Seamless Transport

Innovations: The ITF

The International Transport Forum

Issues for Consideration at the 2012 Summit on Seamless Transport


The Advisory Board is the International Transport Forum’s link with the private sector. Its mandate is to provide strategic guidance to the Forum and its Annual Summit. At a meeting on 24 January 2012 in Berlin (Germany) the Advisory Board discussed the 2012 Summit theme “Seamless Transport: Making Connections”. The Advisory Board identified a number of key issues that, in its view, should be considered by political decision-makers, industry leaders an transport experts during their deliberations on 2-4 May 2012 in Leipzig. In the view of the Advisory Board they will be key to enhancing connectivity in transport on a local, regional and global level:


Alliances between modes are the way ahead. Transport modes no longer see each other as competitors. In freight and passenger transport, customers demand functioning cross-modal networks and one-stop solutions. Alliances and comprehensive network solutions that enhance connectivity must be encouraged and fostered. Efficient nodes like airports and ports are crucial for enhancing connectivity in transport at global level, especially when and where economies of scale push for traffic consolidation.


Better connected, seamless transport systems are what transport customers want. Providers who offer the most connected and integrated services will have a competitive edge. The bringing to market of innovative mobility products should be encouraged.


The digital revolution is a game changer for transport. Data availability and communication capabilities are driving changes in demand and in the management of mobility. They are also creating new, often more complex, business models in transport. Information technology need to be treated as an integral part of transport policy.


The lack of international standards is an impediment to more efficient transport. Absence of international technical and regulatory standards hamper cross-border transport and global trade facilitation as well as the introduction of innovative technologies, for instance electric mobility or electronic waybills. Sometimes the issue is not creation of common standards, but implementation of existing international agreements.


Urbanisation is a 21st century megatrend and a major transport challenge. Cities are the powerhouses of the global economy, but to maintain that role urban transport for passengers as well as freight needs to be rethought. Urban, regional and interregional transport need to become more connected into truly integrated networks to achieve sustainability, efficiency and accessibility for all.