Research Output
Towards a Decarbonisation Roadmap for Road Freight in Ireland: A Gap Analysis of Policy Agenda and Industry Perception
  Purpose - Transport carbon emissions in Ireland have been steadily increasing over the past ten years, in contrast to other countries in Europe. There have been policy measures proposed by the Irish government to support the transport industry in reducing their carbon emissions, but these interventions have yet to have any significant effect on emissions. Research on the decarbonisation measures has focused on analysing the potential impact and feasibility of policy implementation from the public stakeholders’ perspective, but there has been little work exploring the Irish industry stakeholders’ subjective experiences of the decarbonisation measures. This study pinpoints and analyses the ‘policy-implementation’ gap between the government agenda and industry’s perception of freight transport decarbonisation.

Research Approach – Desk research was firstly carried out to review the current government policy and agendas on transport decarbonisation in Ireland. Second, to capture the transport industry’s perception and awareness of low-carbon transport, an online questionnaire was conducted to canvass the attitude and concerns of road freight operators and logistics service providers in Ireland. Third, in-depth interviews were carried out with selected transport companies to investigate the identified issues.

Findings and Originality - The output of this study is two-fold. First, a gap analysis demonstrated the gap between government policy and the industry’s current perception and performance. Second, a SWOT analysis mapped out the barriers and enablers for transport companies to peruse a low-carbon transition.

Research Impact – This study helps policy-makers in the Irish transport sector to gain a fuller understanding of how logistics companies in Ireland perceive the current policy and the challenges facing the logistics industry to the low-carbon transition. Focusing on the industry’s perspective can help policy research to develop robust policy interventions with effective measures to bridge the ‘policy-implementation’ gap, and potentially informing future policy objectives.#

Practical Impact – A better understanding of transport operators’ attitudes and motives (especially SMEs) and the challenges they face in decarbonising can inform a more effective response by policy-makers, vehicle manufacturers, and the wider stakeholders in the society to intervene in the uptake of decarbonisation measures in the transport industry in Ireland.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    08 September 2021

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    New Funder


Zhang, X., & Plant, E. (2021, September). Towards a Decarbonisation Roadmap for Road Freight in Ireland: A Gap Analysis of Policy Agenda and Industry Perception. Paper presented at Logistics Research Network Conference 2021: Sustainable and resilient supply chains in disruptive times, Cardiff [Online]



Road freight transport, logistics, decarbonisation, policy analysis, Ireland

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