Guangdong Green Freight Demonstration Project

Context of Transport Climate Action

The transport sector is a significant energy consumer and a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in China. Within the transport sector, road-based freight transport, which primarily comprises trucks, accounts for 54% of total transport sector fuel consumption.

Guangdong province has experienced a significant increase in freight traffic over the past decade. For example, total freight traffic, in tons, moved by trucks increased by more than125% since 2000. Over that same period, the provincial highway network grew at an average rate of 11% per year, and the number of registered trucks grew by 56%. Roadbased-freight accounted for 70% of transported goods (measured in tons) in 2008. Despite the growing importance of this sector, energy efficiency in Chinese road freight transport, including in Guangdong Province, remains very low. There are two major challenges, the first being truck technologies. According to the Ministry of Transport (MoT), the fuel efficiency of Chinese trucks is about 30% lower than in advanced OECD countries. This is mainly because advanced fuel saving technologies and practices, despite their economic benefits through fuel saving, have not been widely adopted in China.

This market failure occurs because: (a) the competition among carriers, i.e., trucking companies is very strong and carriers are reluctant to experiment with new or unknown technologies; and (b) the market lacks information on the performance, cost and availability of fuel efficiency technologies.


This project has three components:

  1. Energy efficient vehicle technologies, including optimizing tire pressures and monitoring them more frequently, improving the design of the roof and gap fairings, light weighted the (semi-)trailers, introducing LNG as a truck fuel, improving the side skirt design and using low rolling resistance tires.
  2. Logistics organization mode including drop-and-hook transport system (drop-and-hook is when the driver just ‘drops’ his trailer at the customer’s location, without unloading it, and “hooks” to another trailer that is preloaded and ready to go). This method can greatly reduce drivers’ waiting time and improve the overall efficiency of the freight system, reducing empty-load rate, and uses intelligent management to optimize loads.
  3. Improvement of standardized information. A green freight information platform has been established via a web site. This helps to publicize the green freight concept and demonstrate results and videos, posters and newsletters help to build greater awareness.

GEF truck


The project implementation is divided into two phases:

Phase I: 10 logistics companies with 145 pilot trucks in Guangdong were involved.

Phase II: 11 logistics companies with 1200 pilot trucks were involved.

The results include:

  • Significant improvement in fuel economy of participating trucks.
  • Reduction in operating cost of truck fleets managed by participating companies (per ton-km travelled).
  • Total amount of CO2 emission reduction directly generated from fuel savings through the duration of the demonstration.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 20.31.37



Data provided by the pilot trucks during September, 2014 to June, 2015 shows:

  • Road haul of pilot trucks for the three demonstration routes: 3 million km;
  • Freight volume: 53,000 tons; Freight turnover: 85 million ton·km;
  • Fuel consumption: 1.04 million L;
  • Average fuel consumption per hundred ton-km: 1.22 L.
  • Compared with the baseline period, the fuel consumption of drop-and-hook

Fuel has been reduced by 43,700 L, with the fuel saving rate of 4.15%.

Potential for scaling up

GEF flow pic

The lessons learned from the project have been fed into China’s 13th Five Year Plan for the logistics and freight sector.

Selected references



Guangdong, China






Multi-stakeholder partnership, Asia-Pacific, Climate Change Mitigation, Freight transport


Global Environment Facility & World Bank


Xiaomei Tan,

By a truck driver who benefited from the project: “the project is very helpful to my driving and especially helpful to saving fuel”
-Yang Shibiao: Xin Ban Logistics and Freight Company