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INternational Transport and Energy Reduction ACTION - Energy efficiency equals cost efficiency: engaging sectoral organisations as champions and messengers to reduce energy use in freight transport. (INTERACTION)

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The INternational Transport and Energy Reduction ACTION aimed to reduce energy consumption, CO2-emissions and transport costs throughout the supply chain. The project was set up and carried out by energy agencies and specialised consultancies from 6 countries. A basic standard project approach (sectoral approach) has been developed which will be applied in each country in the sectors of industries. In each country energy reduction measures have been identified and implemented with companies in the (international) supply chain, focus was on shippers. Measures identified and implemented at individual companies comprised reduction of delivery frequency, adjustment of loading units, adjustment of vehicle technology, optimisation of planning systems, introduction of clean vehicles, etc. The objective: the identification of best practices in sustainable energy reduction regarding freight transport, the international exchange of this knowledge and the creation of European awareness.


  • 100 participating companies within 6 countries, active in 21 branches
  • Direct potential of between 20.000 (minimum) and 40.000 (maximum) ton of CO2 reduction on a yearly basis by participating companies implementating selected measures. In terms of energy reduction a potential of 6 – 13 % has been identified per company. Translated to costs this leads to a reduction potential of 3 – 5 % of total logistics costs. Within the project estimated to be around € 3 million savings.
  • Identification of best practices to achieve energy reduction in freight transport. Best practices and their impacts have been gathered in a database which can be used by other actors in the supply chain, throughout Europe. Even after the project ends the database will be updated on a regular basis. The database is available at
  • A strong structure for maintaining the sectoral approach has been developed also to anchor results after the INTERACTION project duration.
  • A change in attitude and eventually behaviour of actors in the supply chain towards energy efficiency in transport, triggered by cost reduction has been identified. On a national (government) level the issue has been set on the agenda within the participating countries. Either to prolong the project on a national level or to think about regulation and measures to stimulate energy reduction in freight transport

Lessons learned

  • Savings: Based on experiences within Interaction, 100 companies linked to 21 industry associations and earlier experiences at a company level on average a 5 – 30 % reduction in energy use in transport and 5 – 10 % transport costs reduction is possible ; On specific parts of the supply chain savings in energy usage and transport costs might be up to 25%.
  • Challenges: During the phase of committing companies to the INTERACTION project, the partners learned that a differnet approach might be needed in different countries. This is a result of the level of organisation of the supply chain and/or the way companies are already aware of and working at transport efficiency.
  • Although the approach is designed to help shippers, depending of the way of organisation of the supply chain, it might be necessary to involve transport companies in the process as in many cases transport is outsourced by the shipper. However in most cases the shipper is in control of the supply chain and can therefor make the decision to implement efficient measures.

Partners and coordinator

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Buck Consultants International B.V.
Contact point: 
Johan Beukema
0031 3790222


Key documents

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In brief

01/10/2006 to 30/09/2008
Contract number: 

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