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.