Sustainable Freight Transport from an Urban Perspective
Licentiatavhandling, 2009

The trend of growing road freight transport causes significant negative impacts on the society, economy and environment. A substantial share of the road freight sector’s externalities is imposed on urban areas because cities are the main destination for freight flows either for production, consumption or for transfer to other locations. City-regions that host centralized transport facilities of inter-regional networks suffer from congestion, noise and air pollution while at the same time the urban context challenges their efficient operation. Urban freight transport networks thus need to adjust to the urban environment and to balance different interest which in turn is likely to have an impact on inter-regional freight transport networks. This thesis aims to explore the relationship between urban freight transport and inter-regional freight transport networks for the sustainable development of the freight transport sector. This thesis is based on a multiple case-study. By means of in-depth interviews with freight transport stakeholders in six cities, the urban context of freight transport and how it affects inter-regional freight transport networks and vice versa is investigated. In a complementary theoretical study the case study findings are applied on intermodal rail-road freight transport with the goal to identify the urban context’s barriers and opportunities for the design of more competitive inter-regional rail transport services. The results confirm the tension in contemporary urban freight transport between local sustainable development and freight transport network performance. Economic interests on the one hand and environmental and social interests on the other hand are perceived as trade-offs and there is no long-term strategy to balance these interests. However, there is indication that adapting freight transport networks to the urban conditions can be beneficial for both the competitiveness of intermodal road-rail transport and local sustainability. Hence, a deeper integration of freight transport and urban sustainability strategies can possibly contribute to more sustainable freight transport.

sustainable transport

urban freight transport

intermodal transport

rail transport


Vasa C, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8
Opponent: PhD Jonas Flodén, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg


Sönke Behrends

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport

Different cities, common challenges? An analysis of urban freight transport developments and strategies in the Baltic Sea Region

Proceedings from Logistics Research Network Annual Conference,; (2008)p. 115-120

Paper i proceeding

The impact of urban freight transport: a definition of sustainability from an actors perspective

Transportation Planning and Technology,; Vol. 31(2008)p. 693-713

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Annan maskinteknik

Licentiate thesis, report - Department of Technology of Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology

Vasa C, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8

Opponent: PhD Jonas Flodén, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg

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