Transport accounts for 20% of global final energy consumption, and road-freight is a rapidly growing component of that, especially in developing countries. The WBCSD’s Road Freight Lab initiative aims to investigate and select measures that companies can adopt to reduce GHG emissions from road freight transport. This report represents a mature stage in that process, discussing six high potential measures and attempting to quantify their benefits via data collection, modelling and other evidence. The key outcomes are:

  • Use of top-tier asset optimization tools could reduce energy use and emissions by on average 12.5%, and are still to be taken up by approximately 85% of fleet operators;
  • The increasing prevalence of tight delivery windows, especially in the ‘last mile’ context, is set to increase transport energy use and emissions if left unchecked; but relaxing delivery windows from 1hr to 5hrs could lead to savings of 25%;
  • Modest asset sharing models that can save 15% of cost are only being used by 20% of operators, while highly integrated vehicle and depot sharing can lead to a 20% savings and is yet to be taken up in the case of at least 85% of commercial vehicle miles;
  • Accelerated adoption of immediately available alternative fuels such as biogas and electric vehicles would lead to a 58% reduction in GHG emissions;
  • Widespread adoption of vehicle-centric efficiency measures would lead to a 32% reduction in fuel consumption;
  • Eco-driver training has been widely adopted in many markets and can save on average 7% GHG emissions by better fuel efficiency.

The solutions relating to alternative fuels and drivetrains, vehicle efficiency and driver training are well known and many local initiatives are in place to help deploy these across fleets. On the other hand, solutions relating to optimization, relaxing delivery time windows and asset sharing are either not known or the market does not yet offer ready commercial solutions to fleets.

The WBCSD will continue to facilitate collaboration between member companies and partners to better understand how these solutions can be developed into viable business models and deployed at scale across road freight transport providers. Given the scale of the necessary challenge to decarbonize transport, the WBCSD and its members recognize the need to develop all solutions. Those described within this report will all be key elements in the fight against climate change in the road freight sector.