Moving freight from road to rail – University of Birmingham and Pass Logistics to address challenges

Moving heavy freight off roads and into the rail network is the focus of new collaborations between the University and transport company Pass Logistics. Published 27 July 2022

Lorries on a busy road

The University and Pass Logistics have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore ways of tackling this challenge, which is key to reducing the carbon footprint of freight transport. Researchers in the University's Centre of Excellence in Rail Decarbonisation, within the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), will work collaboratively with Pass Logistics experts committed to moving traditional road container haulage onto the railways.

Approaches could include devising ways to help companies understand their carbon output and the relative impacts and costs of alternative approaches.

Making progress in decarbonising transport, means working closely with our partners in industry to develop approaches that can be implemented in a straightforward, financially viable way.

Professor Clive Roberts, Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education

Professor Clive Roberts, BCRRE Director, said: "Making progress in decarbonising transport, means working closely with our partners in industry to develop approaches that can be implemented in a straightforward, financially viable way. Pass Logistics already has great insight into the challenges facing the road haulage industry and we're looking forward to working with them." Adrian Sullivan, founder of Pass Logistics, said: "We are really excited about the potential of this relationship with the University of Birmingham.

As a company, we are committed to playing our part in tackling climate change and want to inspire other companies to follow our lead. One of the best ways we can do that is by offering solutions that have undergone rigorous research and testing, and have proven to be robust. BCRRE will play a critical role in that."

Increasing the use of rail for haulage could have significant implications. For example, Pass Logistics estimates that for every full goods train, around 80 HGVs would be taken off the roads, leading to a potential 75 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.  

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Notes for editors

  • For media enquiries please contact Beck Lockwood, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0)781 3343348.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world's top 100 institutions.

    Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.

  • Pass Logistics Ltd were announced as the Winners of the SME Business of the Year at the 2021 Doncaster Business Awards.

    Pass Logistics Ltd are committed to reducing carbon emissions for freight transport.