Drivers of transition to sustainable freight transport

Connectivity is inextricably linked to sustainable transport in that it encompasses dimensions of uninterrupted and seamless access, it contributes to increased supply chain efficiency and it boosts resilience. Accordingly, one cannot perceive sustainable freight transport in the absence of sustainable connectivity. However, in discussing the transition to sustainable freight transport, further considerations come into play that are different in nature to those pertaining to passenger transport, urban mobility and rural access to transport services, for example. While environmentally friendly mobility and public transport may be gaining ground with affordable vehicle technologies and policies supporting shared mobility, walking, cycling and smart public transport, freight transport continues to be oil dependent. As trade volumes are expected to continue to rise, so will the exposure of freight rates and transport costs to oil price volatility and surges in prices, which, in turn, will increase the vulnerability of developing economies that are already facing disproportionately high transport costs. This has further spillover effects not only for the economy and the environment, but also for broader social development objectives.

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