The UK Government has announced that it is launching a new forum to help drive forward the freight sector, through sustainability and decarbonisation.
Named the Freight Energy Forum, it will allow collaboration between government and the industry with the goal of how all modes of freight transport – rail, road, air, maritime and warehousing – can be supported with innovation as they look to achieve net zero.
Officials from the Department for Transport will chair the forum, which meets today (5th April), and will be joined by senior members of government departments such as the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. They will discuss a range of topics, with these including:
- Assessing the supply and demand of the energy the freight sector will need
- Examining the types of energy infrastructure that will be required to provide refuelling or recharging.
- Identifying where energy and infrastructure will be needed across the regions and locations, such as motorway service areas, warehouses, rail freight terminals, airports, ports and beyond.
One key benefit of the establishment of the forum, is that greater certainty around investment in sustainable freight transport has the potential to create high-skilled, highly-paid jobs around the UK. This would be complimented by increased support for vital energy infrastructure, further growing the economy.
Richard Holden, Transport Minister, said:
“We recognise that the transition to clean fuels is one of the biggest challenges facing the freight sector and we are committed to delivering a strong future for the sector that will help create good long-term jobs.
“Clean energy supplies and infrastructure is critical to the drive for a cleaner freight sector and the Freight Energy Forum will address those longer-term challenges across the whole industry.”
The forum will meet every quarter, with this aiming to produce numerous outcomes from meetings, including the establishment of a roadmap that will set out how clean energy infrastructure in the freight sector will be rolled out. Alongside this, regulatory barriers will be reviewed to ensure their removal and actions to address regional and local differences will be taken.