About us

The Centre is a collaboration between Cambridge and Heriot-Watt Universities and organizations in the freight and logistics sectors, with a major 5-year grant from EPSRC.

Its purpose is to research engineering and organizational solutions to make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The centre has a £5.8 million funding for the first 5 years.

The best way to achieve very deep reductions in CO2 emissions from the road freight sector is to combine highly-focussed vehicle engineering with systematic improvements to freight distribution systems: optimizing vehicles in parallel with logistical tasks. This is the focus of the Centre. The engineers at Cambridge are delighted to be collaborating with the UK’s foremost freight logistics research centre at Heriot-Watt University and with a set of truly excellent industrial partners.

Professor David Cebon, SRF Director

A vital feature of the Centre is its close links with the freight industry. Of the first five year’s funding, £4.4 million will come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and £1.4 million from the industrial consortium. The consortium includes key freight operators such as John Lewis, Tesco, DHL and Wincanton, along with vehicle industry partners, including Volvo, Goodyear, Firestone among others, who help set the research agenda and spearhead the adoption of the results by the road freight industry.

The research team brings together road freight vehicle engineering expertise from the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and logistics expertise from Heriot-Watt University’s Logistics Research Centre: to explore ways to make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

The overall aims of the Centre are to:

  1. research the sustainability of road freight transport: from tactical to strategic, fundamental to applied, micro and macro-level perspectives;
  2. develop innovative technical and operational solutions to road freight transport challenges;
  3. develop tactics and strategies to meet Government emissions reduction targets for the road freight sector, mapping out ways to provide an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions due to road freight transport by 2050.