Improving the connection between ports and the hinterland is a key element for developing the huge logistics potential of the MED zone and its ports. The main motivation of the FUTUREMED project is to contribute to improving this required accessibility, not only from the physical or infrastructure point of view, but also in terms of the integration and efficiency of operations and information management. The development and enhancement of efficient intermodal corridors between the port and its hinterland can contribute significantly to the development of a more sustainable transport system and to reducing frictions between freight and passenger transport. It is thus extremely important to pay sufficient attention to the different potential stemming from infomobility and freight and passenger transport information systems; these corridors can then be improved by integrating the different agents involved and simplifying and automating processes.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the competitiveness of the ports in the MED area by improving their accessibility and connection with the hinterland. Doing so requires the introduction of innovations in processes and technologies that ensure the sustainability of this transport. The specific objectives are:
- The elimination of barriers to port access both on the side of its connection to the foreland and the inland connection to the hinterland.
- Improved integration of the ports with the hinterland.
- The development of intermodal rail transport connecting ports with their areas of influence.
- The development of interoperable information systems and solutions aimed at improving the efficiency of port-logistics systems.
The overall results of FUTUREMED are as follows:
- Growth of intermodal transport in the MED regions with improved connection between ports and the hinterland using rail transport.
- Improved access from industrial zones in the MED area to continental consumer markets.
- Reduction of negative external effects resulting from the massive use of road transport in certain corridors.
- Reduction of the polarization of logistics activity to the ports of Northern Europe, and growth of maritime transport in the MED zone.
- Adoption of new information systems and solutions to improve supply chain traceability.
In the particular case of Valencia, the FUTUREMED project involved an analysis aimed at improving the railway corridor that connects the Port of Valencia with the Zaragoza logistics platform (PLAZA), integrating the information systems of the port area with the inland terminal.