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Initial lessons learned from green freight studies in the Mekong region

Photo: Steven Schipani
Photo: Gerhard Joren
18.02.2015

Green freight programs can help reduce freight companies’ fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions

To facilitate trade and economic development in the Mekong region, transport connectivity is being improved. Currently, 80% of all goods are being transported by road. Of the different users of road transport, freight vehicles are responsible for a major share of greenhouse gas emission. Even though road freight is typically considered to be a fuel and carbon intensive means of transport, it is particularly problematic in the region. Old and poorly maintained vehicles, a high volume of trucks running empty and inadequate driver training are some of the major issues. Fuel costs for transport companies are high, often comprising 40%–60% of their overall operating costs.

Interventions to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases from freight transport are being piloted and implemented under the Greater Mekong Subregion Core Environment Program (GMS CEP). During the Fourth GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting held on 29 January 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, a report was shared that summarizes lessons learned so far from the CEP’s green freight initiative.

The report comprises five key messages:

1) Reducing the cost of logistics and transport will improve economic performance in the GMS.
2) Efficient road freight offers a major opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in the GMS.
3) Three key target areas to improve fuel efficiency of road freight are technology, logistics management, and driver capacity.
4) Freight fuel efficiency actions in the GMS should target small and medium sized enterprises truck companies.
5) Green freight programs could successfully reduce fuel consumption, increase logistics efficiency and reduce transport-sector greenhouse gas emissions in the GMS.

To read the full report:
Green Freight in the Greater Mekong Subregion
What is the GMS Green Freight Initiative?

For more information about the Core Environment Program:
GMS Core Environment Program
GMS Climate Resilience and Low Carbon Strategies [NDF C54]