The freight transport sector is organized on a global scale, in which international trade via ports is the most important market. This global trade boils down to national, regional and local transport services and logistics. The spatial dimension relates to linking the local and regional, (inter)national transport services in the most optimal way. The search is for spatial concepts with synergetic effects on accessibility and freight logistics. Key concepts are transshipment points on a regional level (e.g. Distribution Centres) or on a local level (e.g. Urban Consolidation Centres), centralized vs decentralized freight logistic concepts, multi-modal freight and logistic terminals (road, rail, shipping, air transport), logistic clusters that combine transshipment with manufacturing and logistics services. Relating to both freight and passenger transport are relevant multimodal corridors, Transit Oriented Development (mixed-use residential-commercial area with optimally designed access to public transport), and area-oriented approaches (integration of infrastructure and other policy areas e.g. environment, housing, business, recreation).
Cases across Europe show that coordinated optimization of infrastructure and spatial development at the Daily Urban System level (e.g. an urban node) can be the key to safeguard corridor interests while solving local spatial conflicts in urban nodes. This not only relates to large investments in infrastructure. Small measures at local scale may help to solve bottlenecks at the Daily Urban System level and the corridor level. For instance, at urban ring roads often up to 30% of the traffic is local. ‘Shaving off’ some of this share by local and regional mobility measures may reduce traffic sufficiently to solve congestion bottlenecks at the urban ring road. If such a ring road is part of an (inter)national transport corridor such ‘smart acupuncture’ measures can be of importance to the (inter)national transport network.