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Short-Term Actions to Re-organise Transport of goods

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

As it has been clearly shown in the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency, that progress to improve energy efficiency in the transport sector is vital. Policy measures can provide incentives for technical advances. The first step was the adoption of an EU strategy on CO2 and cars with the aim of using consumer information and voluntary agreements to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars. The voluntary agreements between the Commission and the European, Japanese and Korean vehicle manufacturers aim to reduce the average CO2 emissions of new cars by 25%, to 140 grams per kilometre, by 2008 (2009 for the Korean manufacturers), compared to the 1995 baseline.

Significant scope exists in many other areas, e.g. load factor, mode shift and transport avoidance, for action to improve energy use in transport.

Complementary to the long-term planning of reducing need of transport, the cities within the START project (Bristol, Göteborg, Ljubljana, Ravenna and Riga) takes a short term approach and combine actions such as access restrictions, consolidation centres and incentives. These measures will benefit both businesses and citizens by making goods distribution more energy efficient and hence reducing the related air pollution.


The overall goal of START is to reduce energy use by making the freight traffic in the cities more efficient, by consolidation of deliveries, improved load factors and greater use of more energy efficient vehicles.

The START high level objectives are:

  • A reduction of energy use by freight traffic in the demonstration areas by 10%.
  • A reduction of CO2 (minus 7%), NOx (minus 10%) and PM10 (minus 15%) emissions by freight traffic in the demonstration areas.
  • Increased awareness and acceptance from the local transport sectors about the possible ways to increase energy and economic efficiency of freight transport.
  • Increased public private co-operation.
  • Increased transnational exchange of experience among the stakeholders on freight transport in European cities.
  • The high level objectives will be reached without hindering the economic development in the demonstration areas.


The START cities will develop regulations for new and expanded restricted areas and implement these area restrictions. In addition, the START cities will implement consolidation schemes in new areas and with new participants. A business model will be developed and additional services will be implemented. A complete programme of incentives will be implemented directed at raising awareness among freight companies about energy efficiency and to stimulate more sustainable behaviour by promoting the introduction of clean vehicles (CNG and Bio-fuels), developing "extras" (e.g. free use of loading bays, permission to use public transport lanes, …) for clean vehicles and trucks with a high load rate, and promoting and training drivers for eco-driving and maintenance of vehicles.

As part of START the city of Bristol will look to introduce access control and priority measures which improve efficiency whilst minimising the impact of freight movements in conjunction with the redevelopment of the core shopping area. It is planned to further develop the freight consolidation scheme through offering value added services to retailers such as remote warehousing and waste/packaging collection and integrating the scheme with new retail development. Through the local freight network an incentives package of training and guidance to improve fleet efficiency will be offered as well as safe and efficient driver training.

The city of Göteborg will further develop areas within t


The START approach is based on close collaboration between public and private partners. It is a combination of positive incentives, more coercive regulations and enhanced logistics.

Over 75 stakeholder organisations will be involved in the local freight networks. More than 150 companies will be directly involved in the local measures. Dissemination actions will be directed to over 300 European cities and more than 4000 local business and hauler companies. The project will be carried out in four front running European cities: Göteborg, Bristol, Ravenna and Riga, and the follower city Ljubljana. Exchange of experience between the different stakeholders is organized in a structured way through thematic workshops, public European events for stakeholders, demonstrator fact sheets and evaluation results.

Recognizing the importance of the co-operation with and the acceptance of the freight and business sector, the START project is based on Local Freight Networks, which are a formalised form of co-operation between all stakeholders involved in the local freight sector. The local freight networks will be responsible for establishing a detailed planning for the integrated package of demonstration measures and will have periodic meetings to discuss progress, dissemination and evaluation activities. By developing and evaluating policies and measures in cooperation with the stakeholders, awareness and acceptance is safeguarded. The demonstration measures are organized in three thematic work packages on access restrictions, consolidation centres and incentives.


Parent Programmes
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The main achievements of the implementations of the project measure concerning local freight networks, access regulations, consolidation schemes and incentive programmes in the participating cities are as follows.

1) Bristol

  • development of a Freight Quality Partership (Local freight network) with 17 organisations;
  • development of the Bristol Consolidation scheme, now serving 72 retailers, resulting in a reduction of 78% of vehicle movements among the participating companies;
  • development of support, technical guidance and training tools involving 4 fleets and over 40 drivers trained in eco-driving resulting in 8-13% fuel efficiency savings;
  • implementation of a priority lane, which will be used also for consolidation vehicles.

2) Göteborg

  • establishment of a Quality Partership (Local freight network) with 15-20 participants;
  • implementation of time windows and removal of one-way road signs in the inner-city area in combination with new pedestrian streets leading to a reduction of parked vehicles in the area by 82% and a reduction of pass-through vehicles by 73%;
  • implementation of a consolidation centre in the Lindholmen area, leading to a decrease in CO2 emissions by 51%, NOx emissions by 50%, PM10 emissions by 50%, and a reduction of 50 % of both the number of vehicle-km and trips in the demonstration area.

3) Riga

  • establishment of a Quality Partership (Local freight network) with 15 participants;
  • a 9% reduction of trips and a decrease of emissions between 3% and 9% have been estimated as a result of a consolidation scheme delivering into the historical area.

4) Ravenna

  • development of the “Logistics Concertation Table” (Local Freight Network), with 12 participants;
  • finalisation and approval of the new “General Urban Traffic Plan”, which also includes the “Access and park in the City Centre regulations”;
  • implementation of the access monitoring system (SIRIO) with 5 detecting points with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, for the enforcement of the new traffic regulations.
  • set up of the “Control Centre” which permits the integration of all the IT tools for the monitoring and control of urban traffic in a

Policy implications

P1: The importance of urban freight is still underestimated in Europe. Much more needs to be done to raise awareness, at local, national and EU level, on the role played by freight delivery in the sustainability of urban areas. By making freight flows more efficient and by increasing load factors (for example through the implementation of consolidation schemes) it is possible to drastically reduce the transport workload in a city.

P2: In order to be proactive as a city, cooperation with all stakeholders in the distribution chain needs to be established. Only with an established dialogue based on mutual trust and understaning, can changes and restrictions be effectively implemented. Involving stakeholders can be a difficult process, but in the long run it pays back. The involvement of politicians is also essential to win support, and involving and recruiting retailers to consolidation schemes early on greatly enhances the likelihood of success.

P3: In order to create long lasting schemes for goods, such as consolidation schemes, a clear and sound business case must be developed. Any solution which is not economically profitable runs the risk of being closed down as soon as the support from public authorities are withdrawn. However, an alternative way of looking at profit may also include “increased attractivity” of a city centre or other specified areas which may be a valid reason for cities to engage in freight scheme on a long term basis.

P4: Working with regulations for heavy vehicles must be done with a “stick and carrot” approach. In order to justify introduction or changes in regulations, all parties must feel that they gain something. Also, an effective enforcement and control of the regulations is vital.

P5: Fostering a new ‘sustainable freight culture’ requires of local authorities to become brokers of conflicting corporative interests. Presenting sustainability as a non-negotiable policy is the pre-condition to create consensus

P6: Incentives can be very effective, but it is recommendable to make clear the added value for the target groups and to ensure stable incentive conditions in order to successfully implement policy of incentives.



Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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