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WP.24 follow-up workshop on weights and dimensions of intermodal transport units

(UIC HQ, Paris, 6-7 February 2014)

Moderated by Mr. Henri Maillard, former chair of WP.24, the workshop reviewed, on the basis on concrete examples, the interoperability requirements for road, rail and inland water transport of various intermodal transport units (ITUs), particularly the pallet-wide 45 foot European container providing a loading space for 33 Europallets.

It was noted that the safe transport by road of such rectangular ITUs would require an additional permissible loading length of around 15 cm, beyond the currently allowed 13.60 m for road semi-trailers.
Rail transport of such ITUs was also possible without major technical difficulties on standard container wagons even though with a loss of capacity and operational safety due to loading gaps between such units.
Similarly, standard inland water vessels could transport such containers. Optimal stowage of such ITUs (i.e. four-wide) would, however, require a widening of the hold to 10.20 meter which would only be possible for newly-built vessels and with modified safety regulations.

The workshop also reviewed various proposals to improve the aerodynamics and road safety of ITUs that necessarily will increase the overall length of ITUs or road transport vehicles.  It felt that the environmental and energy effects of such devices on road transport operations had not yet been studied thoroughly and under realistic circumstances.  Also the impact of such devices, foldable or not, on intermodal transport had not yet been analyzed.

For more information, visit the UIC website.