Special Issues

SUFS: Special Issues on Freight in Transportation Research

The faculty at the VREF Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems (CoE-SUFS) is organizing the publication of three Special Issues of the prestigious journals of the Transportation Research series.

These special issues will focus on three complementary areas:

  • Freight Behavior Research (in Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice;
  • Innovative Approaches to Improve the Environmental Performance of Supply Chains and Freight Transportation Systems (in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment);  
  • Data-Driven Smart-City-Enabled Traffic System Modeling, Analysis, and Optimization (in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies).

Collectively, these special issues are intended to galvanize the attention of the research community and spur research to find ways to improve the overall functioning of cities, and the transportation systems they rely upon. Researchers interested in these subjects are encouraged to submit their research papers.

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice

Call for Papers: Freight Behaviour Research

The increasing globalization of the world economy and culture has led to a situation where modern life has become almost completely dependent on supply chains and freight transportation systems for the conveyance of the final and intermediate goods required by the economy. Although enabling economic prosperity in a manner unprecedented in world history, supply chains and freight transportation systems produce staggering amounts of negative externalities in the form of congestion, accidents, aesthetic degradation, noise, diminished quality of life nearby large freight generators, environmental degradation of soils, water, and air, among others. The importance of freight systems to modern economies and as a major source of externalities necessitates achieving a judicious balance between these important aspects. Inducing behavioural changes on the freight industry and supply chains, in general, could help jointly achieve significant reductions in the externalities produced, as well as improvements in economic productivity and efficiency. Unfortunately, the lack of research on how best to influence the behaviour of the freight system and supply chains remains a formidable obstacle to the implementation of comprehensive policies to improve their overall performance. This call for papers is intended to galvanize the attention of the research community on the important and understudied subject of Freight Behaviour Research.

This Call for Papers is made in conjunction with the Urban Freight and Behaviour Change (URBE) Conference to be held in Rome, October 1st and 2nd 2015 (http://host.uniroma3.it/eventi/urbe/).

This Special Issue will complement a Special Issue of Transportation Research Part D on Innovative Approaches to Improve the Environmental Performance of Supply Chains and Freight Transportation Systems.


Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies

Call for Papers: Data-driven smart-city-enabled traffic system modeling, analysis, and optimization

Rooted upon City Science, Smart City models are characterized in six major aspects: Smart Economy, Smart Mobility, Smart Governance, Smart Environment, Smart Living, and Smart People. As an important component of Smart Cities, transportation network plays a critical role to address the urbanization, competitiveness, sustainability, and mobility issues. Most metropolitan areas are facing significant transportation-related challenges, including excess recurrent and non-recurrent congestion, increased accident risk, severe traffic-related air pollution, critical infrastructure protection, and unsustainable energy consumption, due to increasing population and travel demands, as well as sometimes century-old transportation infrastructure. Developing better operation and management strategies is of practical importance to improve city-scale transportation system operations under the above Smart City research initiatives. Enabled by emerging control, management, and sensing technologies and recent advances in data analytics and urban experiments, Smart City will greatly enhance our scientific understanding of data-driven urban traffic system design, operation, and planning.


Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

Call for Papers: Innovative Approaches to Improve the Environmental Performance of Supply Chains and Freight Transportation Systems

The significant progress that has been achieved in reducing the environmental impacts of freight activity has been made possible, to a great extent, by the use of regulation and the development of novel technologies. Notwithstanding how successful they have been in the past, regulation and technology development are bound to have limits. Regrettably, most efforts have overlooked the potential improvements that could be achieved by means of operational changes, collaborative logistics, freight demand management, behavior changes, and a host of other innovative concepts that do not necessitate the use of regulations, or the development of new technologies. For instance, a truck that makes off-hour deliveries produces 40% to 70% less pollution than the same truck making deliveries in the congested hours of the day; booking systems could play a huge role in reducing the truck pollution produced by trucks that arrive at marine ports to pick-up or deliver cargo; delivery and servicing plans have achieved reductions that exceed 20% in the delivery traffic to large buildings thus reducing urban congestion; land use policies that push large freight facilities to the outskirts of urban areas have been found to produce negative impacts on the environment on account of the increases they produce on freight vehicle-miles-traveled. These examples (a sample of the multitude of concepts that could be conceived) have rarely been considered by policy makers. Essentially, large environmental improvements could be achieved by broadening the focus of environmental policy, which should focus on fostering a holistic transformation of supply chains and freight transportation systems. Unfortunately, the lack of a solid understanding of the potential environmental improvements that could be achieved by these innovative schemes prevent policy makers from evaluating worthiness of these concepts. Research that helps conceive, design, and assess the environmental impacts of innovative paradigms of freight operations is badly needed.

This call for papers is intended to galvanize the attention of the research community on the need to conceive, design, and assess the environmental impacts of innovative paradigms of freight planning and operations that could improve environmental performance of freight activity. This Special Issue will complement a Special Issue of Transportation Research Part A on Freight Behavior Research.


January 2021
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v53          1 2 3
v1  4 5 6 7 8 9 10
v2  11 12 13 14 15 16 17
v3  18 19 20 21 22 23 24
v4  25 26 27 28 29 30 31

CALL FOR NOMINATION FOR the Håkan Frisinger Award for Excellence in Transportation Research

The VREF invites universities located in Sweden to nominate candidates for The Håkan Frisinger Award (Håkan Frisingers pris till framstående transportforskare) and apply for a VREF Visiting Researcher Grant for the nominated candidate.

Open for nomination until 2021-03-15. Read more...PDF (pdf, 233.7 kB)


The VREF invites Sub-Saharan based researchers with expertise on sustainable and equitable
mobility and access or related areas, and strong interest in carrying out interdisciplinary research. Open for application until 2020-09-29


The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call extended to April 30, 2020 due to COVID19.


Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

Read more

© Copyright VREF