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A paradigm shift for the year 2000 European virtual multimodal transport operator


The capability for transport industry SMEs to exploit new business practices that can allow them to adequately adapt to the quickly changing market appears to be fundamental if they are to resist and compete on the long run. Structural factors such as organisational infrastructure and financial capability represent the major drawbacks to pursuing a competitive policy versus well-established, multi-national Multimodal Transport Operators (MTOs). It is in this context that the idea of a networked enterprise, made-up of tens of SME transport operators, all acting and behaving so to be perceived from the market as one large enterprise, can represent a paradigm shift for thousands of European SMEs, enabling them to act as de facto MTOs within a virtual company.

This new business practice can be named Virtual Multimodal Transport Operator (VMTO). A VMTO might then be thought of as being formed by many - as many as needed - independent companies all adopting, to different extents, a common organisational infrastructure, obeying and complying to a well-defined reference model, presenting comparable cultural background and exploiting common IT potential. In this scenario, IT is seen as the strategic enabler of the change.

The project proposes two European SMEs that are willing to work-out the VMTO business best practice, approaching the pilot experiment with much determination and commitment. The goal of the Trans2000 pilot is to demonstrate the feasibility of the above proposed VMTO, working to achieve a complete definition of the organisational reference model and advanced IT infrastructure that potential future VMTO members can pragmatically adopt.

The Consortium set-up to achieve pilot's goal is composed, besides the two user industries (Intertrasport and ITG), by one major consulting firm (KSA) and a much experienced system integrator (TXT), each one contributing with adequate skills and knowledge to the overall project. Intertrasport will act as primary pilot, whilst ITG will participate as co-pilot, thus proving the feasibility of the overall co-operative environment. Pervasive quality is considered a necessity in the design of the new business practice. Notwithstanding that, BPR is considered the most effective methodological framework to effectively carry out the proposed changes, allowing to re-design a quality aware organisational environment without the limitations of current practices as induced by somehow smoother approaches such as TQM or continuous improvement.

Major benefits are expected from VMTO business best practice. Among others, overall diminished overheads, empowering the competitive edge of each single business, pervasive enhanced practicability of more sophisticated services, widespread saving of consumable resources, such as paper, wide geographical coverage, both national and international.

The European transport market size and structure ensure wide exploitation of project's results. Exploitation will be carried out internally to Intertrasport and ITG organisations, to complete and disseminate achieved results. Outside dissemination and exploitation will concern both project specifications and deliverables, some of which can lead to marketable products such as the Trans2000 VMTO Organisational Handbook and the Trans2000 VMTO IT infrastructure. All four partners will disseminate and exploit project results together or independently from one another, according to the case.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Via Roma 25
24020 Gorie (Bg)

Participants (3)

Itg - Internationale Spedition
Schleissheimer Str 102
85748 Garching-hochbruck
Kurt Salmon Associates
Rheindorfer Weg 3
40591 Dusseldorf
Via Frigia 27