Globalized Freight Transport

Globalized Freight Transport

Intermodality, E-Commerce, Logistics and Sustainability

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Edited by Thomas R. Leinbach and Cristina Capineri

The worldwide movement of freight has emerged as one of the most critical and dynamic aspects of the transport sector. The contributors to this study examine the current state of global freight transport, with an emphasis on Europe and North America and their extra-regional linkages. These original contributions synthesize existing knowledge, highlight new developments, problems and possible solutions, and underscore the need for further research.

Chapter 7: Sustainable Solutions for Freight Transport

William R. Black

Subjects: economics and finance, transport, environment, transport, urban and regional studies, transport


William R. Black During the last decades of the twentieth century there was a growing recognition that most of our economic activities were being carried out in such a way as to be detrimental to the natural environment. It was recognized that the methods and procedures used could be less harmful and undertaken in a manner that might be more sustainable. We thus had the appearance of volumes on ‘sustainable forestry’, ‘sustainable manufacturing’, ‘sustainable agriculture’, ‘sustainable tourism’ and ‘sustainable transport’. Trade, and the transport associated with it, has not been given the same level of attention. It is the purpose of the present chapter to address this shortcoming. To this end the chapter first examines some of the differing definitions of sustainability and discusses some of the attributes of transport in general and freight transport in particular that make it nonsustainable. This will be followed by a discussion of the nature of freight flows in global trade. Specific problems with these flows as they relate to sustainability will also be reviewed. The impacts of globalization on this entire area cannot be ignored, and this will be discussed as it relates to the increased flows that have occurred over the last couple of decades. We will then review some of the solutions that have been proposed and in some cases implemented to solve specific problems of sustainability in the freight transport sector. The problems of security in this sector and their relation to sustainability will also be...

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