Lead Beneficiary



oversize cargo,
Oversize Baltic program,
transport corridors.
Anna GALOR[1]
Wiesław GALOR[2]
Bogusz WIŚNICKI [3]




The paper presents a concept of transport corridors for oversize cargo transport in the Southern Baltic Sea Region. The concept was developed under the Oversize Baltic Program partners. The paper presents a methodology for designation of oversize transport corridors and their planned location within the territory of Poland.


The Oversize Baltic project was approved in 2009 under the South Baltic Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013. The project is concerned with the handling and carriage of oversize cargo in the South Baltic Region. Nine partners participating in the project represent Poland, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden.   Part of the project referring to Poland is implemented by the Maritime University of Szczecin [1]. The main goals of the project are as follows [2]:

1.        creation of the strategy for oversize cargo (OC) expected to enhance the economic attraction of the region (four regional strategies and one overall strategy for the South Baltic Region covered by the research),

2.        establishment of an information network to improve OC carriage in the South Baltic Region (integrated point where transport permits or information on transport route will be available),

3.        creation of a database on routes accessible for OC transport, existing transport infrastructure and obstructions, which will increase transport effectiveness,

4.        emhancement of safety associated with OC transport,

5.        improvement of commercial and infrastructural co-operation of the developing regions in order to increase the competitiveness of the region on the global market of transport services.

The information network referred to as OTIN (Oversize Transport Information Network) is expected to facilitate access to information related with OC transport, maps of possible transit routes by various modes of transport in the South Baltic Region and the possibility of submitting one application for transport permit valid for the whole route across the region under consideration [3].




It should be borne in mind that criteria (parameters) for classifying cargo as oversize differ for various modes of transport. What is regarded as oversize cargo in road and rail transport is by no means oversize for inland or maritime carriers.


2.1. Road transport

As far as OC road transport is concerned, no accurate statistics are available in Poland, neither is a national database where relevant information can be obtained. It was possible, however, to acquire some relevant data, e.g. the numbers of permits issued in the years 2001-2009 for the territory of the whole country [7] (Fig. 1). Permits for OC transport for companies and persons from outside Poland are issued by the national GDDKiA office in Warsaw.



Fig.1. Number of permits issued by GDDKiA in Poland


2.2. Rail transport

Oversize cargoes in rail transport are referred to as extraordinary shipments. In practice, the most frequently carried pieces of cargo are engines for the Dolna Odra Power Station, and until recently, for Szczecin NOWA Shipyard, paper in bales, rails, High Cube 40’ and  45’ containers, military vehicles and equipment, transformers. Table 1 contains OC transport, as handled by PKP CARGO S.A. in the years 2007-2009 [8].


Tab. 1. Number of extraordinary shipments carried by PKP CARGO S.A.
in 2007-2009

Quantity [t]
Number of shipments [pcs]
gauge-fitting cargo
gauge-fitting containers
On wheels
2.3. Inland waterway transport
Two types of permits for OC transport are distinguished in inland waterway shipping:
1.        permits for oversize cargo transport,
2.        permit for transit of a ship exceeding authorized dimensions (generally ship hulls manufactured by inland shipyards).
Due to bad condition of waterways in Poland OC transport is generally operated along the River Oder. In this connection, only two Inland Shipping Offices (UŻŚ) in Szczecin and Wrocław issue appropriate permits. In the years 2007-2009 the offices issued 71 permits for the movement of ships with excessive dimensions and 10 permits for OC transport on inland shipping vessels (UŻŚ in Szczecin) [9, 10].
2.4. Air transport

Airborne cargo transport is maily international. In the region of Northern Poland included in the project, two airports handling oversize cargo are in operation: one in Goleniów, the other in Gdańsk. The majority of cargo carried by aircraft is transported along Atlantic routes, to the United States and Canada. European destinations of airborne cargo from Poland are located in Germany and Great Britain. In 2008 a connection was put in operation between Poland and Bejing.

