Facilitating Intermodal Transport to reduce air pollution and energy consumption of freight transport sector

Reference: LIFE19 ENV/DE/000712 | Acronym: LIFE FIT



The transport sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the EU. Road transport accounts for more than 70% of EUs freight transportation. Currently, the manual system for purchasing and sales in the freight sector is complicated, confusingand non-transparent. Digitalisation of processes will enable SMEs especially to increase their use of rail instead of road, leading to several socio-economic and environmental benefits, including the reduction of air pollutants such as NOx and PM.


The LIFE FIT project will contribute to the reduction of transport-related air pollution in the EU by shifting freight volumes from road to more sustainable rail transportation and by helping decouple the environmental impacts of transport from economic growth. LIFE FIT will significantly enhance efficiency and sustainability of EU freight transport by combining the NiKRASA intermodal technology with an innovative logistic platform module allowing for an end-to-end solution for intermodal transportation. Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Prove the effectiveness of the NiKRASA technology and to integrate a European-wide logistics platform to enable collaboration among transport SMEs;
  • Demonstrate cost-neutrality of intermodal transport via FIT compared to road-only transportation;
  • Improve SMEs access to the intermodal market by removing their main entry barriers;
  • Significantly increase the share of intermodal transport for participating transport companies,mainly SMEs, along the demonstration routes;
  • Reduce transport-related pollutant emissions and resource consumption and improve social aspects of the logistic sector, such as working conditions and fair competition;
  • Carry out environmental impact analyses at transnational level;
  • Encourage the digitalisation and to enable for large scale volume/network effects within the transport sector to achieve health and environmental benefits;
  • Conduct a feasibility study for modal interoperability with waterway transports, assessing multiple environmental and other spill-over effects;
  • Initiate EU-wide replication of the technology starting with Denmark and Italy before rolling out to the Central Europe-Turkey corridor;
  • Engage the target audience and stakeholders to reach a critical mass for building a large European intermodal transport network; and
  • Set a standard in land freight transport, serving as best practice in the sector.


    Expected results: Technical-economic results:

  • Facilitation of intermodal freight transport along the European West-East axis with routes spanning the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania, and starting the replication of the technology along the North-South axis (Denmark to Italy) and the Central Europe-Turkey corridor;
  • Integration and optimisation of the FIT logistic platform module to allow for an end-to-end solution for intermodal transport usage by finding missing last-mile partners and enabling easy management;
  • Demonstration of the efficiency of the NiKRASA technology in combination with the FIT platform to improve intermodal management procedures and increase safety and fair competition within the transport sector;
  • Operation of around 15 000 shipments via FIT by 2023 along the routes Herne-Budapest, Cologne-Curtici/Oradea and routes to and from Verona;
  • Creation of 10 jobs by the end of the project and 50 jobs by 2028; and
  • The FIT network of registered customers in 2023 comprising at least 50 transport companies with a strong focus on SMEs;
  • Environmental results:

  • Movement of freight from road to rail will result in savings of at least 17.6 million km of road transport by 2023 on the routes Herne-Budapest (4.55m km), Cologne-Curtici (5.1m km)/Oradea (1.51m km) and diverse routes to/from Verona (6.44m km);
  • Significant reduction of main air pollutants as a consequence of higher rail share by 2023 of 9.9 t VOC, 14.7 t NOx and 3.5 t SO2 (95%, 59% and 28% respectively) and by 2028 of 38.2 t VOC, 56.8 t NOx and 13.7 t SO2;
  • Reduction of carcinogenic substance PM by 112.4 kg by 2023 and 417.2 kg by 2028;
  • Energy savings of 351 768 720 MJ by 2023 and 1 365 700 GJ by 2028, amounting to a 70% reduction in consumption of resource;
  • Fuel savings of 5 million litres diesel by 2023; and
  • Emissions savings of 33,828 t GHG (82% reduction) by 2023.
  • Business:

  • Promotion of FIT for a market-wide uptake by starting replication along the North-South-axis and Central Europe-Turkey corridor to increase the environmental impact of FIT;
  • Development of a transfer strategy for other transport modes such as barges, including feasibility studies;
  • Implementation of broad dissemination actions involving a wide stakeholder community through cooperation with international and national logistics sector organisations, the scientific community, environmental organisations, public authorities and policymakers; and
  • Significant company growth and job safeguarding in transport SMEs and intermodal operators, increase of competitiveness of small transport companies by increasing driver job attractiveness via FIT.

    Reference: LIFE19 ENV/DE/000712
    Acronym: LIFE FIT
    Start Date: 01/11/2020
    End Date: 31/10/2024
    Total Budget: 3,392,681 €
    EU Contribution: 1,865,974 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Rail-Flow GmbH
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Koblenzer Strae 45, 60327, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland
    Contact Person: Dominik FUERSTE
    Email: d.fuerste@rail-flow.com
    Tel: 496920732402
    Website: https://www.rail-flow.com/

    LIFE Project Map



    • Air pollutants
    • GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
    • Savings
    • Transportation - Storage


    • energy saving
    • emission reduction
    • air pollution
    • rail transport
    • freight transport
    • traffic emission
    • combined transport
    • transportation business
    • logistics


    • COM (2013/0918) - A Clean Air Programme for Europe (18.12.2013)


    Name Type
    SD(Simply Deliver B.V.), Netherlands Participant