Stakeholders Urge Governments and Businesses to Take Bold Action for Freight Transport Transformation

Global Launch of the Manifesto for Intermodal, Low-Carbon, Efficient and Resilient Freight Transport and Logistics

Today, the Manifesto for intermodal, low-carbon, efficient and resilient freight transport and logistics was launched at the first United Nations Global Supply Chain Forum organised by United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Government of Barbados from 21 – 24 May 2024. Gathering support from more than 30 multi-stakeholder organisations, the manifesto underscores the urgent need for freight transport and logistics transformations to help our economies and societies respond to interconnected challenges and remain competitive, equitable and resilient, while keeping global warming to 1.5ºC.

Accelerating the transformation of freight transport and logistics is among the most impactful steps the global community can take to enable overall positive socio-economic transformations by mid-century. We call on governments and businesses to prioritise systems that efficiently and resiliently combine low-carbon services from the first to the last mile, be that local or intercontinental. Urgent actions are needed to transition to zero emission fuels and renewable energy, optimising logistics systems, and creating local and circular value chains.

"Freight transport and logistics connect goods, markets and consumers, driving socio-economic development,” emphasizes Maruxa Cardama, SLOCAT Secretary General. “They can significantly enhance people's quality of life, boost local production, jobs, tax revenue, circularity and resilience to shocks, and reduce energy consumption and emissions. This transformation is critical to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, green jobs, low-carbon technologies and low-carbon value chains.”

In the spirit of a multi-stakeholder partnership, SLOCAT and Kühne Foundation, together with CONCITO, IDDRI, International Transport Workers’ Federation, Smart Freight Centre, UIC International Union of Railways and World Resources Institute have co-initiated this manifesto. While each country will adopt its own pathway, the manifesto outlines a series of critical enablers to enable this transformation.

All organisations that believe in the importance of transforming freight transport and logistics are invited to join and sign the manifesto.

Kühne Logistics University, KLU, is also among the signatories. President Prof. Dr. Andreas Kaplan emphasizes: "KLU is proud to endorse this crucial manifesto. The transformation of freight transport is not only imperative but also presents genuine opportunities. Through the development of innovative, environmentally-friendly, and efficient solutions, KLU is paving the way for a sustainable future, positioning logistics as a pivotal player in this transition while also ensuring the industry's long-term viability. This ethos is further echoed in our motto, 'Leading with an Operations Mindset'."

Speaker Gordon Wilmsmeier, KLU Professor of Shipping and Global Logistics, adds: " UNCTAD's Global Supply Chain Forum is the opportunity to share our research insights and initiatives in sustainable logistics to a global audience of policymakers and organisations. We are showcasing how we can create impact and drive change in the transport and logistics sectors."

The coming months present pivotal opportunities to accelerate national and multilateral action on freight transport and logistics through the negotiations and discussions at, inter-alia, the UN Summit of the Future (New York, September 2024), and the UN Climate Change Conference COP29 (Baku, November 2024), as work begins on the UN sustainable development agenda post-2030. The manifesto will also contribute to building up technical capacity through a compendium of policy and financing interventions and multi stakeholder dialogue.

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