Earlier this year the government announced the launch of its new fund to support small to medium sized businesses to develop a greener and more efficient strategy for their freight.
Aptly named the Freight Innovation Fund (FIF), up to 36 SMEs will receive their own proportion of the £7 million, before going off to work with industry-leading companies, with the ultimate goal of developing innovations that will work to improve freight between rail, road and maritime.
It is hoped that in providing innovative companies with the opportunity to test out their ideas, SMEs will be able to roll out these new ways of working or technologies to ‘unlock potentially huge efficiencies and emissions reductions across the sector’.
What areas will the funding cover?
The fund will address three particular areas that have been a long-standing issue within the freight sector:
> Data collection at significant scale, across the industry, particularly data sharing between various modes of freight transport. This could greatly improve coordination between different forms of freight and their efficiency.
> Issues surround inter-modal transport and improvements in how large consignments are broken up into smaller consignments. This could ultimately greatly reduce traffic and emissions.
> Distribution improvements within ports to create knock-on benefits with regards to efficiencies, timings, and predictability for the rest of the journey.
Speaking of the investment, Roads Minister, Richard Holden has said:
“Our freight industry is vital to underpinning the economy and keeps Britain moving, so it is crucial we invest in new innovations to make it greener and quicker.
This fund will accelerate new ideas and technologies, helping to develop a future pipeline of innovations that can be rolled out to create jobs and allow everyone to get their goods faster and easier.”
Here at Grace Overseas, we are committed to ensuring that our freight forwarding and logistics services consistently grow and adapt in line with industry innovations and technologies, therefore we look forward to seeing the results from this crucial investment.