Maturity of Polish Rail Intermodal Transport as Compared to Selected EU Countries: A Comparative Analysis
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to propose a maturity construct for rail intermodal transport and, based on it, to present a comparative analysis for Poland and four selected EU countries. Design/Methodology/Approach: The development of intermodal transport is the main assumption of the EU transport policy. It is part of the idea of sustainable development and the aim to reduce the external costs of transport. In Poland, intermodal transport is carried out mainly in the road-rail relation, hence the focus of this paper is on this combination of transport branches. The paper uses a comparative analysis. Two groups of parameters were proposed to describe the construct of intermodal transport maturity. The first describes the level and dynamics of intermodal freight flows. The second indicates the existing infrastructural conditions of performed flows. The analysis allowed to present the level of Poland's intermodal transport maturity against the background of four countries with the highest share of intermodal transport in total freight flows. Findings: The developed construct allowed to assess Poland's maturity in intermodal transport against the background of other European countries. This comparison allowed to indicate possible deviations of Poland from the analyzed countries in the area of the analyzed infrastructural conditions. Practical Implications: The analysis carried out in this paper allows to point out the directions of further research. They oscillate around the comparison of the maturity of a wider group of countries or regions and extending the research to other forms of intermodal transport. Originality/value: The adopted approach to assessing intermodal transport is not limited to the most recognised indicator in literature, i.e., the share of intermodal transport in total freight flows or the comparison of its dynamics in time. Its advantage is the possibility of relating this dynamics to the organizational, legal and economic conditions that constitute the potential for intermodal transport development.