Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Will Digitalization Change the Road Freight Transportation? - Future Scenarios with Sweden as a Case Study

Version 1 : Received: 3 December 2020 / Approved: 7 December 2020 / Online: 7 December 2020 (13:00:14 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Pernestål, A.; Engholm, A.; Bemler, M.; Gidofalvi, G. How Will Digitalization Change Road Freight Transport? Scenarios Tested in Sweden. Sustainability 2021, 13, 304. Pernestål, A.; Engholm, A.; Bemler, M.; Gidofalvi, G. How Will Digitalization Change Road Freight Transport? Scenarios Tested in Sweden. Sustainability 2021, 13, 304.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2020, 13, 304
DOI: 10.3390/su13010304

Abstract

Road freight transportation is a key function of modern societies. At the same time, road freight transportation accounts for significant emissions. To reach the UN sustainability goals, sustainable road freight transportation is key. Digitalization, including automation, digitized information, and AI provide opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase service levels in road freight transportation. Digitalization may also radically change the business ecosystem in the sector. In this paper, the question “How will digitalization change the road freight transportation landscape?” is addressed by developing four different future scenarios, using Sweden as a case study. For each of the four scenarios the impacts on the road freight transportation sector are investigated, and opportunities and barriers to reach a sustainable transportation system in each of the scenarios are discussed. In all scenarios an increase in vehicle kilometers travelled is predicted, and in three of the four scenarios significant increases of recycling and urban freight flows are predicted. The scenario development process highlighted how there are important uncertainties in the development of the society that will be highly important for the development of the digitized freight transportation landscape. One example is the sustainability paradigm, which was identified as a strategic uncertainty.

Subject Areas

freight transportation; future scenarios; intuitive logic; logistics; digitalization

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