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A project to strengthen the Swedish freight transport system

"Resilient and sustainable freight transport systems in an uncertain future" is a project which aims to strengthen the Swedish freight transport system and safeguard future deliveries of goods and critical necessities. A preliminary study will take place during the spring which will survey how COVID-19 and the subsequent crisis are affecting supply chains and identify the obstacles in the way of a move to a more resilient transport system.

The project began at the start of the pandemic, which had an impact on the freight transport system and caused delays in deliveries to the healthcare system, for example. 

-Before the pandemic many of the players in the freight transport system were working towards a more sustainable system, but the pandemic made it clear that we also need a resilient system which can withstand sudden crises and changes of this kind, says Anna Pernestål from the Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL), who helped to launch the project.

One challenge involved in moving to a freight transport system that is both sustainable and resilient is that no single organisation can achieve this on its own. This is why the project was launched to bring many of the players together and enable them to share experiences and expertise, so that they can understand how the freight transport system works and how one organisation's decisions can affect the entire chain.  

The aim of the preliminary study is to hold a series of workshops and interviews to identify the problem and gain an understanding of how the various players can work together to find solutions for the future transport system. The long-term goal of the project is to take a systemic approach and create a model that describes the transport and logistics system and its dynamics. Using the model, it will then be possible to test and evaluate policies and business strategies with the aim of strengthening the transport system. Another goal is to demonstrate these policies and strategies in real-life environments.

The first workshop was held over two mornings in early January. The project partners initiated the process of formulating and defining in detail the issues that will form the basis for the final project application.

- We have succeeded in creating a strong consortium which, with the support of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Albaeco, will try to gain a real understanding of what sustainability, resilience and transformation can mean for the transport sector and how the crisis that society is currently undergoing can also be a starting point for important future changes, explains Clara Wallin at CLOSER, who is project managing the preliminary study together with the ITRL.

The project is being funded by the Vinnova Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation Programme (FFI).

Project partners: 
Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL), Stockholm Resilience Centre, Albaeco, Scania, CLOSER, Greencarrier, Region Jönköping County, Eskilstuna municipality, Toyota Material Handling, Region Skåne, Schenker Consulting AB, Coop Logistik AB, Bring Sverige, Ericsson, Freelway AB