GMS Green Freight Initiative (2013-2017)

The freight and logistics sector in the GMS plays a pivotal role in supporting the expansion of trade, and in turn, economic growth. A 2010 Core Environment Program study of the GMS East-West Economic Corridor – connecting Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam - found that promoting green freight through improved logistics management and fuel efficiency measures could reduce GHG emissions and lower freight company fuel costs.

During the study, a detailed freight sector assessment was carried out and found that the widespread use of old, inefficient diesel-fuelled trucks – particularly in Lao PDR and Viet Nam – was largely responsible for high emissions.  Sector inefficiencies were seen as a compounding factor, characterized by a fragmented transport industry, especially for small-medium companies which lacked logistics management and capital investment.   A survey of trucking companies found that 25-50% of journeys were being run with empty loads.

In 2012, consultations were conducted with government agencies and small-medium trucking companies and associations to conceptualize a Green Freight Initiative to pilot approaches to reduce emissions. The $1.2 million initiative is being implemented in target provinces in each of the three countries, and will focus on the following interventions:

  • Increase access to financing for green technologies and truck fleet upgrades
  • Improve logistics management to reduce empty running
  • Improve driver behavior to be more fuel efficient 

The project will establish a funding mechanism, and will work with 25 trucking companies in each country to reduce fuel use by 10% against a baseline. If the initiative proves successful, the Core Environment Program will work with stakeholders to investigate options for scaling up through climate change funding streams.


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