Longer and heavier road freight vehicles in Sweden: Effects on tonne- and vehicle-kilometres, CO2 and socio-economics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The Swedish government is likely to implement longer and heavier road freight vehicles, so-called high-capacity vehicles (HCVs), in the near future. The purpose of this paper is to analysis the expected effects on the whole transport system regarding tonne-kilometres, vehicle-kilometres on road, CO2 and socio-economics with three possible implementation strategies (HCVs on all roads, a designated road network and a designated road network with a kilometre-based truck charge) and two vehicle types (74 t/25.25 m and 74 t/34 m). Design/methodology/approach: Calculations are based on two well-established scenarios for transport development in Sweden. Changes per tonne-kilometre are modelled for ten product groups with considerations taken to their transport networks. Socio-economic effects are analysed using the net present value rating method over a 40-year period. Findings: The study shows the increase in demand for transport and the modal shift, from rail and sea to road, in terms of tonne-kilometres, vehicle-kilometres and CO2 emissions for three implementation strategies of HCVs in two scenarios. All implementation strategies show a positive social net-benefit with the introduction of HCVs. Research limitations/implications: The results reveal potential benefits to the implementation of HCVs. The results are limited by possible over/under-estimations of effects considered in the calculations, due to uncertainties and assumptions. Practical implications: The results highlight expected levels of modal shift and induced transport for different HCV implementation strategies and how they depend on transport and climate policies and the expected growth of tonne-kilometres. Originality/value: The calculations consider socio-economic effects, particularly from increased CO2 emissions due to modal shift and induced traffic, which is lacking in previous studies. To balance conflicting economic and environmental goals, the findings indicate that the implementation of HCVs could be accompanied by other policy measures. The findings are based on the Swedish context, but the model can be adapted to other countries or regions and to study other freight transport reforms.


External organisations
  • Trivector
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Climate, High-capacity vehicle, Longer and heavier vehicle, Modal shift, Road transport, Socio-economic costs, Tonne-kilometre
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-622
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch