When most people think of transport, they think about their everyday experience using trains, buses, cars, or walking and cycling to go to work, get access to services and shops, and meet family and friends.
However, there is another side that is just as important, but which people think about much less: the transport of goods and resources. Everything we consume is the result of highly complex and largely invisible supply chain networks, relying on extensively coordinated operations and multiple transport modes for delivery.
As the key drivers for goods movement – consumption, trade, manufacturing, and energy – are witnessing major transformation, the requirement for and demands on today’s freight network will also change.
In this report, we highlight the importance of planning for the future of the freight transport system. Taking a global perspective, with some region-specific emphasis in the UK and EU, we focus on these “invisible” freight systems, which are particularly relevant at this time.