Transport of goods and green vehicles

Pollution and the implementation of new systems to care for the environment have become one of the most important concerns of society in general in recent years. The truth is that environmental awareness is growing and this is because the data on the level of pollution of our planet have finally managed to alarm not only the general public but also those who have the power to change things a little. In today’s article we will talk about what influence this has had on logistics transport systems.

Logistics and green vehicles

Environmental awareness is something that has been increasing for some years now and that definitely finds its origin in a legitimate concern with respect to the degrees of pollution that our planet possesses and the consequences that this could bring to all of us in the not too distant future. The changes on a large scale usually lie in trying to emit the least amount of harmful gases possible and most countries have made international commitments to lower the amount of carbon dioxide they emit into the atmosphere year after year. As a result of the widespread concern to emit less toxic gases, different alternatives to regular fuels are beginning to emerge: in addition to electric cars there are others such as compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. Modifying how the use of vehicles impacts the environment is a concern for people in general but becomes even more fundamental in the logistics sector if we consider that these transport companies drive fleets of hundreds of trucks, motorcycles and trucks that move for hours all day. One of the alternatives that european countries have begun to implement and promote in the logistics sector is that of night transports to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. What supports this possibility of night transports? In the enormous number of vehicles that move every day that often makes the trucks are stopped for several minutes and even hours unnecessarily polluting the air. On the other hand, other solutions have also begun to be proposed in relation to the urban transport of goods and packages that include the use of unmanned drones, the electrification of transport fleets and the use of other types of non-polluting vehicles such as bicycles to carry small packages. Countries such as Sweden propose even more radical changes, being the first country to install a fully electric motorway and reusing the trolley system for the transport of goods, thus reducing the gases emitted from lorries or vans.

Efficient Transportation

Europe has set as a policy objective to achieve a 60% reduction in CO2 by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The aim is to halve the use of “conventional fuel” cars in cities and to achieve virtually CO2-free urban logistics in major urban centres by 2030. In aviation, the use of low carbon fuels should reach 40% by 2050 and CO2 emissions from marine fuel should be reduced by 40% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. It is essential to reduce this environmental impact through targeted technological improvements, bearing in mind that each mode of transport faces different challenges and is characterised by specific cycles of technological integration. Research and innovation will contribute significantly to the development and adoption of the necessary solutions for all forms of transport that will drastically reduce environmentally damaging emissions from the transport sector (such as CO2, NOx, SOx and noise), reduce dependence on fossil fuels and thus the impact of transport on biodiversity and climate change, thus favouring the conservation of natural resources.

Making vehicles cleaner and quieter will improve environmental impact and reduce perceived vibration and noise

Activities in this area will focus on final products but will also address the issue of design and simple and environmentally friendly production processes that take into account the whole life-cycle process and integrate recyclability into the design phase. Activities will also cover the improvement of existing products and services through the integration of new technologies.

Developing intelligent equipment, infrastructure and services

This will help optimise transport operations and reduce resource consumption. It will focus on solutions for the efficient planning, design, use and management of airports, ports and logistic platforms and surface transport infrastructures, as well as autonomous and efficient maintenance, monitoring and inspection systems. New policies, business models, concepts, technologies and IT solutions must be adopted to increase capacity. Special consideration will be given to climate resilience of equipment and infrastructure, cost-effective solutions based on a life-cycle approach and the wider adoption of new materials and technologies that enable more efficient and less costly maintenance. Issues of accessibility, user-friendliness and social inclusion will also be addressed.

Improving transport and mobility in urban areas

This will benefit a significant and growing proportion of the population who live and work in cities or use them to purchase services and engage in leisure activities. New concepts of mobility, transport organisation, multimodal accessibility models, logistics, provision of innovative urban public services and vehicles and planning solutions need to be developed and tested, as this will contribute to reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and noise and to improving the efficiency of urban transport. Public and non-motorised transport and other resource-efficient passenger and freight transport options should be developed as real alternatives to the use of private motor vehicles, and these developments should also be supported by increased use of intelligent transport systems and innovative management of supply and demand. Particular emphasis will be placed on the interaction between the transport system and other urban systems.

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