Thailand looks to green freight for economic and environment gains

A suite of pilot projects to help freight truck companies in Thailand become more competitive and environmentally friendly were launched in Bangkok on Friday 6 March.

The ‘Green Freight Initiative’ will initially work with around 15 small-medium truck companies to improve their fuel efficiency by financing and testing technologies, eco-driver training, and improved logistics management.

“Substantial reductions in energy use in the transportation sector will help reduce costs for transport operations, reduce energy imports, and reduce global warming caused by burning fuel, said Mr Arkoom Termputtayapaisith, Deputy Minister of Transport, in opening remarks at the launch event.

Heavily reliant on fossil fuels, the transport sector emits a fifth of greenhouse gases released in the country. Truck companies shift over 80% of freight and account for 25% of emissions from the transport sector.  The Green Freight Initiative projects will not only help truck companies achieve a smaller carbon footprint, but will also contribute to healthier profits by reducing fuel costs associated with ageing and low-tech truck fleets, poor driver behavior, and weak logistics management.

“Along with future infrastructure investments, a focus on freight efficiency can help reduce Thailand’s logistics costs, and improve logistics performance and overall competitiveness in the global market,” said Mr. Yasushi Negishi, Thailand Country Director at the Asian Development Bank.

More than 150 delegates attended the event including representatives from 71 companies as well as government officials from energy, environment, and transport ministries. In addition to presentations on the green freight pilot projects, the launch event included panel discussions on transport policy and infrastructure issues, and funding mechanisms to improve access to fuel efficient technologies.

The event was organized by the Federation of Thai Industries, which under the guidance of the Ministry of Transport is lead implementer of the projects in Thailand.  The Green Freight Initiative also includes Lao PDR and Viet Nam and is funded through the ADB-led Greater Mekong Subregion Core Environment Program.

Publish Date: 6th March 2015

Last Updated: 11th March 2015

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