Marco Polo aims to ease road congestion and its attendant pollution by promoting a switch to greener transport modes for European freight traffic. Railways, sea-routes and inland waterways have spare capacity. Marco Polo co-funds direct modal-shift or traffic avoidance projects and projects providing supporting services which enable freight to switch from road to other modes efficiently and profitably. Marco Polo is run by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility & Transport and the EU's Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (the EACI).
What do Marco Polo and ECS have in common ?
In 2012, ECS submitted the “Freezerr” case to the European Commission as a potential grant project. This project is about frozen goods transport between Flanders and Northern Italy. Up till now this type of transport was mainly done by road. Thanks to the implementation of our Diesel-Electric reefers combined with rail connections between Zeebrugge and Milan, we have succeeded in offering an intermodal alternative. The European Commission has agreed with our proposition and approved our project.
Further developing and commercializing this model will be a major challenge for 2013. At the moment we are moving frozen vegetables and potatoes to Italy and returning with frozen pizzas. The volumes attached to “Freezerrr” are substantial so we will have our work cut out for us.