Institute’s role: Lead partner

Esbjerg port - an intermodal portBackground: LO-PINOD (Logistics Optimisation for Ports Intermodality: Network, Opportunities, Development) aimed to challenge existing thinking on freight distribution and offer more sustainable and efficient alternatives. By improving shortsea routes, local ports and their inland connections across the North Sea Region (NSR), LO-PINOD was designed to encourage more freight to be distributed by sea.

Challenge: Globalisation and an increasing demand for goods and commodities have led to a growing requirement for freight transport in Europe. Freight movement by road is causing congestion on the main transport routes and around the larger hub ports, increasing the need to review how freight can be moved more efficiently and sustainably.

Activity: LO-PINOD partners focussed on improving accessibility to more isolated regions, lessening the environmental impact of freight transport and spreading growth and opportunity outside of the major port hub areas of the NSR. Project activity included:

  1. Improving multi-modal landside links: Enhancing sustainable connections of rail and shortsea shipping between the ports and surrounding areas will enable local ports to offer a more attractive and viable service to the freight transport sector. LO-PINOD partners in the UK, Ridham Sea Terminals and Kilbride, and the Port of Esbjerg in Denmark sought to  develop new rail connections to link their ports with their national rail network
  2. Enhancing access by sea: Developing new and innovative shortsea routes will help to take freight off the congested road network. The Ports of Bodo, Drammen, Hantsholm, Harlingen and Oostende worked together to develop a new shortsea-based supply chain for fresh produce in the region
  3. Developing regional ports: Diversifying into new business areas will ensure local ports remain competitive and relevant. Exploring new opportunities and investing in upgrading port infrastructure is crucial to help increase maritime and logistics activities. The Port of Karlshamn invested substantially in expanding logistics services for different types of renewable energy. Brunsbuttel ports also examined the feasibility of partnering with nearby regional ports to construct and maintain offshore wind energy facilities 
  4. Improving linkages with towns: Due to their long history, many ports find themselves the custodians of ancient and architecturally important buildings and structures. LO-PINOD partners with heritage buildings within their estates worked to identify how they could be utilised as community facilities. The Port of Drammen transformed its oldest warehouse, built in 1926, into a maritime museum and conference area. A programme with local schools was established to organise visits to learn about the ports' maritime heritage and modern operations.

With an emphasis on optimising the capabilities, capacity and potential of local ports, the project encouraged better cooperation and knowledge-sharing between project partners. LO-PINOD also sought to influence national and EU policy on the benefits of better use of shortsea shipping and local port infrastructure.

The LO-PINOD project final conference: ‘The role of regional ports: transforming sustainable freight movement’, took place at Kursaal Oostende, Belgium on 10 October 2014.

Partners: The Institute was one of 15 organisations from across the region:

Lead partner

  1. Institute for Sustainability


  2. AG Port of Oostende (Belgium)
  3. Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH (Germany)
  4. Harlingen Seaport (The Netherlands)
  5. Kilbride (UK)
  6. Municipality of Meppel (The Netherlands)
  7. Port of Bodø (Norway)
  8. Port of Drammen (Norway)




   9. Port of Esbjerg (Denmark)
  10. Port of Hanstholm (Denmark)
  11. Port of Karlshamn (Sweden)
  12. Port of Sheerness (Peel Ports Ltd) (UK
  13. Provincie Drenthe (The Netherlands)
  14. SEStran (UK)
  15. Thanet District Council Port of Ramsgate (UK)         

 LO-PINOD partner map

Funders: The project was funded by the North Sea Region programme, part of the EU Inter-regional (Interreg) initiative.

Further information: For more information on LO-PINOD click here

LO-PINOD                 The project is funded by the North Sea Region programme, part of the EU Inter-regional (Interreg) initiative.            The project is funded by the North Sea Region programme, part of the EU Inter-regional (Interreg) initiative.