The TEN-T European Project: Enhancing Transportation Networks for a Stronger Supply Chain
The TEN-T European Project: Enhancing Transportation Networks for a Stronger Supply Chain
23 June 2023 - by: Dorina Lisnic

The TEN-T European Project: Enhancing Transportation Networks for a Stronger Supply Chain

The TEN-T project plays a pivotal role in developing a cohesive, efficient, and high-quality transport infrastructure throughout the European Union (EU). This article explores the importance of the TEN-T corridors, delves into the project's history, discusses the core networks, and highlights the advantages it brings to the supply chain industries

TEN-T European Project

The Importance of TEN-T Road Corridors  

The TEN-T policy, also known as the Trans-European Transport Network policy, is instrumental in facilitating the smooth and effective movement of people and goods within the EU. By connecting railways, inland waterways, short sea shipping routes, and roads that link urban hubs, ports, airports, and terminals, the policy ensures access to employment opportunities, essential services, and promotes trade and economic growth. It strengthens the economic, social, and territorial cohesion of the EU by establishing seamless transportation systems that eliminate physical gaps, bottlenecks, and missing links. Furthermore, the TEN-T policy aims to reduce the environmental impact of transportation while enhancing network safety and resilience.

History and Significance of the Project
The TEN-T network was first established on July 23rd, 1996, through the European Community Decision No. 1692/96/, which set the framework for its development. Currently governed by the European Union Regulation No. 1315/2013, the project encompasses various measures for transportation infrastructure, telematics applications, and the efficient and sustainable operation of transportation services. Its significance lies in promoting interconnectedness and harmonization across European countries, facilitating trade, and ensuring efficient and sustainable transportation. 

The 9 “Core Networks” of the TEN-T Project
Nine crucial intermodal paths, known as "Core Corridors”, represent the foundations of the Project, spanning across member states from north to south and east to west. These corridors are essential as they help streamline connection times and alleviate bottlenecks along transportation routes. They ensure that the most significant cities and regions of Europe can be reached within a maximum of 30 minutes. 

The nine core intermodal corridors are: 

  1. Baltic-Adriatic Corridor: Connecting the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea, passing through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, and Italy.
  2. North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor: Linking the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, spanning from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and Spain.
  3. Orient/East-Med Corridor: Connecting the eastern part of the EU, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece, to the Mediterranean Sea.
  4. Rhine-Alpine Corridor: Running from the North Sea through the Rhine river valley to the Mediterranean Sea, passing through the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
  5. Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor: Linking Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea, passing through Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Italy.
  6. Atlantic Corridor: Connecting the Iberian Peninsula to the rest of Europe, passing through Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
  7. Rhine-Danube Corridor: Linking the Rhine river to the Danube river, passing through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.
  8. Mediterranean Corridor: Spanning from Spain to Italy along the Mediterranean coast, passing through France.
  9. Rhine-Alpine North-South Freight Corridor: Focusing on freight transportation between the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, passing through the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

​What are the advantages for the Supply Chain industry?
A strengthened transport system resulting from this initiative would facilitate increased cross-border trade and economic prosperity, fostering social cohesion as well. The harmonized development of transport corridors is expected to have a positive impact on environmentally preferred modes of transport, such as rail and sea, enabling more sustainable and efficient long-distance transportation. Improved connectivity and transportation infrastructure along these corridors would lead to enhanced reliability, reduced time, and cost for freight transportation, offering a wider range of mode and route choices for freight owners and forwarders to effectively manage their supply chains. The accessibility benefits of the project extend beyond the immediate regions of the mega-projects, spreading along the entire corridor and benefiting various economic sectors. The preferred transportation modes for interregional travellers and industries will depend on their proximity to the investment sites, providing flexibility and tailored options for different logistical needs.