Main Characteristics of Freight Transport Terminals

Core (Operations) Infrastructure Modal access (dock, siding, road), unloading areas
Equipment Intermodal lifting equipment, storing equipment
Storage Yard for empty and loaded containers
Management Administration, maintenance, access (gates), information systems
Ancillary (Added value) Trade facilitation Free trade zone, logistical services
Distribution centers Transloading, cross-docking, warehousing, temperature controlled (cold chain)
Storage depot Container depot, bulk storage
Container services Washing, preparation, repair

Terminals are important activity systems which fall into two categories, core and ancillary. While core characteristics refer to what a terminal needs to operate, such as infrastructure and equipment, ancillary characteristics tend to be more value added. They also play an important role in the differentiation of terminals since they shape their functional and operational characteristics. Core characteristics are replicable as they imply capital investments in relatively standard technologies, infrastructure and equipment. Ancillary characteristics are more linked with a policy framework as well as the regional economy, local initiatives and clustering effects.