where liberalisation is not yet a reality, as is occurring in rail freight in Spain.
This will provide the private sector with new transport opportunities. These opportunities must be seized in order to drive growth, even if they come as part of a new model of coordination and partnership between modes and/or participation in sectors that to-date have not offered sufficient guarantees to attract private investment.
Setting up sufficient safeguards to encourage private sector participation is, however, the responsibility of the public authorities, in close cooperation with the key players in the transport industry. In this respect, the recent creation of the Transport Logistics Forum at the request of the Minister of Development, which aims to combine efforts to make Spain a logistics platform should be warmly welcomed. It for this reason, as the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing emphasised in his presentation on 12 February, that we need to correct the current imbalance between modes in Spain and improve the low level of intermodality.
In this regard, the Centre for Promotion of Intermodal Transport is also of considerable relevance since it brings together freight-related organisations and transport companies in general and, since its inception, has advocated the promotion of rail transport as an effective and efficient freight transport mode that complements other modes, especially road transport.