Tab. 2. Cargo throughput at Goleniów
and Gdańsk airports in 2001– 2008

Cargo (tonnes)
1 955
20 467
2 453
19 875
3 021
22 033
3 084
20 639
4 106
22 002
4 525
27 337
5 993
31 468
6 384
34 595

Bibliography [4]


Prospects for the future carriage of oversize cargo in Poland cannot be limited to the regions of Northern Poland, as these areas are not densely populated, except such city areas as Szczecin, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Bydgoszcz and Toruń. The northern territory of Poland is to a large extent covered with forests, and agriculture is the major sector.

An analysis of the spectrum of enterprises across the country indicates that the majority of potential senders or recipients of oversize cargoes is located in central or southern part of the country (Fig. 2).


Fig. 2. Main industrial districts in Poland [6]

Besides, the central part and south of the country are criss-crossed by pan-European transport corridors running along east-west and north-south directions and, consequently, have better road and rail infrastructure than the north. It follows that the region under consideration will be mostly a transit area for OC transport. At present the main north-south OC transport routes connect major seaports with a number of industrial areas.

Investment plans in Poland for the years to come include a few thousand projects, many of which require oversize transport. In connection with the EURO 2012 event, many express roads and motorways are being built or modernized, which involves new junctions, ring roads, flyovers and bridges. At the moment, works that are continued or about to start include 130 junctions, 150 ring roads, while 27 bridges and 35 flyovers are being built, repaired or converted.

Major investment projects in Poland for the next ten years include [12]:

          biogas plants – 40 to 50,

          gas and power blocks in heat and power stations – 10,

          wind farms – about 20, water power stations – 2,

          gas-fired power plants – one in Pomorskie voivodeship,

          heat and power stations – among others, one in Police near Szczecin,

          reconstruction and modernization of airports, e.g. in Łódź, Wrocław, Warsaw, Poznań, Goleniów, Białystok, Katowice,

          stadiums (11 for EURO 2012, others are being planned),

          factories – 50,

          LNG terminal in Świnoujście, breakwater and outer port,

          production – storage houses – 25,

          sports and sports/concert halls – about 100,

          aluminium production plant in Nowa Sól,

          outdoor and indoor swimming pools,

          construction and modernization of rail tracks,

          sewage treatment plants,

          Świnna Poręba dam,

          construction of thermal wastes utilization plants – about 20,

          underground gas storage facilities.


One of the most important investment projects in Poland in the near future is the construction of a nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec. The decision was approved at the beginning of 2010. There are also plans to build another such plant at Kopań or Klempicz, but an appropriate decision has not been made yet.

The construction of gas-fired power plants, gas blocks in power plants, and gas blocks in power stations and biogas production plants is justified by a need to diversify the sources of natural gas supply and the necessity to produce energy from other than coal and gas sources. Additionally, there are plans to build a number of underground gas storage facilities, a major component of the national gas transport system [5].

Other large investment projects, where oversize cargo pieces will have to be transported, and which are supposed to increase the inland cargo transport volumes, are part of the planned modernization of waterways. One project will aim at the modernization of the Odra Graniczna (Border Oder), while Wrocław authorities make efforts to regulate the Oder River along the section to Malczyce. Dąbie, one of the largest lakes in Poland, will be deepened to increase its economic potential. The navigable route running from Schwedt (Germany) to Zatoka Pomorska (Pomorska Bay) will be upgraded to enable navigation for river-sea vessels. To increase the accessibility of harbours located along the Oder mouth forinland shipping, the railway bridge over the Regalica River (at 733.7 km) will be rebuilt under the programme of Szczecin-Wrocław railway modernization. The plans for the Vistula River include adamin Nieszawa. The concept of modernizing the international E-70 waterway (including the Vistula-Oder waterway) is being developed with the aim of upgrading the whole route parameters to class II. Another project that is likely to be executed is the construction of a canal known as the Danube-Oder-Elbe Link.

