Intermodality, E-Commerce, Logistics and Sustainability
Edited by Thomas R. Leinbach and Cristina Capineri
Chapter 7: Sustainable Solutions for Freight 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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