Research: SMEs preparing for zero-emission zones

A new paper by Breda University of Applied Sciences discusses shippers’ and carriers’ preparations for zero-emission zones and potential solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Netherlands.

Zero emission zones (ZE) are drawing nearer, emphasizing the increasing importance of carriers and shippers navigating municipal regulations effectively. Consequently, there’s a rising trend of students collaborating with smaller shippers and carriers to analyze their options for meeting ZE requirements. This often involves utilizing zero-emission (ZE) vehicles in city logistics operations, typically battery-electric trucks and vans. Beyond operational implications, investigations delve into potential subsidies, total cost of ownership disparities between diesel and ZE vehicles, and challenges associated with charging infrastructure, particularly for larger fleets amidst electrical grid congestion.

While much attention has been dedicated to vehicle technology in addressing ZE, there’s a notable absence of consideration for alternative logistics organization methods. This paper aims to fill this gap by providing an introductory guide to sustainable last-mile logistics execution during the transition to zero-emission zones in the Netherlands. It targets companies and students tasked with researching in this domain, aiming to streamline their background knowledge acquisition process and enable more effective research endeavors.

The researchers outline the evolution and strategies surrounding ZE implementation before delving into diverse approaches companies can adopt to achieve zero-emission last-mile logistics. These range from volume reduction and logistics network restructuring to modal shifts and fleet transformations.

The motivation behind this research paper stems from the observation that many companies and students often start research endeavors from scratch, consuming valuable time in gathering background information. Consequently, research outcomes usually merely summarize existing knowledge, focusing predominantly on fleet electrification, considered an easily attainable solution. This overlooks potentially more beneficial and innovative alternatives. By providing an overview of foundational knowledge, this paper equips companies and students with a platform to build deeper insights, optimizing their time and generating more valuable outcomes.

Source: VLW

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