Investments planned in the seaports of Szczecin, Świnoujście, Gdańsk and Gdynia are related with the construction and modernization of road and rail infrastructure from the hinterland in order to imporve port access on the land side. Each port has plans to modernize existing and build new quays. Świnoujście is the location of the future LNG terminal, while Gdynia will be operating a new ferry terminal.

Companies operating at Special Economic Zones may also be either senders or recipients of oversize shipments. In this respect, the zones of major importance are as follows: Kamiennogórska, Katowicka, Kostrzyńsko-Słubicka, Krakowska, Słupska and Starachowicka [11].

Another destination of oversize cargo pieces will be planned wind farms. The selection of their locations depends on local meteorological conditions. In this connection, the area of Zachodniopomorskie voivodeship is regarded as the most attractive (at present 50% of all such projects in Poland are being implemented there), followed by Pomorskie voivodeship (33% of national investments of this type).

Particular attention should be paid to a project of building a wind farm on the Baltic. The project, to be executed by the Gdynia-based firm Baltex-Energia Wiatrowa, assumes the erection of 260 wind turbines in the region of Południowa Ławica Środkowa (Southern Central Bank), about 90 km north of Ustka. The total turbine power of 1560 MW is almost threefold higher than the overall power presently installed in all wind turbine facilities (538 MW).

4. Characteristics of OC transport orderers

Companies ordering oversize transport services include various firms, operators and government institutions. However, it should be borne in mind that places where oversize cargo is sent and received differ from the headquarters locations of the OC transport orderer or recipient. Transport operations are usually carried out between the place of production and destination.

Under the Oversize Baltic program the area of Northern Poland was examined in view of OC transport. Besides, the transport corridor linking Berlin and Moscow was reviewed on the grounds that it is the main east-west link that has proper infrastructure capable of accommodating OC transport.

The following factors were taken into consideration in determining places of production and reception of oversize cargoes:

1.        existing and planned wind farms,

2.        special economic zones,

3.        presently executed and planned investment projects.

Example locations of currently executed and future investment projects, and OC manufacturing sites are shown in Fig. 3.


Fig. 3. Potential sites of manufacturing and reception of oversize caroes

5. infrastructure for OC transport corridors

In 2006 the European Commission issued guidelines on good practices for oversized vehicle transit in Europe. These guidelines, jointly developed by European sector experts, member states and EU Commission, are aimed at facilitating effective performance of OC transport within the territory of the EU, enhancement of operations relating to this kind of activities and introduction of greater transparency in the area of OC transport. One of the main issues emphasiyed in the guidelines is the designation of transport corridors for oversize cargo. These corridors should comprise economically important roads e.g. paid motorways included in the E-way programme, other motorways, roads leading to industrial areas, ports, container terminals etc. Information on such corridors should be available for all parties dealing with oversize transport: carriers, police, permit issuing authorities, bodies responsible for bridges, roads, tunnels etc. Then the oversized vehicle operations could be carried out on roads best suited for the purpose, belonging to the road corridor network where simplified application procedures are used [13].

OC transport in Poland uses mainly public transport infrastructure.While issuing a permit for OC transport, decision makers in the first place take into account the infrastructure located along the east-west and north-south transport corridors.

In case of road network, priority is given to motorways, express roads, other national roads, then voivodeship, poviat and communal roads. In rail transport, recommended routes are mainly the lines indicated in consultation with AGC and AGTC.

Planners of OC transit routes seldom take into consideration intermodal transport, combining more than one mode, if there is a possibility of OC carriage by one, rail or road transport all the way from the sender to the recipient. In other cases the transport by sea or river is used, where the basic un/loading locations are sea and river ports. Air transport is occasionally used.

Analyses indicate that practically there is no cargo transhipment between rail and road vehicles. Rail transport is considered as a worse alternative to road transport (even if such possibility exists), as this incurs additional costs. Obviously, OC transport by road is for carriers the easiest and cheapest method of carriage of this type of goods. This is due to the fact that road carriers do not incur any costs of the replacement of that requires more frequent modernization as a consequence of greater loads. In this connection, introducing any changes in OC transport aimed at shifting part of the freight to the railway is a difficult task.

