The Influence of Logistics Decisions on Transport Decarbonization: Lessons from Local to Global Scale

Lóránt Tavasszy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

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One of the proposed approaches to decarbonize freight transport systems is to internalize the environmental costs of transport, by means of carbon emission-based taxes. The expected impact is a reduction of transport demand and an increased use of environmentally friendly transport technologies. The magnitude of the impact will depend on the levels of taxation, the activities to which they apply and the degrees of freedom allowed to companies to react to the taxes. In this chapter we explore the impact mechanisms of carbon taxes by investigating the reorganization responses of freight decision-makers. We do this through a series of empirical cases of recent modelling studies at city, corridor, country, continent and global level. The city case involves an application of an agent-based model to evaluate a carbon credit point system for city logistics. The corridor case involves carbon pricing of container transport in the hinterland of the port of Rotterdam over a multimodal network. The country and continental cases describe the effects of network-wide truck charging, with a focus on mode choice, vehicle type and routing. The global case concerns a full economic impact analysis of internalization of external costs of supply chains, also looking at the effect of changes in sourcing decisions of companies. We draw lessons concerning the impacts of logistics decisions on the impact of policies and identify needs for further research. Common findings relevant for climate change policy include the following: (1) prices needed to achieve a significant impact are a multiple of current market prices, (2) logistics decisions may act as buffer for the propagation of taxes towards consumers and, as a result, (3) the ultimate price impacts for consumers could remain small. In order to be able to predict impacts of climate policies, there is a need to continue research on the way companies take logistics decisions. This includes decisions in specific areas or logistics, but also on decision processes, to better understand the dynamics of impact pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic Decision Making for Sustainable Management of Industrial Networks
EditorsJ. Rezaei
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-55385-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-55384-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameGreening of Industry Networks Studies
ISSN (Print)2543-0246
ISSN (Electronic)2543-0254

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project 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.


  • City logistics
  • Container transport
  • Decarbonization
  • Global supply chain
  • Logistics
  • Transport
  • Transport policy

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