An efficient transport system is a prerequisite for the European Union's competitiveness. The role of transport will continue to grow with the growth of international trade, the extension of the Union to include Central and Eastern European countries and the increased cooperation with Mediterranean countries.
In a world of rising oil prices, growing congestions and looming climate change, the transport systems need a radical overhaul in order to maintain their role of growth engine. Oil scarity will soon or late limits freedom of movement. There is a need to increase transport efficiency which can only pass through interoperability, intermodality and energy efficiency. This is reflected in the EU Transport White Paper (2011).
Increasing the share of intermodal transport is difficult to achieve. Nor has it been possible to achieve the decoupling of transport movements from the economic development. Co-modality is "the efficient use of different modes on their own and in combination, which will result in an optimal and sustainable utilization of resources". Mobility is important to support economic development and the creation of new jobs. The development of intermodal freight transport remains part of integrated logistics policies to be supported by public efforts to promote interoperability through standardization and other initiatives.