The Freight Innovation Fund (FIF) will receive £7 million from the UK government to help cut emissions associated with freight transportation.
Up to 36 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK will receive support from the FIF as they pioneer new strategies to increase the effectiveness, resiliency, and sustainability of freight transportation. This will give them the chance to test their theories and create cutting-edge technologies that will significantly reduce emissions across the industry. With the help of the money, it will be possible to decarbonize the links between rail, road, and sea transport modalities and enhance container organisation to make it easier to disassemble them for the remaining leg of their voyage.
The UK’s Minister for Roads, Richard Holden, said that investing in innovative technologies to make the freight industry faster and greener is essential because it supports the economy and gets Britain moving. The development of a future pipeline of inventions that may be used to create jobs and make it easier and faster for everyone to obtain their goods will be accelerated by this fund, which will also support new ideas and technology.
UK government spending on logistics decarbonization
The FIF complements earlier measures by the UK Government to address the rising pollution in the freight transportation industry. Prior financing significantly advanced these objectives by assisting numerous businesses to advance technology solutions to emissions, such as:
- Fishbone Solutions created a programme that uses vibrational data from rail freight wagons and AI analysis to monitor wagon efficiency;
- Hypermile developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) programme that gives direct feedback to heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers to save fuel;
- CGA Simulation developed a tool that simulates urban environments to determine the most efficient location for infrastructure to support revolutionary developments in logistics.
The Future of Freight Initiative (FIF), the first-ever cross-modal and cross-government plan for the nation’s freight transport sector, was unveiled by the government last year. The fund focuses on five criteria for the freight transportation sector: affordability, dependability, resiliency, environmental sustainability, and social value. The strategy also demonstrates how establishing a national freight system will make it easier to assess how well freight is moved and its economic value.
How will the FIF reduce carbon emissions in freight shipping?
The Connected Places Catapult, which will offer technical and business support to SMEs, will deliver the FIF. Three enduring problems in freight transport, including the following, will be assisted by the fund in finding technology solutions:
- The absence of extensive industry-wide data gathering and sharing amongst various means of freight transportation, such as road, rail, and maritime, which may increase efficiency and coordination;
- Improving freight distribution in harbours across various modes of transportation to keep improving timings, efficiency gains, and consistency of the journey.
- Inter-modal transport challenges, such as those between rail and road, and ways to enhance how large shipments are broken up into smaller ones to reduce emissions and traffic.
In addition to the freight innovation cluster, a group of innovators in the freight industry that regularly hosts networking events, SMEs will also profit from a freight innovation fund incubator that will offer specialised business support to boost access to private investment. According to Nicola Yates OBE, CEO of Connected Places Catapult, they transport 1.6 billion tonnes of freight in the UK every year using a variety of modes of transportation, and it has never been quicker or easier. Their economy depends heavily on the freight industry, which also has a substantial impact on domestic carbon emissions.
Today, they are thrilled to be collaborating with the Department of Transportation to introduce this freight innovation fund as a component of their freight strategy for the future. The fund will assist them in developing a pipeline of technological and data breakthroughs that will address the rising needs of the freight sector, guaranteeing that resilience, efficiency, and carbon reduction are key components of the sector’s future.