The Action is part of a global project, covering infrastructure initiatives on the transport axis Copenhagen-Berlin: extension of railway Rostock-Berlin, upgrading of European road E55 into the port of Rostock, introduction of new ferries. The wider project links to TEN-T Priority Project 1.
This transport axis has seen a growing demand. The current ferries are operating at capacity limits and have reached their technical lifetime end. They will be replaced by new ferries (2012), which will double capacity and improve operational reliability, environmental performance and service costs.
Additionally the link must cope with changing framework conditions. The Fehmarnbelt axis will induce additional competition and modal back-shift. The limitation of sulphur content in ship fuels in the Baltic Sea (2015) is expected to result in significantly rising sea freight rates. Both developments will have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the link unless investments are made in port infrastructure and vessels.