6. Methodology of designating transport corridors

The ‘Strategy for oversize cargo transport for the South Baltic Region’, now under preparation, recommends increasing the share of maritime, river and rail carriage in oversize transport. For this reason the infrastructure of all modes of transport has been taken into account in preparing the concept of transport corridors. Besides, it has been assumed that corridors for OC transport should mainly make use of the existing TEN-T – Trans-European Transport Network. However, it turned out that in the area under consideration, these corridors run only along the north-south direction. Therefore, the examined area has been extended to include the Berlin-Moscow corridor.

The process of determining transport corridors began from collecting the maps with the existing roads, rail tracks and inland waterways that are adjusted to accommodate oversize transport, then the point infrastructure was mapped, e.g. sea and inland ports that may become major reloading sites for OC carriage. Then the maps were supplemented with infrastructure to be built or modernized till 2020 and which will be adequate for OC transport (Fig. 4). The next stage was the mapping of potential points of sending and reception of oversize cargo.


Fig. 4. Transport infrastructure adjusted to OC transport


OC transport corridors were determined by taking into account places where oversize goods are manufactured, places in Northern Poland to which such goods may be sent, the road, rail and waterway networks, potential points of transshipment to other modes of transport [12].


Fig. 5. Intermodal transport corridors for OC transport


The corridors indicate OC alternatives to road routes and potential sites of intermodal OC transshipment.

7. conclusions

Analyses of transport corridors that might be selected for oversize cargo carriage indicated that the existing rail and road infrastructure is not fully adjusted to such operations. To create conditions for the development of OC transport in the South Baltic Region, new investment and modernization projects should account for this type of transport. When sufficient funds are provided, the existing infrastructure should be adjusted to oversize cargo transit. Some works, presently performed by OC carriers for temporary adjustment to let one or a few OC transits, should result in permanent conversions facilitating future OC transport. All these investments should concentrate along the designated transport corridors.

Another very important aspect of OC carriage intermodality is that permit-issuing bodies should enforce the use of waterways and railways on carriers in order to relieve congested roads.

8. BibliograPHy

[1].          Galor W., Galor A.: Transport ładunków ponadgabarytowych. XIII Międzynarodowa Konferencja Naukowa „Transcomp 2009”. Radom 2009.

[2].          Materiały informacyjne programu „Oversize Baltic”, www.transportoversize.eu [dostęp: 20.09.2010].

[3].          http://www.transportoversize.pl [dostęp: 20.09.2010].

[4].          Liwiński J.: Działalność polskich przewoźników w 2008 r. Ośrodek Informacji Naukowej, Technicznej i Ekonomicznej ULC, 2009.

[5].          Materiały informacyjne firmy BSiPG GAZOPROJEKT SA, www. gazoprojekt.pl [dostęp: 20.09.2010].

[6].          Materiały informacyjne Wydawnictwa Edukacyjnego „Wiking”, www.wiking.edu.pl [dostęp 20.09.2010].

[7].          Materiały wewnętrzne GDDKiA w Warszawie.

[8].          Materiały wewnętrzne PKP Cargo S.A.

[9].          Materiały Urzędu Żeglugi Śródlądowej w Szczecinie.

[10].       Materiały Urzędu Żeglugi Śródlądowej we Wrocławiu.

[11].       Specjalne Strefy Ekonomiczne. KPMG w Polsce. Warszawa 2009

[12].       Strategia dla przewozu ładunków ponadnormatywnych w Regionie Południowego Bałtyku – Polska. Akademia Morska w Szczecinie, Szczecin 2010.

[13].       Wytyczne w zakresie europejskiej dobrej praktyki przejazdów pojazdów ponadnormatywnych. Komisja Europejska. Dyrekcja Generalna ds. Energii i Transportu. Bruksela 2006.




 Project Partners


Federal Association of SME's, Rostock

NPPE Klaipeda Shipping Research centre



Project Partner Intranet

Login:     Password:

© 2009 All rights reserved.
Solution: Adme
Content management system easywebmanager