Freight Transport Association (FTA) have announced they have become a consortium member of the Research Centre of Sustainable Road Freight (SRF).
The FTA will join big name players such as John Lewis, Tesco and Warbutons in backing the £6million project.
It will support the development of innovative technical operational solutions to road freight transport challenges, alongside their focus on strategies to meet Government emissions reduction targets.
James Hookham, Director of Policy and Communications at the FTA, said: “FTA is delighted to be a consortium member of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight which will lead on relevant and much needed research projects to identify the best decarbonisation options for the sector.
“The level of support from operators and retailers and the calibre of the academics involved is also impressive.
“We need to answer the big questions in transport in order to contribute to national climate change reduction targets.
“For instance, we need to solve the issue of empty running; to know where emissions legislation will go next; and to know what impact specific decarbonisation interventions will have if they achieve widespread adoption.”
The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight is a collaboration between Heriot-Watt University Logistics Research Centre and the University of Cambridge Engineering Department.
It hopes to bring together road freight vehicle engineering expertise from Cambridge and logistics expertise from Heriot-Watt, exploring ways to make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Initially funded for five years, the new venture has been co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, providing £4.4 million, and the new industry consortium, providing £1.4 million.
Several projects will be undertaken by the Centre, including: optimising long-haul transport, which will look at developing ultra-lightweight and higher-capacity vehicles; optimising the rolling resistance of tyres; and perfecting aerodynamics by studying airflow around and under vehicles.
Studies will also investigate the most fuel-efficient ways to organise logistics in cities; the influence of driver behaviour; and utilising alternative fuels, such as natural gas.
In addition, the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) – managed by FTA – will be working with the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight to develop a ‘carbon roadmap’.
It will indicate where the greatest carbon savings can be made within logistics operations, in order for the sector to continue to reduce carbon emissions.
The Roadmap will focus on both operational and technological measures, also providing further evidence to Government of the continued potential for the logistics sector to decarbonise.
Image courtesy of eutrophication&hypoxia, with thanks.