Traditional benchmarking at multimodal or intermodal hubs has been studied in several projects at both regional and European level.
The EcoHubs (FP7) project developed cooperative models to facilitate the communication and cooperation between stakeholders of multimodal hubs, and introduced a multimodal terminal eco-efficiency calculator which supports the transformation of multimodal terminals into environmentally friendly EcoHubs. The SKEMA project (FP7) moved further and focused on three pillars of sustainability (including environmental, social and economic aspects). SKEMA developed a “Quality Criteria and Performance Indicator Set” for EU policy makers. The TOOLQIT project (FP6) developed a methodology for quantifying quality-related performance variables in passenger and freight transport. Also, the SuperGreen project (FP7) and the BE Logic project (FP7) were directed mainly towards the performance of transport chains, instead of infrastructure. Whilst SuperGreen focused on the “greening potential“ of intermodal freight corridors, BE Logic developed a benchmarking tool to show companies the advantages of a modal change. The COCKPIIT project (an Austrian project) developed key performance indicators for intermodal transport. A more strategic focus was chosen in the project Intermode-TRANS (FP6), which prepared guidelines as a basis for future research and technological development activities, needed to support the efficiency of intermodal transport for future harmonization efforts.
An OECD study of 2002 underlines the number of different benchmarking methods for intermodal freight transport in various countries (OECD 2002). The study shows that the actual application of holistic methodologies focusing on the infrastructure and service-level is rare, and encourages the inclusion of relevant stakeholder groups in benchmarking exercises. While a lot of scientific contributions have been made on the benchmarking of airport hubs, e.g., by means of sustainability and performance, there is a lack of scientific studies regarding the benchmarking of inland multimodal hubs.