Driving down the road to green freight

Dr Bibek Debroy, Member, NITIAayog addressing the gathering

Dr Bibek Debroy, Member, NITIAayog addressing the gathering


On the 5th of November, the Green Freight India Working Group (GFIWG) met at the NITI Aayog in New Delhi, for the 2nd Focused Group Discussion, to discuss ways to increase fuel efficiency in the freight sector. The GFIWG is an informal group of stakeholders working to streamline freight in India and represents a homogenous mix of interests: industry, government, academia, entrepreneurs, carriers and not-for-profits. S. Sundar, Distinguished Fellow TERI and Chairman of the group presided over the meeting while Dr. Bibek Debroy (Member, NITI Aayog) attended as the Chief Guest.

Pilots conducted by some members of the group had shown that efficient driving could result in fuel savings of up to 40%. It has since emerged as an important area of focus for the GFIWG; the November 5 meeting was to specifically discuss ways to create and popularize a scalable template for training drivers across the country, carrying forward the discussion from the 1st discussion on 9th September.

S Sundar, Chairman, GFIWG, (2nd from R)

S Sundar, Chairman, GFIWG, (2nd from R)

Several concerns and solutions were tabled in the course of the discussion.  NITI Aayog officials recognised that, for smoother freight movement there was a need for better integration amongst the multiple government agencies.  Another point that was made repeatedly was the need to understand driving behaviour in the context of influencing factors such as ownership and condition of vehicles, working environment and the multiple agencies that a freight driver had to deal with. For training to translate into actual behaviour change there was also a need to change the drivers’ environment. Creating incentives drivers was seen to be a sure way to induce behaviour change; sharing a percentage of the savings with the driver was one of the suggestions made.

The need to motivate shippers and carriers to invest in training exercises for their drivers was also discussed. Carriers tabled that they would invest in such training if tangible benefits could be proved. Since some training pilots had already been conducted by GFIWG, the group felt that it was important to spread awareness around such exercises to motivate other shippers and carriers. Parthaa Bosu, India Director and South Asia Liaison Clean Air Asia and Secretary GFIWG said – “We have to ensure that the training model is replicable and the benefits of each case study is extensively communicated. This is imperative if we want to scale up the programme.”

Industry players and entrepreneurs also showcased technologies that could encourage fuel-efficient behaviour. Mr Sundar felt that many practical solutions were thrown up during the discussion and it should taken up for further detailed study and implementation.

Going forward, the GFIWG agreed to evolve thought papers on various aspects that could encourage large scale adoption of training exercises: incentive systems, awareness, technologies and corporate social responsibilities.

Click the links for presentations

  1. Green Freight Initiatives_ITCPSPD
  2. Intelligent eco driving system_Carbon Pod
  3. 3M India Limited
  4. CAA Background GFIWG


Record note

Event photographs