UK GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES NEW FUND SUPPORTING GREENER FREIGHT SOLUTIONS
On 9 January, the UK Department for Transport launched the freight innovation fund (FIF), worth £7 million, which will go up to 36 SMEs over 3 years, with the aim to help them roll out new technology and ways of working to unlock potentially huge efficiencies and emissions reductions across the sector.
The fund will focus in particular on 3 long-standing issues in the freight sector: 1) lack of large-scale cross-industry data collection and sharing between different modes of freight transport that could improve efficiencies and coordination 2) difficulties in inter-modal transport, which could help reduce emissions and traffic 3) improvements in freight distribution in ports across different transport modes that could create knock-on benefits with timing, efficiencies and predictability of the rest of the journey.
Commenting on the announcement, Stephen Parker, recently appointed Director General of BIFA (British International Freight Association), said: ‘’we welcome the Road Minister's and the Government's further recognition of the vital role that the freight industry plays in underpinning the economy and keeping Britain's trade moving’’.
The FIF was announced last year as part of the government’s future of freight plan.