Idépromemoria för hållbar tillväxt i innovationssystemet för godstransport och logistik
When preparing the plan for 2003-07, Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, Vinnova, asked for
Idea-reports that are to propose research questions for economic, social and environmental sustainability
in a growth perspective. The present report is one of 41 selected.
Logistics and transportation activities are highly integrated in today's industrial activities and they are
indispensable for continued prosperity. Accounting for about 5% of GNP within the EU it is also a
large service industry in its own right as well as 'customer' to the vehicle manufacturing, energy and
infrastructure construction sectors. While creating a lot of utilities, transport and logistics also -
through the effectuating activity traffic - account for severe strains upon society in terms of energy
consumption, emissions, traffic accidents, noise and congestion. The needed infrastructure also creates
environmental strains when being built and in the long run also by barrier effects and excessive land
Research related to transport and the environment has long been closely related to traffic and has focused
on efficient vehicles, renewable energy, emissions, congestion, noise and the like. Logistics research
from the perspective of buyers of transport has applied a holistic approach known as supply
chain management to freight flows. Logistics research from the perspective of transport operators has
developed knowledge about resource utilisation, network operation and intermodal transport. Ties
between these different research fields have traditionally been rather weak, mainly because they have
fallen under different disciplines at universities.
Measures and knowledge gaps identified in this work:
1. Making the description of the innovation system for transport and logistics focussing the different
actors' roles and how they can influence sustainable development. What are the roles of individuals
and companies and what must be decided upon by society.
2. To create preconditions for decoupling growth of GNP and freight transport. Knowledge is
needed about how the sustainability issues are dealt with at an appropriate levels in companies, an
analysis in which transdisciplinarity or even multidisciplinarity is required. The goal is to attack
the problems at an earlier stage than the exhaust pipe of lorries.
3. To improve the analytical tools in order to base buying decisions on accurate data. The work by
NTM is in the right direction but more has to be done.
4. For the business relation transport operator - shipper: analyse the real transport needs (qualitative
and quantitative) and use the information in the shippers' ERP systems for communication with
the transport operator well in advance.
5. To involve all actors in the society in the knowledge building.
6. Environment and sustainability issues should not be dealt with separately. The effects can be analysed
separately but the measures must be developed in a true systems framework and be integrated
in the daily logistics operations.
7. Direct organisations' and consumers' involvement in a sustainable direction by improving legal
framework, education and tools.
8. Develop knowledge and implement systems for utilising present vehicles and infrastructure more
9. To encompass a wider range of external effects in the sustainability analyses.