Dynamics of freight transport decarbonization: A simulation study for Brazil

Verônica Ghisolfi, Lóránt Antal Tavasszy, Gonçalo Homem de Almeida Rodriguez Correia, Gisele de Lorena Diniz Chaves, Glaydston Mattos Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Freight transport decarbonization is challenging due to the slow implementation of policies to meet climate goals. This paper analyzes the dynamics of the implementation of freight decarbonization measures. A System Dynamics model was developed and applied to the Brazilian freight system to simulate the use of more sustainable modes and means of transport, including electrification, increased use of biofuels, acceleration of fleet renewal, and modal shift. Significant emission reductions are found in the scenarios combining a shift to alternative modes and a rapid phase-out of diesel vehicles. Even so, the Brazilian freight sector's emission budgets towards limiting global warming to 1.5 °C and 2 °C will be depleted during the current and next decade, respectively. An absolute reduction of carbon emissions before 2050 seems unlikely. Besides confirming the need to study the dynamics of the freight system, the findings corroborate the urgency for stronger actions on freight decarbonization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104020
Number of pages33
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Decarbonization
  • Freight transport
  • Policy implementation
  • System dynamics


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