Smart Freight Shippers Alliance

Advancing climate action through collaboration and supportive policy

Many multinationals have a presence in China because it is a global center of manufacturing and a growing consumer market. They depend heavily on their logistics networks to be successful as a business, but also to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These multinationals usually outsource freight transportation to logistics services providers or carriers, and face common challenges. How to increase suppliers’ compliance with safety, environmental and other regulations? How to make the logistics network more efficient and sustainable? How to anticipate and align with government policy?

The Smart Freight Shippers Alliance (SFSA) China is a group of shippers (or buyers of freight) who work together towards a compliant, efficient, and sustainable China freight sector. We work on (‘workstreams’) to support concrete actions between shippers and their suppliers, and give input to supportive policies and programs in China of government, associations and other organizations. Smart Freight Centre China (a subsidiary of Smart Freight Centre, a global non-profit organization) host the Secretariat of SFSA.

What will this alliance deliver?

  • Shippers exchange & collaboration: shippers share knowledge and experiences on priority topics to accelerate uptake of solutions where collaboration is essential, such as carrier management and training, asset sharing, new energy vehicles, and multi-modal transport.

  • Smart Carrier Pool: establish a pool of Smart Carriers for shippers in China, in collaboration with government and associations. Phase 1 until December 2021 will focus on designing the Smart Carrier Pool; developing criteria (covering compliance, efficiency and sustainability) and processes; testing with selected shippers and carriers; identifying partners, sponsors and links with government programs; and launch.
  • Smart Freight Forums: bring together representatives from industry, government and technology providers to develop practical solutions and link these with government policy implementation. Topics have included 1) shift from trucks to rail and barges; 2) logistics emissions calculation; 3) urban freight; 4) safe, compliant and sustainable transport services; and smart and digitalized freight operations. Reports can be downloaded here.
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Why should you join Smart Freight Shippers' Alliance?

SFSA is for multinationals who believe in collaboration and want to:

  • Take a visible leadership role and enhance your reputation in making China’s logistics sector more compliant, efficient and sustainable together
  • Learn from peer multinationals and gain access to experts and partners in China to improve logistics efficiency, safety and environmental performance that includes reduced GHG emissions and air pollution (which contributes to corporate sustainability goals). Examples are co-loading/joint delivery or fuller return trips, joint training of fleet managers, uptake of low emission fuels and vehicles, etc.
  • More reliable carriers, improved freight services, increased compliance and reduced costs and time associated with carrier assessment and selection
  • Influence and stay up to date with relevant government policies and regulations impacting sustainable freight in China
  • Current members include: IKEA China, Lenovo China, Scania China, Maersk China, Shell China, BP, LF Logistics and JJ New Energy.

Events 2023

  • March - Smart Freight Forum 1 on Zero Emission Freight Training system design and MNC’ needs and what kind of role they should play
  • May - Smart Freight Forum 2 on GLEC framework adoption in China (progress reporting of missing emission factors and logistics default data in the China market, company cases)
  • Sep - Smart Freight Forum 3 on 'Step into the EV enterprises' - Invite shippers and LSPs, visit EV company and exchange opinions on technology applications and business models
  • Dec - Smart Freight Forum 4 on Achievement and lessons learned from EV pilots- experience and results sharing from company and regional level

How can you get involved?

Multinational companies that are interest in joining the Smart Freight Alliance or other organizations interested in the Smart Freight Forums can contact: Boyong Wang, Director of Strategic Partnerships, China: +86 18612228406

Learn more about our work in China