Smart Freight – enabling an environmentally friendly and accountable transportation system
Conference contribution, 2009
The transport industry is facing increasing demands on reducing both the environmental impact and cost of freight transports. In addition, end consumers are starting to push for ecological accountability, so-called ecological foot-printing meaning that the emissions of every freight movement is tagged to the freight. Previous research shows that transport planning, system integration and control are some of the key factors to enable more environmentally effective transport setups. One of the major obstacles preventing these factors is the complexity of international supply chains, with several involved actors. Smart Freight is a holistic concept, integrating transport management and state-of-the-art technologies for freight tracking and vehicle monitoring, in order to enable improved management and accountability of freight transportation. The purpose of this research is to explore how Smart Freight can be used to control, track and reduce the environmental impact of goods transportation. This research is based on two in-depth case studies and a demonstration prototype of one of the studied transport setups. An extensive amount of data was collected between 2006 and 2008 through interviews, video filming, document studies, physical travel with the freight flows, seminars, prototype building, literature and desktop studies. The result of this research highlights the weaknesses in contemporary control of transport operations and presents a model for how Smart Freight enables a more environmentally friendly and accountable transport system.