Terms Used to Define Inland Nodes

Inland Clearance DeportA common-user inland facility, with public authority status, equipped with fixed installation, and offering services for handling and temporary storage of any kind of goods (including container) carried under customs transit by any applicable mode of inland surface transport, placed under customs control to clear goods for home use, warehousing, temporary admission, re-export, temporary storage for onward transit, and outright export.UNECE (1998), see also Roso (2005), Jarzemskis and Vasiliauskas (2007), Roso et al (2009)
Inland Container DepotA common user facility with public authority status, equipped with fixed installations and offering services for handling and temporary storage of import/export stuffed and empty containers.Roso (2005), Jarzemskis and Vasiliauskas (2007), Roso et al (2009)
Intermodal Freight CenterA concentration of economic independent companies working in freight transport and supplementing services on a designated area where a change of transport units between traffic modes can take place.Cardebring and Warnecke (1995), Roso et al (2009)
Inland Freight TerminalAny facility, other than a seaport or an airport, operated on a common-user basis, at which cargo in international trade is received or dispatched.UNECE (1998), see also Jarzemskis & Vasiliauskas (2007), Roso et al (2009)
Inland PortAn inland port is located inland, generally far from seaport terminals. It supplies regions with an intermodal terminal or a merging point for traffic modes – rail, air, and truck routes – involved in distributing merchandise that comes from seaports. An inland port usually provides international logistics and distribution services, including freight forwarding, customs brokerages, integrated logistics, and information systems.Economic Commission for Europe (2001), see also Jarzemskis and Vasiliauskas (2007), Roso et al (2009)
Dry PortA dry port is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected to seaport(s) with high capacity transport mean(s), where customers can leave/pick up their standardized units as if directly to a seaport. Alternatively, a dry port can be understood as an inland setting with cargo-handling facilities to allow several functions to be carried out, for example, consolidation and distribution, temporary storage, custom clearance, connection between transport modes, allowing agglomeration of institutions (both private and public) which facilitates the interactions between different stakeholders along the supply chain.Leveque and Roso (2002), Roso (2005), Roso et al (2009), Ng and Gujar (2009)
Freight VillageAn integrated logistic zone including distribution centers and support activities such as hotels, office space and restaurants. It does not require an adjacent intermodal terminal, but this terminal is commonly in vicinity.Europlatforms
Transport TerminalType of terminal almost exclusively aimed at transshipping continental freight. There is almost no collection and distribution in the region where the terminal is located. The freight arrives at and departs from the terminal in huge flows. The terminal is characterized by large areas that enable direct transshipment between trains and/or barges. The corresponding bundling model is the hub-and-spoke network.Wiegmans et al (1999)
Distribution TerminalAt this terminal value added is created in the form of an extra service provided by the terminal operator. From location A, B, and C continental freight arrives at the terminal and is consolidated into shipments for customers X, Y, and Z. One or more terminal services is added by the terminal operator to the shipments at the terminal. The corresponding bundling model is line network.Wiegmans et al (1999)
Hinterland TerminalSmall continental cargo shipments are brought to the hinterland terminal and consolidated into bigger freight flows. These bigger freight flows are further transported by larger transport means such as trains or barges. The corresponding bundling model is the trunk line with a collection and distribution network.Wiegmans et al (1999)
Satellite TerminalFacility located at a peripheral and less congested site that often performs activities that have become too expensive or space consuming for the maritime terminal, such as empty container depots. Rail satellite terminals can be linked to maritime terminals through rail shuttle or truck drayage (more common) services.Slack (1999)

There is a wide variety of terms that have been used to refer to inland freight facilities both in the academic and commercial literature. For instance, nodes in the hinterland networks of ports have been referred to as dry ports, inland terminals, inland ports, freight villages, inland hubs, inland logistics centers, inland freight villages, etc. The reason for this diversity lies in the multiple shapes, governance, functions, stakeholders, and network positions these nodes can have. Thus, there is no consensus on the terminology to be used to describe such facilities, but the terms dry port and inland port have become the most prevalent.

  • Cardebring, P.W. and C. Warnecke, C. (1995) Combi-terminal and Intermodal Freight Centre Development. KFB-Swedish Transport and Communication Research Board, Stockholm.
  • Jarzemskis, A. and A.V. Vasiliauskas (2007) “Research on dry port concept as intermodal node”, Transport, 22(3), pp. 207-213.
  • Ng, A., and G. C. Gujar (2009), “The spatial characteristics of inland transport hubs: evidences from Southern India”, Journal of Transport Geography, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 346-356.
  • Slack, B. (1999) “Satellite terminals: a local solution to hub congestion?”, Journal of Transport Geography, Vol. 7, pp. 241-246.
  • Roso, V. (2005) “The dry port concept: applications in Sweden”, Proceedings of Logistics Research Network, Plymouth: International Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
  • Roso, V., J. Woxenius and K. Lumsden (2009) “The dry port concept: connecting container seaports with the hinterland”, Journal of Transport Geography, 17(5), 338-345.
  • UN ECE, (1998) UN/LOCODE – Code for Ports and other Locations, Recommendation 16, Geneva.
  • Wiegmans, B., E. Masurel and P. Nijkamp (1999) “Intermodal Freight Terminals: an Analysis of the Terminal Market”, Transportation Planning and Technology, 23, 105-128.