September marks the start of MultiRELOAD, a transnational innovation project bringing European inland ports into the spotlight.

Under the lead of Duisport, the world’s largest and most advanced tri-modal inland hub terminal, 21 other project partners from Western, Central and Eastern Europe have met at the premises of Duisburg Port on the 7th and 8th of September to kick-start the ambitious project MultiRELOAD focusing on facilitating port solutions for efficient, effective and sustainable multimodality. 

Inland ports are key for multimodal transport chains, for both continental and maritime transport. There are 225 inland ports in Europe, many of which act as key multi-modal logistics and economic hubs near urban nodes, providing mobility infrastructure and smart solutions for both passengers and freight.

MultiRELOAD enhances the collaboration between different freight nodes in Europe to jointly test innovations and create favourable market conditions for multimodal freight transport solutions. To this end, MultiRELOAD will demonstrate solutions in three Innovation Areas with specific aims by 2025, mirroring the measures of the EU’s Smart Mobility Strategy, as follows:

  1. Smart multimodal logistics: facilitate a shift from road to rail & IWT of 5%;
  2. Digital & Automated Multimodal Nodes and Corridors: increase operational efficiency by 20 % raise of handling capacity;
  3. Innovative business models: leading to an average cost reduction of freight transport by 10%.

For a total of 36 months, the MultiRELOAD consortium comprising of ports, highly innovative technology, logistics and service providers, leading European research institutions and well-connected networks will cooperate intensely to facilitate significant modal shift to sustainable modes of transport, radical efficiency increase of supply chains and capacity-sharing (data, infrastructure, loading space, etc.) for all operators within the key Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) Rhine-Alpine and Rhine-Danube Corridors.

Duisport is internationally highly connected and acts as a role model and digital innovation trendsetter on the logistic supply chains worldwide. In MultiRELOAD, duisport together with the Ports of Vienna (AT) and Basel (CH) will lead the transition of inland ports towards carbon-neutrality by jointly testing, demonstrating, evaluating and rolling out highly innovative multimodal freight solutions in seven different demonstrations structured in the three thematic innovation areas named above. MultiRELOAD demonstrators will be set up, implemented and evaluated by regional consortia with port authorities, operators, supported by technology and service providers, and relevant research organizations. All MultiRELOAD innovations promise to significantly increase the flexibility, service visibility and reduce the average cost of freight transport on average by 10%.

MultiRELOAD’s innovative solutions will be developed further towards sound business plans & models, ready for a wide uptake, thus improving the overall market maturity. The two already existing business incubators startport in Duisburg and thinkport Vienna will provide business angel expertise for new services & start-ups developing smart multimodal solutions. Finally, a wealth of final customers (i.e. logistics service providers, freight forwarders and cargo owners) will be directly involved by means of the MultiRELOAD User Forum for the validation of innovations, thus ensuring the market-readiness of solutions.

The project receives funding under the Horizon Europe Call “Safe, Resilient Transport and Smart Mobility services for passengers and goods” | Call ID: HORIZON-CL5-2021-D6-01, Grant ID: 101069796

Project Consortium:

(Coordinator) duisport – Duisburger Hafen AG, Port of Vienna, Schweizerische Rheinhäfen, RhinePorts, Pro Danube Management GmbH, Transport Trade Services - TTS Austria, Advanced Security Engineering (ASE), FH OÖ Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH, FH OÖ Studienbetriebs GmbH, DST - Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V., CargoBeamer, Rupprecht Consult - Forschung & Beratung GmbH, Rhine-Alpine Corridor EGTC, Hungarian National Association of Radio Distress-Signaling and Infocommunications (RSOE), Prodevelop, eYard, Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe (ALICE), Institut du Droit International des Transports et de la Logistique, Smart Freight Centre, NOSTA Holding GmbH, Hungarian Federation of Danube Ports


Project Coordinator

Jan-Christoph Maass

Senior Project Manager – Research and Innovation

Corporate Development and Strategy 

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Partner responsible for this press release

Robert Rafael / Ruxandra Matzalik Florescu

Managing Director / Senior Project Manager

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