Smart Transport

Freight in the spotlight at Virtual Smart Transport Conference

Truck on the road

The Virtual Smart Transport Conference will look at how the movement of goods can be decarbonised during the freight breakout session on June 9.

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A trio of experts from the sector: Ed Clarke, UK vice president of ground operations for FedEx Express, Laurence Drake, managing director, Daf Trucks and Maggie Simpson OBE, director general at Rail Freight Group, will all be sharing their insights.

Highlighting the importance of the sector, Simpson said: “Although the debate around smart transport tends to focus on the movement of people, there is no doubt that we also need to look at how essential goods are distributed and brought into our towns and cities for the benefit of consumers. 

“Without food, clothes and materials our lives quickly become disrupted, and policy makers are increasingly alert to the need to keep freight flowing. 

"This means that freight distribution has to be considered as an integral part of urban transport planning and built into the thinking on how our networks work.

“Yet the narrative around freight is complex and can be challenging to manage.  Good collaboration between private sector operators and transport planners is essential, as is a wider thought on how freight can be best distributed locally, while recognising that it is, inevitably, part of a national and indeed global supply chain.

“The Smart Transport Conference is an opportunity to discuss how urban mobility and freight can be better woven together to help policy makers deliver their transport objectives and keep the goods moving.”

Ed Clarke, UK vice president of ground operations for FedEx Express, added: “I am looking forward to participating in this year’s Virtual Smart Transport Conference, where I’ll be discussing some steps the industry is making towards the decarbonisation of freight and the need for public and private sector collaboration.

“The forum brings together key decision makers from across the industry, providing an opportunity for discussion about a topic of critical importance to our industry - the need to develop smart solutions for today’s climate challenges.”

Like last autumn’s successful Virtual Smart Transport Conference, June’s conference is free to attend and the digital event platform will put delegates right in the room, replicating the familiar surroundings of the conventional conference with headline speakers, breakout sessions and live Q&As.

The event will play host to 30 speakers with eight breakout sessions on a range of topics: addressing urban air quality; place-based solutions to decarbonise transport; switching to electric; achieving modal shift; decarbonising freight; transport outside cities; data and new mobility trends; and universal and inclusive transport.

Smart Transport would like to thank its Headline Strategic Partners for their support with this virtual event including ABB, Centrica, Daf Trucks, Enterprise, FedEx, Geotab, LeasePlan, Liberty Charge, Macquarie, Raleigh, Renault and Worldline.

Conference website:

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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