Skip to main content

GIRO-ZERO programme transfers expert knowledge on logistics decarbonisation

15 December 2022

A group of about 20 people stood up smiling dressed smartly
Delegates with staff from Cardiff Business School

The GIRO-ZERO project recently held a week-long programme which brought together industry representatives and experts from the UK and Colombia.

The project aims to accelerate vehicle renewal and technologies to reduce the miles run, fuel consumed, and CO2e emitted by vehicles operating within the Colombian road freight transport sector.

GIRO-ZERO is led by the Universidad de los Andes, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) UK PACT program and is an international collaboration with Cardiff University.

In October 2022, the first GIRO-ZERO International Capacity Building Programme took place in London and Cardiff. Attendees included project beneficiaries, organisations, and industry representatives from Colombia. During the visit, they met experts from Cardiff University, Universidad de los Andes and delegates from UK government and industry.

The programme included a roundtable discussion where participants met the UK PACT managing team in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). It also featured company visits to OCADO and Sainsbury's, a training day, and concluded with a workshop hosted by Cardiff University.

Professor Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, Principal Expert of GIRO-ZERO and Principal Investigator of the project at Cardiff University, highlighted:

“The visit exceeded expectations of Colombian policy makers and industry representatives. They had the opportunity to exchange expert views with their counterparts, visit Ocado and Sainsbury’s, two leading UK retailers, taste at training GIRO-ZERO will provide in Colombia, and give their contributions to a workshop that wrapped this fantastic week.”

Professor Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues Professor in Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Dr Wessam Abouarghoub, a Principal Expert of Giro Zero, who led the training day, said:

"The training stimulated a debate on the challenges for the Colombian road freight transport sector and propose solutions. The day was very productive, and we concluded that a data-driven approach, combined with knowledge exchange, is the way forward to support decision-making for different stakeholders, helping them meet their green-set goals and objectives.”

Dr Wessam M.T. Abouarghoub Reader in Logistics and Operations Management, Co-ordinator for Transport, Shipping Port and Maritime Research Group (TRANSPAM)

The visit ended with a workshop on road freight transport decarbonisation that included keynote presentations from Ricardo plc, Welsh Government, UK Department for Transport, and a panel discussion on the early decarbonisation roadmap both countries are embarking upon.

Professor Emrah Demir, Principal Expert of GIRO-ZERO, who led the workshop, said:

“The hybrid workshop brought policy makers, industry experts and academics to share experience and discuss the next steps for achieving road freight decarbonisation. Showcasing the current achievement of GIRO-ZERO project, the workshop has successfully increased the understanding and knowledge on road freight decarbonisation.”

Professor Emrah Demir Professor of Operational Research, The PARC Professor of Manufacturing and Logistics

The visit achieved three milestones:

  • Expert knowledge was transferred on road freight decarbonisation to the beneficiaries and strategic partners of the project.
  • The project team raised awareness about GIRO-ZIRO’s products and tools.
  • GIRO-ZERO consolidated the relationships with representatives from Colombian government and industry.

Professor Gordon Wilmsmeier, Project Leader of GIRO-ZERO, stated: “stimulating discussions and knowledge exchange among delegates from the UK and Colombia improved understanding on the visions and paths of action towards zero emissions. It was especially interesting to see how the visit helped to reflect on the progress and the state of the sector in Colombia, to recognise that there are bright ideas and initiatives in the country that should be converted into actions.”

The successful UK visit was the result of a joint effort among colleagues from Cardiff Business School and Universidad de los Andes – Colombia. GIRO-ZERO would like to give special thanks to the organising committee of the visit: Professor Emrah Demir, Dr Wessam Abouarghoub, Andrés Rey, Cristiam Gil, Alejandra Laverde, Ana Lucía Ricaurte, Luisa Spaggiari, Camila Faride Cubillos, Helen Whitfield, Angharad Kearse and Professor Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues.

GIRO-ZERO will be organising future events to generate and transfer knowledge on logistics decarbonisation. The recent programme has been a building block for collaboration among government, industry and applied researchers from Colombia and the UK.

A group of people outside wearing hi-vis vests
Delegates visiting Sainbury's

Share this story