Freight transport is important for a proper functioning of society, however, they also have negative effects on the environment. It is for this reason necessary to reduce its impact on the climate, and work towards sustainable logistics systems.
One important step in reducing the impact on the climate of freight transport is the use of alternative fuels, and electrification can here play a decisive role. It is also crucial to realise that it is not enough to increase the climate-directed efficiency of inefficient systems: it is also necessary to reduce impact on the climate by improvements to current transport solutions.
Consolidation centres have potential, but face obstacles
The use of consolidation centres, or coordinated goods distribution, is one measure that can make transport in cities more efficient, and in this way reduce impact on the climate. By collecting incoming deliveries and grouping them to common transport, it may be possible to reduce goods traffic in cities. This has positive effects for more than just the perspective of the city: several actors are affected by the introduction of consolidation centres. These include logistics companies, goods recipients such as shops, restaurants, and municipal operational units. My research focusses on how to ensure that city-based freight terminals can remain in business in the long term. One important step here is to create a financing model that ensures that terminals can generate income. Another important aspect is to include the effects on various stakeholders, and examine the reasons that they may want to become part of a terminal-based solution. I have studied this in my research from the perspectives of the business model, service provision, and value creation.
Reduced climate impact with electrified freight transport
Electrification of distribution can reduce climate impact. There are, however, serious obstacles to overcome before a successful transition to an electrified freight-transport system can be established. These involve such aspects as new requirements that are set for transport systems, and the emergence of new actors who are relevant in an electrified freight-transport system. A further consideration is, of course, how the process will affect costs, and whether the electrical supply network can cope with the increased demand. In my research, I work from a systems perspective: how the various parts interact, and how different limitations and requirements will influence the structure of distribution flows in the future. I am active in the Swedish Electromobility Centre, where I conduct research in the Electromobility in Society theme.