Brabant Intermodal – Cooperation Between Regional Terminal Operators in the South of the Netherlands

Context of Transport Climate Action

Encouraging more intermodal transport is important to improve the environmental performance of freight transport. The main challenge in the development of intermodal services is the ability to bundle sufficient cargo flows together to make the service cost effective, while at the same time offering a reliable and frequent service that is competitive with using road transport alone. In order to enable this, cooperation between transport operators and other logistics service providers is needed.

Brabant Intermodal is a good example of regional cooperation between different stakeholders. In Brabant Intermodal, different (competing) terminal operators cooperate by exchanging cargo and jointly starting new services.


In 2009, four terminal operators, Barge Terminal Tilburg, Oosterhout Container Terminal, ROC Waalwijk and Inland Terminal Veghel, operating in the south of the Netherlands set up a joint venture called Brabant Intermodal. The network currently includes six inland Waterway Terminals and 2 rail terminals that are actively working together.

The aim of Brabant Intermodal is to optimize intermodal transport and provide optimized solutions for customers. Brabant Intermodal strives to provide a synchromodal solution (i.e. a solution that identifies the best option and mode for a consignment at any one time) for customer in Brabant, offering to find the cheapest, fastest and most sustainable solution.


Brabant Intermodal was started in 2009. The four terminal operators who are partners found each other after the province of Noord Brabant and some municipalities set up MCA Brabant – a platform for multimodal cooperation. The 4 partners of Brabant Intermodal started working together and have:

  • created a joint Inland shipping schedule in order to optimize transport between the four terminals in the south of the Netherlands and the maritime port in Rotterdam.
  • developed common working procedures on issues such as for measuring harmful gasses in container.
  • set up a joint schedule to the Maritime port of Antwerp by bundling cargo loads.

Furthermore, Brabant Intermodal is developing an IT tool that makes it possible to make a joint operational planning for all four terminals.


– Better utilization of the Inland waterway vessels and the rail service

– Lower costs for terminal operators due to combined purchasing power

– Improved and optimized services for customers

– Switching cargo containers from road transport to waterway and rail transport avoids the emissions from road transport

Potential for scaling up

Cooperation between regional partners and bundling of cargoes to optimize loads can be done in any part of the world.

Selected references









Netherlands, Mitigation, Freight, Rail, Partnerships


Brabant Intermodal


Ben van Rooy,

“Cooperation is the only way to have a future in this complex market of inland terminals. We need our combined strengths to offer our clients the services they desire: shorter lead times, lower costs and more just-in-time deliveries.”
-Ben van Rooij, Consultant Business Development, Brabant Intermodal