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Economic activities involved in transalpine transport

type of commodities transported over the Alps
  • On road the most important type of commodity, the group of various manufactured products (machinery, transport equipment, electronic products, clothes, etc.), is reinforcing its position, accounting in 2004 for 37% of total tonnages, as compared with one third in 1999. It even exceeds half of the total tonnages using Swiss road passes.
  • The two next important groups on road are foodstuffs and animal fodder (16%), with a high rate of growth as well, followed by agricultural products (14%) which had the second rank in 1999.
  • Among the three other types of commodity with a share approaching 10% each, there is a high contrast between metal products on the one hand with a growth of nearly 50% in five years, and chemicals as well as building materials on the other hand with hardly an increase.
  • The goods structure at accompanied combined transport is rather similar to the one at road, however, with a smaller proportion of agricultural products and foodstuff. This result seems quite plausible, considering the specific conditions for these transports (cooling, need for short transport time). While negligible in France, it represents 4% of all goods transported in lorries and crossing the Alps in Austria and a noteworthy 12% in Switzerland.
  • Rail wagonload has hardly increased between 1999 and 2004, as a balance between an increase through Austrian passes and a decrease elsewhere, especially through French passes.
  • Agricultural products remain the most important group on rail wagonload (21% of total tonnages), even if it lost share between 1999 and 2004, immediately followed by the group of various manufactured goods (20% of total tonnages, more than 40% at Swiss passes).
  • Metal products have devolved from the second position in 1999 to the third one in 2004, although they keep the first position for French rail wagonload passes.
  • Unaccompanied combined transport shows the highest rate of growth of all modes of transport on the Alpine arc, with 36% in five years.
  • This global growth hides a huge contrast between the exceptional increase of combined transport through Swiss passes (+58%) and the significant decrease of 25% through French passes.
  • As the information about wich goods are being transported inside the containers is not available, the overall picture according to the type of commodity is not complete. However, assuming that a great deal of goods within containers also belong to the group of various manufactured products, this certainly strengthens the relative position of  this commodity group.


Table: > Alpine Crossing Transport on Road and Rail by Type of Commodity and Alpine Crossing Country

copyright by BMVIT
Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung (Germany) Ministère de l'Écologie, de l'Energie, du Développement durable et de l'Aménagement du territoire (France) Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti (Italy) Bundesminsiterium für Innovation, Verkehr und Technologie (Austria) Eidgenössisches Departement für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation (Switzerland) Ministrstvo za promet (Slovenia) Directorate General Energy and Transport