|dc.description.abstract||Freight transport is the life-blood of today’s economy. Raw materials, components and
finished products flow in vast quantities through complex supply chain systems to
satisfy the demands of the ultimate customers. Although vital to ensure economic
prosperity, freight transport also poses a large burden on the environment and society.
Road remains a dominant mode of freight transport in the UK, with 65% of the total
tonne-kms moved and 82% of tonnes lifted in 2008. Most of the externalities associated
with road freight transport have already been subject to legal environmental controls.
CO2 emissions are the only externality that still remains unregulated.
In order to evaluate the effects of potential regulations or other policy options, decision
makers need a reliable forecast of the future course of the road freight transport- related
CO2 emissions in the absence of such new initiatives and interventions. Most currently
available forecasts relate to road transport as a whole and focus on the passenger vehicle
activity. Forecasts of road freight volumes and related externalities are typically linked
to trends in economic activity, ignoring changes in the nature of logistics and supply
chain systems. Hence, the aim of this thesis is to produce a forecast of road freight
transport – related CO2 emissions up to 2020 on a business-as-usual (BAU) basis by
incorporating the projections on future trends in a number of logistics and road freight
transport variables and the driving forces behind them.
The theoretical foundations of the logistics and supply chain management discipline
continuously evolve, allowing researchers to view real-world problems from an array of
philosophical perspectives, leading to scientific advancement and enrichment of the
body of knowledge. This thesis is rooted in the critical realist paradigm and employs
methodological triangulation involving focus group research, a Delphi questionnaire
survey and spreadsheet modelling to produce a reliable BAU forecast of future CO2
emissions from road freight transport.
In addition to the forecast of future CO2 emissions from Heavy Goods Vehicles, this
research also elicits forecasts of changes in key logistics and freight transport variables
such as handling factor, average length of haul, modal split, empty running, lading
factor and fuel efficiency up to 2020. The main structural, commercial, operational,
functional, external and product-related factors behind future trends in these variables
are also investigated. The BAU scenario is assessed in the light of the UK greenhouse
gas reduction target and additional scenarios offering CO2 savings greater than that
predicted by the BAU case modelled. The thesis concludes with a review of potential
policy measures that could help to reduce the future CO2 emissions from road freight