Regional cooperation will enable companies that ship their goods via international routes to take 80% of their transport off the roads.

On Thursday, December 8, the Top Sector Logistics, together with over a hundred companies and regions, launched the national action program Lean & Green Off-Road during a conference of the same name, held at Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen. Through this initiative the participating companies plan to take 80% of the goods they ship via international routes off the roads by 2020, by bundling loads and using other transport modes smartly – a principle referred to as ‘synchromodal transport’ within the logistics sector.
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These companies are going off-road! Photo: Paul Ridderhof

Bas Kersten from Bolsius, one of the participating shippers: “This program will allow us to improve our logistics quickly and easily. Lean & Green Off-Road gives you legal certainty. Using an app you can quickly create the right connections with other shippers in the region to organize transport more efficiently. Obviously, you always retain a certain proportion of road transport – 10% – for feeder transport to and from the terminals, and you also have to allocate a further 10% to traditional road transport in case any unforeseen circumstances arise. The lion’s share, however, around 80%, will be systematically transferred to other modes, such as rail. Via the regional action program NewWays North Brabant, we are currently developing a shared corridor between Brabant and Poznan (Poland), together with Samsung and selected transport companies. This will deliver huge economic and social benefits. Other shippers and transport companies can join this initiative quickly and easily via the national and regional action programs.”


Lean & Green Off-Road is active nationwide and has already entered into cooperation agreements in a number of regions: in Zeeland via the neutral logistics platform Zeeland Connect and in North Brabant via the platform NewWays North Brabant. Today, the province of Gelderland also got on board – the companies participating in this region include Aviko, KraftHeinz, Interface, Intersnack and Nutreco. Zeeland has already been in the news this year: its onion sector is reducing its road transport by 1.5 million kilometers and thereby cutting CO2 emissions by 1,500 tons, thanks to the Lean & Green Synchromodal program.

Bea Schouten, Member of the Gelderland Provincial Executive: “The province of Gelderland works closely with the business community to boost the economy. Gelderland is also a green province. Together with Connekt and the Top Sector Logistics, we can make a huge contribution towards smart, sustainable logistics in the region by participating in Lean & Green Off-Road.”

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Bea Schouten, Member of the Gelderland Provincial Executive, with Harsha Dijk, Lean & Green program manager at Connekt: now Gelderland is off-road too! Photos: Paul Ridderhof

By taking a regional approach, the Lean & Green Off-Road action program aims to scale up the initiative to the level of synchromodal transport to and from the Netherlands. Lean & Green Off-Road is creating space on our roads to improve traffic flows for private road users and domestic road transport. In this way it is also supporting Connekt’s Lean & Green program in the achievement of its objective. More than 500 Lean & Green pioneers in eight different European countries are working towards concrete CO2 reduction targets, with the ultimate ambition of reducing emissions to zero. These efforts are also relevant to the challenge that – according to research conducted by the Top Sector – is now facing the Dutch logistics industry: this industry will need to improve productivity by a factor of 6 by 2050, if we are to achieve the climate targets agreed on in Paris.

New measures
To achieve this ambitious target, on December 8 the Lean & Green Off-Road action team presented the following measures:

  • Working together with the regions, an impact network is being developed, which will achieve nationwide coverage by the end of 2017.
  • Regional program management has been placed in the hands of neutral parties, such as provinces, development agencies and educational institutions. They are being supported by the national action program.
  • Within the network, shippers and transport companies will be working together in their own regions on the question of shared origins and destinations for freight.
  • Working in partnership, shippers and transport companies can set up new freight corridors quickly and easily, and also scale up existing freight corridors – not only by collaborating within their own region, but also by ensuring cooperation between the different regions.
  • The Legal Office is giving participating shippers and transport companies legal certainty, as well as making clear that the reputation of their brands will be protected within the context of the cooperation.
  • The weConnektApp allows shippers to get involved quickly and easily in the development, launch and scaling-up of shared freight corridors.

Further information can be found on the Lean & Green Off-Road website, which was also launched on December 8: You can also watch this film clip on Lean & Green Synchromodal which contains an explanation of the weConnekt app.

Lean & Green
Lean & Green Off-Road is an action program of the Top Sector Logistics that aims to make transport greener, more flexible and more efficient. After all, full and empty containers can be transported to the hinterland perfectly well using an inland vessel or train (for part of the route). These modes emit less CO2 than trucks, while reducing traffic congestion and allowing more goods to be transported using less manpower. Lean & Green Off-Road is contributing to the Top Sector Logistics’ target of reducing the distances traveled by trucks by at least 85 million kilometers and cutting CO2 emissions by 68,700 tons by 2020. Lean & Green Off-Road ties in with Connekt’s Lean & Green program.