The future of freight transport

The challenges faced by the freight transport sector—in the current context of climate change, pollution and congestion—are enormous. Demand is increasing dramatically and issues caused by e-commerce and city distribution will have to be tackled. On the other hand, new technologies can bring disruptive business models and cause different social impacts. In a special issue in the European Transport Research Review, Cathy Macharis and Silvio Nocera bring together six studies that discuss the future of freight transport from different perspectives.

Just like passenger transport, the freight transport sector is in the middle of a complete transition. Challenges and drivers to change are high, as concerns about climate change, air quality and congestion are appearing at the top of the political and societal agenda, while the sector itself is expected to further increase significantly over the next years. How can we reconcile these trends?

At the COP21 in Paris in 2015, the European Union’s goal was to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Transportation plays a vital role in achieving this target: at the moment, the transport sector is responsible for 32% of the CO2 emissions in the European Union (EEA, 2017).

In the Nectar cluster 3 meeting organized in Venice in March 2018, we looked at how freight transport would look like in the future. The works of several researchers tackled the theme from different perspectives. The special issue we edited for the European Transport Research Review collects six of the most interesting contributions presented then, and may be worth of some attention from different parties invested in tackling the challenges ahead. We invite you to read through our recently published editorial for an overview of the topics and major findings featured in this collection.

View the latest posts on the SpringerOpen blog homepage