Knowledge base and perception on sustainability in the long-haul transport sector in Brazil

University essay from KTH/Energi och klimatstudier, ECS

Abstract: demand for truck transportation is increasing and in the shadow the CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. In many parts of the world the majority of the transportation of goods is done by long-haulage trucks. More than 60% of all goods transported in Brazil are made by trucks (André Luiz Cunhaa, 2011). Therefore, it is critical to find solutions and actions on how to reduce the CO2 footprint.This thesis presents an evaluation of the knowledge and perceptions of sustainability among truck drivers and long-haulage freight transport companies in Brazil. For this, surveys to drivers and with a combination of surveys and interviews to logistics companies were done. The surveys and interviews covered energy and environmental related questions such as eco-driving, alternative fuels, fuel reductions actions, emissions, engine efficiency and the EU emissions standards.It has been found that only slightly more than half of the truck drivers have education in eco-driving despite that eco-driving is considered as the strongest action for reducing fuel consumption. In addition, many drivers do not know the benefits with eco-driving. However, this lack of knowledge among the drivers is in contrast known by the logistic companies. All logistics companies stated that eco-driving can decrease the fuel consumption by 10%, based on experience. The results are also an indication that there is a connection between companies with profit and eco-driving education. For companies with profit, 70% of the truck drivers have been educated in eco-driving, whereas companies with economic loss only 50% of the truck drivers are educated eco-driving . Another finding is that around half of the driver does not know the difference between the European emissions standards, again in contrast to the logistic companies management were all contacted knew the difference, i.e. emissions. This potentially indicates a lack of knowledge exchange between the management in logistic companies and the truck drivers.In addition to eco-driving, the drivers and logistics companies consider driving outside peak hours and the use of connectivity as strong actions for reducing their fuel consumption. Increasing the load capacity and custom made truck was not a frequent answer when asking how the drivers think they can reduce their fuel consumption. A result is also that one third of the logistic companies have been considering switching from petroleum diesel to alternative fuels.Both the truck drivers and the logistic companies know that the currently used trucks are not a sustainable transportation mode. They see the lack of economic incentives as the highest barrier for a more environment friendly transportation system and not the technology needed.In order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the long-haulage sector, more drivers must be educated in eco-driving and the knowledge has to be increased regarding among other the benefits with eco-driving and the difference between the Euro standards. Decreasing the amount of empty trips is also an approach that should receive more attention.

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