Sustainable Freight Transport: A Transport Time and Logistical Organization Approach

Sustainable Freight Transport: A Transport Time and Logistical Organization Approach


H G Lopez-Ruiz, Y Crozet , LET, University of Lyon, FR


In this paper we present a transport time and logistical organization approach for sustainable long term freight scenario building for European countries. Scenarios are built using the TILT (Transport Issues in the Long Term) backasting model.


1. Background

Today, numerous works conclude that freight transport seems to be completely coupled to economic and export/import growth. Therefore, as a direct consequence of economic development freight transport sits today as one of the major final energy consumers and one of the most important sources of carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, in the absence of major technological change, this unsustainable situation will most undoubtedly get worse in the future. Consequently, this situation of continuous increase in freight transport clearly poses an environmental problem in a world that is actually trying to attain sustainability. In this paper we propose to address this problem from a two pronged view: rising energy prices and the environmental problem posed by carbon dioxide emissions.

2. Instruments & Development

Based on our recent progress concerning passenger and freight transport in prospective planning we intend to implement a transport time/logistical reorganization approach based on the TILT model (Transport Issues in the Long Term ?which will be reviewed in extension in the communication). The TILT model takes into account the existing links between demography, economic growth, logistical organization, freight transport and CO2 emissions. By combining two methodologies: a back-casting approach and a re-foundation of the energy-environment modeling structures, TILT is a very long time-frame model that properly assess very long term modifications of social and cultural preferences as well as technology evolution dynamics in relation to them.

Starting out from this basis, the originality of our approach lies in the fact that we believe that using a speed/GDP elasticity implies different forms of freight transport saturation based on a growing need for speed as GDP and freight value grow. Moreover, the different forms in freight transport saturation are directly linked to the idea that modal shares are determined by modal speed, transport times and logistical organization. In this manner, transport modal saturation rhythms can be varied through the speed/GDP elasticity and through logistical reorganization.

3. Suggestions.

Starting out from this basis, a number of sustainable freight scenarios -essentially for European countries- can be envisioned. These scenarios will enable us to test the influence of a certain number of public policies ranging from inciting technological progress, to tolls, rationing (tradable emission permits) and intermodality development. We will show that these policies can be mixed and used to attain significant carbon reductions both in a high technological and a low technological future.


Association for European Transport