To make road use more efficient, EU researchers are piloting networks to connect producers, wholesalers and retailers in order to reduce emissions, fuel waste, costs, and congestion.
Road traffic accounts for an estimated one-fifth of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions, whilst an approximate one in five trucks on European roads is empty.
The EU-funded NEXTRUST project is piloting schemes to identify vehicles that are not full, and sharing these routes with different businesses.
To support a green transport system, the European Commission has allocated a budget of €6.3m for the period 2014-2020.
The budget will fund business models which support an eco-friendly freight transport industry which aims to reduce the impact on both air quality and the environment.
Dr Benoit Duez, of the LORRY project and Goodyear, Luxembourg, said: “Reducing greenhouse gases is one of the key issues for Europe.”
The system which operates a trusted network arrangement matches demand and capacity and means trucks can be shared efficiently – without breaking European competition regulations.
The scheme runs until the end of 2018 and aims to reduce deliveries by between 20 and 40% whilst cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70%.
NEXTRUST is a neutral hub, accumulating data and facilitating a match-up between users that could share vehicles. The initiative would cut costs for businesses and optimise the use of roads. It could also be used to transfer shipments on to rail and waterways.
In 2014 cars and trucks accounted for more than 70% of Europe’s transport emissions, which is believed to be the main cause of air pollution in cities.