Freight Transport Decarbonization: A Systematic Literature Review of System Dynamics Models

V. Ghisolfi, Lorant Tavasszy, Gonçalo Correia , Gisele de Lorena Diniz Chaves, Glaydston Mattos Ribeiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
237 Downloads (Pure)


Freight transport decarbonization is currently an urgent challenge. Decarbonization strategies have a specific time to take effect, and it is essential to consider their time dependence. The system dynamics approach is well suited to represent feedback, lagged responses, and the time dependence of decarbonization strategies. We carried out a systematic literature review of system dynamics models in relation to strategies for freight decarbonization to identify the treatment of relevant dynamics of the system within the models. The 50 studies that fulfilled our search criteria were categorized by decarbonization strategies, the external factors needed to support them, and simulated policy instruments. The results show that no model presented a broad view of the system, addressing a limited combination of strategies. Most importantly, system dynamics models do not clarify how time-dependent behavior is determined, which indicates a significant research gap that can be critical for understanding the policy’s urgency and impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3625
Number of pages30
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • freight transport
  • decarbonization
  • policy analysis
  • systematic literature review


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