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The other side of the coin

How sustainable is Dutch freight transport?

In this study, commissioned by the Dutch Association for Nature and the Environment (Stichting Natuur and Milieu), CE reviews a wide range of developments in the realm of freight transport that impinge on various aspects of sustainability. Key results include the following:
  • The Dutch economy is one of the most transport-intensive in Europe.
  • Although trucks account for only 2% of registered road vehicles, freight transport is responsible for about 26% of the total external costs of traffic.
  • Transport volume is growing by about 3% a year on average and forecasts do not indicate any let-up of that trend. Ownership and use of vans, frequently used for freight carriage today, are growing even harder.
  • Dutch freight transport CO2 emissions increased by 37% between 1990 and 2000, owing mainly to growth of road freight. Between 2000 and 2010 these emissions will probably continue to rise by a further 50% or so.
  • Emissions of NOx and PM10 are decreasing, the result of progressive tightening of road vehicle emission standards.
  • Freight transport is a major cause of air pollution and noise nuisance along roads and a major contributor to health damage.


Bettina Kampman

Delft, February 2004

Study in Dutch language

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