Project Ideas

VB Connect NSR


CONNECT-NSR focuses on the resource efficient use of hinterland connections and linkages to sustainable transport chains.

It is the aim to analyze how the hinterland connections of peripheral intermodal hubs, mostly smaller port cities can be improved through the TENT-T Comprehensive Network. This should prevent that there is a further shift in the competitive situation in favor of the main ports.

HWWI gGmbH Fahrenheitstr. 1


Isabel Suenner

Tel: 0032-2-2091-287
Fax: 0032-2-2091289

Central Aim

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is intended to strenghten Europe´s international competitiveness by improving the accessibility of regions and harmonizing border traffic.

The TENT-T network can be divided into the Core Network and the supplementary transport network (Comprehensive Network). The latter satisfies a feeder function to the Core Network.

Currently, policy is concentrating mainly on the development of the Core Network corridors, which should be realized by 2030. The Comprehensive Network, which is to be completed by 2050, yet received comparatively little attention.

Due to the potential further concentration of transshipment on a few major ports, the proposed project aims at improving the connection of the peripheral North Sea ports to the hinterland of the TEN-T Core Network in the medium-term.

This shall safeguard the small peripheral harbors´competitive situation compared to the main ports.

While planning the future Comprehensive Network, traffic bottlenecks and isolated connections must be minimized. Furthermore, national planning and projects must be considered at the configuration of the network. In particular, missing linkages in the TEN-T corridors must be identified.

Even if the time horizon for the Comprehensive Network until 2050 appears to be relatively long, the peripheral North Sea ports require further development perspectives against the background of that infrastructure projects and efficiency improvements in the infrastructure of the hinterland require long time horizons.

Envisaged Output

Within the framework of the project, the following activities are planned:

  • Analysis of the hinterland transport in intermodal transportation
  • Analysis of selected ports in terms of integration into the Comprehensive Network. The analysis will be conducted for selected ports in the INTERREG programme area.
  • SWOT analysis for the traffic-related situation of the peripheral ports as well as an analysis of the relative accessibility in competition with the main ports that are directly connected to the TEN-T Core Network.
  • Consideration and verification of the results of preliminary studies and projects (e.g. TEN-T core corridor studies and TEN-TaNS)
  • Simulation of spatial effects and displacement effects of hinterland transport in precarriage and oncarriage of the maritime traffic at the completion of the TEN-T network.
  • Cross-linkage of relevant corridor forums (Corridor Fora) of the North Sea region. The North Sea region is affected by five different corridors (North Sea-Baltic, Orient-East-Med, Scandinavian-Mediterranean, Rhine-Alpine and North Sea-Mediterranean).
  • In addition, three major conferences in "Interconnectivity of ports in the North Sea region" shall be carried out. The conferences will deal with the hinterland transport in intermodal transportation.


Expected results of the INTERREG project are:

  • Increase in international competitiveness and efficiency of hinterland transport of small, peripheral ports
  • Creating a more efficient multi-modal transportation network
  • Shift of freight traffic to other modes (sustainability and increase efficiency)
  • Identification of bottlenecks in the hinterland connection and adressing of policy measures to remove bottlenecks
  • Coordinated recommendations and strenghtening the competitiveness of peripheral ports


Partners Found Already

In preliminary talks the city of Emden was recruited as a potential partner for CONNECT-NSR.

Partners Sought

It is the aim to involve partners from ports across the North Sea region, which are peripherally located or not connected to the Core Network. This applies to the German Ems-Axis region, Northern Netherlands, parts of the Danish west coast and the east coast of the United Kingdom. Potential partners could for instance be Groningen (NL), Grimsby and Immingham (UK), because they have ports in peripheral location without direct connection to the TEN-T core network.

At the regional level in particular port aurhorities, port developers and planners regarding the port development should be addressed.

In addition, within the framework of the forerun project it should be examined, whether organizations in the field of logistics should be included. The logistics organizations could be assess and evaluate relevant transport routes and make use of quantitative-statistical methods.

Besides the participation of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics, partners in the field of traffic and transportation science, particularly from Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom will be sought.

Estimated Budget

Thematic Keywords
hinterland connections, Comprehensive Network, TEN-T corridors, intermodal hubs, competitiveness

Lead Beneficiary


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