Stanula Z., Wieruszewski M., Mydlarz K., Adamowicz K. (2023). Fuel Use Reduction and Economic Savings from Optimization of Road Transportation of Coniferous Roundwood. Energies 16(14):5334.
One of the 10 priorities of the Green New Deal is sustainable transportation. It should be considered in the perspective of long-term ecological and economic sustainability, according to the trend of opportunities for sustainable development. The economic and environmental aspects of transportation related to the harvesting and movement of timber play a special role in the energy cost and their environmental impact per distance of raw material supply. The principles of rational and energy-efficient use of transportation equipment play a key role in the movement of raw timber. These are influenced by the availability of timber resources, limitation of vehicle payloads, reduction of energy consumption expressed in terms of reduction of fuel combustion, or current legal and road regulations for timber transportation. The paper evaluates economic and environmental factors in relation to the demand for fuels necessary for the implementation of road transportation of softwood timber. The aim of this paper was to present the current situation of the use of transportation means in the movement of bulky timber, as well as opportunities to optimize fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, affecting the economic and environmental effects. Previous studies on fuel consumption in the transportation of roundwood indicate irrational use of vehicles. This indicates unused payload capacity increasing energy inputs expressed in fuel consumption. It has been empirically investigated that this is the result of improperly approved transport sets adapted to the material being transported. In addition, it was shown that there is a clear correlation between the vehicle payload utilization rate and economic and environmental factors. The results of this study point to the potential to increase the use of transportation vehicles for timber transportation and reduce fuel combustion and CO2 emissions by 7–20%.
Keywords: softwoods; timber transportation; transportation means; economics; environment