The UK Government launches a new fund to help small to medium-sized businesses to develop greener and more efficient solutions for freight. Delivering freight across the UK could become more efficient and cleaner thanks to a £7 million government-backed fund launched today, 9 January 2023 that will roll out innovative new ideas and technology across the industry.

The freight innovation fund (FIF) will go to up to 36 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They will then work with industry-leading companies to develop innovations to make freight more efficient, resilient and greener, such as improving how freight moves between rail, road and maritime transport.

By giving innovators the opportunity to test their ideas, the fund aims to help SMEs roll out new technology and ways of working to unlock potentially huge efficiencies and emissions reductions across the sector. This can include how to organise containers better so they can be more easily broken up for the final part of their journey or how to improve links between rail, maritime and road transport.

The innovation fund was announced last year within the government’s future of freight plan, the first-ever cross-modal and cross-government plan for the UK freight transport sector. It targets the 5 priorities for the freight sector identified in the plan, including being cost-efficient, reliable, resilient, environmentally sustainable, and valued by society.

Working to bolster the capacity of the freight network – for example, to anticipate, absorb, resist or avoid disruption and quickly recover from disruption when it does occur – can increase the resilience of supply chains across the country for a wide variety of industries.

The government’s future freight plan sets a strategy for the government and industry to work closely together to deliver a world-class, seamless flow of freight across the UK’s roads, railways, seas, skies and canals.

The plan also explains how identifying a National Freight Network will help to better understand freight movements and their value to the economy.

Source: UK Department for Transport