Smart Freight Leadership Publication

SFC’s “Smart Freight Leadership” report explains the journey along the five central elements that define leadership. This report is for leaders, and especially business leaders, who believe that a more efficient freight and logistics sector goes hand in hand with greater competitiveness and environmental sustainability. 

Global freight is projected to triple between 2015 and 2050 and accounts for about 7% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Compared to 2015, freight emissions might increase by 76% by 2050 but should reduce between 19 – 64% under a 1.5-2oC scenario under the Paris Climate Agreement. A transformational shift towards decarbonizing this sector requires reducing emissions intensity and freight tonne-km.

Our vision is “Smarter Freight” which equates to a journey towards efficient and environmentally sustainable global freight and logistics sector. SFC developed the Smart Freight Leadership Framework to create a common approach for what is needed for government, the private sector and civil society to deliver the vision, and achieve the desired transformational change and emission reductions at scale

SFC developed the Smart Freight Leadership Framework to create a common approach for what is needed for government, the private sector and civil society to deliver the vision, and achieve the desired transformational change and emission reductions at scale.

As Smart Freight Leaders, businesses take action across their global logistics supply chain to reduce emissions within the 1.5-2oC scenario while creating value for business and society. At the center stage are cargo owners and carriers, with logistics services providers and freight forwarders taking either role. They are supported by the broader private sector, government and civil society. The role of consumers must be considered as end-costumer of many logistics chains. 


To ensure that actions collectively realize significant emission reductions, Smart Freight Leaders:

  • Measure, report and verify emissions
  • Set KPIs and ambitious emission-reduction targets
  • Develop and implement an action plan
  • Collaborate with other leaders to mobilize industry-wide action
  • Engage pro-actively in government policy development.


Businesses gain competitive advantage from ‘smarter freight’. If the top important multinational cargo owners (shippers), logistics service providers (LSPs) and carriers adopt five behaviors they will both inspire others and set the norm that will catalyze sector-wide action to decarbonize freight.

SFC’s “Smart Freight Leadership” report explains the journey along the five central elements that define leadership. For each of these, three key challenges are described along with three proposed solutions. We wrote this report for leaders, and especially business leaders, who believe that a more efficient freight and logistics sector goes hand in hand with greater competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

Download the Smart Freight Leadership Publication

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