Sustainable Cities™

Gothenburg - A greener solution to freight transport

The City of Gothenburg, containing Scandanvia’s largest port, has developed an innovative system of rail shuttles for inland transportation of freight. By replacing a large number of short-distance truck journeys, the RailPort project has seen a significant reduction in traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, CO2 emissions, energy usage, and cost. With the amount of freight transported by rail expected to increase in the future, the City of Gothenburg seems well-equipped to meet and possibly overtake EU climate and energy targets.

Source: Port of Göteborg

Innovative Rail System Fuels Economic Growth

Delivering benefits for both the economy and the environment, this innovative rail project has been a priority of the City of Gothenburg for over a decade. Through operating direct trains from inland terminals, the RailPort project has increased local employment in towns across Sweden. Import and export companies are able to transport goods efficiently with rail at a lower cost, greatly increasing the appeal of the RailPort project. As a result, the Port of Gothenburg have expanded their catchment area to major regions in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, gaining support for the project throughout the entire Nordic Region.

Previous trends showed a worrying increase in the volume of freight transported on roads through the City of Gothenburg, which would have resulted in increased traffic congestion and accidents, noise pollution, poorer air quality, and higher rates of energy consumption. By shifting to rail shuttles for inland transportation of freight, the RailPort project eliminates over 120,000 truck journeys each year, greatly improving conditions within the city's environment. The rail shuttles also utilizes renewable energy,  further reducing fossil fuel emissions and impact.

 Port of Göteborg

Interdisciplinary Stakeholder Collaboration

With a variety of stakeholders involved in the RailPort project, efficency and reliability of the project is crucial. A network of intermodal transhipment terminals allows smooth coverage for rail shuttle services from a journey's start to finish. Demand for every rail shuttle is guaranteed through cooperation with several shipping companies, forwarding agents, and commodity owners. Trains can be loaded or unloaded due to a production structure at the City of Gothenburg, and an administrative system that includes bookings, invoicing, and toll declarations can be managed conveniently at all inland terminals.

Strong Municipal Leadership

Through signing the Convenant of Mayors, the City of Gothenburg is committed to achieving a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while supporting the European Union's energy policy. The commitment to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions from heavy transport has allowed for innovative cross-sectoral leadership in establishing the RailPort system. With ambitious climate targets to be met, the City of Gothenburg emphasizes the importance of increasing RailPort rail shuttles while strengthening capacity between the outer ports and inland rail infrastructure.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014