News & Insights

Access the Results of the DfT’s Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstration (ZERFD) Programme with the Decarbonising Logistics Workgroup

By Jonathan Kittow on 30/10/23 09:47 |


We recently launched the Decarbonising Logistics Workgroup to provide suppliers with the opportunity to develop and compare their strategies to tackle Scope 3 emissions as they seek to find more sustainable low-carbon solutions.

Our workgroup centres on two key streams that are both aimed at unlocking carbon savings and improving efficiency: road haulage optimisation and modal shift to rail.

Within the Road Haulage Optimisation stream, we have already identified numerous opportunities, working with suppliers and retailers to improve pallet and vehicle fill, whilst reducing warehouse costs. Our next focal areas are to target the reduction in empty running and develop more sustainable HGV network solutions.

Choosing Maritime Transport as a like-minded 'modal shift to rail' partner with rail infrastructure services already running, allows suppliers to explore how rail can become a core stream within their strategy. The two streams are available in parallel, allowing suppliers  to pursue either or both options.

We are delighted to share the news that Maritime Transport Ltd has been selected as a key participant in the Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstration (ZERFD) Programme. Read their news story here.

About the Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstration Programme

The ZERFD Programme will invest £200 million in projects dedicated to decarbonising the logistics sector, introducing up to 370 zero-emission HGVs, establishing around 57 refuelling and electric charging sites and increasing modal shift. The initiative is crucial to help ensure a sustainable future for the sector and support the UK’s net zero commitments.

Taking part in three out of the four of ZERFD’s pioneering projects, Maritime will integrate electric and hydrogen fuel cell HGVs onto its fleet from 2025 and add 39 charging stations, capable of delivering up to 400kWh. Complementing Maritime’s environmental strategy to move more containerised and domestic product by rail, these carbon neutral trucks will complete first and final-mile deliveries.

Maritime have commented, "over the next five years, each project will see real-world trials take place for advanced battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies in HGVs, providing key insights for the government's long-term infrastructure decisions to make road freight more sustainable".

Join the Decarbonising Logistics Workgroup

Although it is encouraging to see significant government investment, the ZERFD programme also highlights just how far the sector has to go before hydrogen and electric power for HGVs present viable solutions for scalable adoption - causing many suppliers to ask what can the sector do over the next five years to accelerate plans towards logistics decarbonisation?

At our inaugural event, hosting over 30 suppliers, the group aligned around the imperative that whilst waiting for a scalable technological solution, practical steps must be taken now to reduce road miles and emissions.

Working Smarter, Together

Many individual operators have already got as far as they can, on their own. Therefore collaboration across supply chain partners is essential to achieve logistics optimisation. The recent event confirmed the immediate relevance of the two work streams and we will be refining our objectives and next steps at the next meeting on 24th November.

The Decarbonising Logistics Workgroup provides a space to share experiences and data, to build strong and trusting relationships and to help exploit some of the emerging optimisation opportunities offered via road and rail.

If you want to make a difference and to find out more about contact us at

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