Transport industry unlikely to meet demands of low carbon economy

Berkhamsted, UK: Future freight and logistics development is unlikely to meet the goals for carbon reduction and economic performance unless positive policy actions are taken says a new report.

It recognises the massive contribution, often overlooked  it says, of the freight and logistics industry to UK economic development but warns that there will need to be radical and difficult changes in freight transport policy and investment if it is to contribute fully to the twin national goals of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

The report author, Professor Alan Braithwaite says: “Future freight and logistics development is unlikely to meet the goals for carbon reduction and economic performance unless positive policy actions are taken.

“These will involve a combination of taxation to promote more efficient use of resources, regulation to drive more efficient, safe, clean and fair operations and planning processes that enable innovation and investment to deliver a step change.”

Highlighting one of the report’s key conclusions, Braithwaite said: “The network for freight and logistics that will enable it to contribute to reduced congestion and improve economic and environmental effectiveness is a much wider challenge than has been articulated.

“It involves complex interactions of capacity and flows. This has yet to be adequately recognised in policy development, partly because of deficiencies in the available data and modelling.”

The report says that freight and logistics has “punched above its weight” over the past 10 years, delivering economic growth with improving freight efficiency.

It also notes that freight and logistics will need to make a significant contribution to meeting longer-term congestion and climate change goals.

This will require a basket of radical measures, it claims, incorporating technical, modal and supply chain structural dimensions.

The UK must implement radical changes to its freight transport policy if logistics is to continue to be a major driver of economic growth, a report has warns

The study, UK Freight Transport: setting a coherent strategy and direction for 2020 and beyond, is by LCP Consulting.


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