The Future of Freight Part A: Understanding the System

CESAR Scenarios: Volume 4, Issue 1
September 2019
By David Layzell, Jessica Lof

This report was first published by Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) at the University of Calgary.

This study is the first in our Future of Freight Series of reports in which we use the methodology of the Transition Accelerator to identify and implement credible and compelling transition pathways that are capable to moving Canada to a vibrant and sustainable, low-carbon future.

The first stage in the Accelerator’s four-stage methodology (Understand, Codevelop, Analyze and Advance) is to understand the sector that needs to be transformed, including its strengths and weaknesses, and the nature of the technology, business model, policy and social innovations that have the potential to transform the sector. Such forces need to be harnessed if the sector is to change in a way that meets societal needs, including – but not limited to – addressing the challenge of climate change.

The report makes a case that the freight transport sector is on the cusp of major changes driven by improvements in efficiency and competitiveness. The possible shift to zero-emission or very low-carbon fuels is entirely consistent with such a transformational change. Future reports will explore how to make that happen.

About the Authors

David Layzell, PhD

Transition Pathway Principal

David B. Layzell is an Energy Systems Architect with the Transition Accelerator, a Faculty Professor at the University of Calgary, and Director of the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research CESAR Initiative. Between 2008 and 2012, he was Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), a cross-faculty, graduate research, and training institute at the University of Calgary. Before moving to Calgary, he was a Professor of Biology at Queen’s University cross appointments in Environmental Studies and the School of Public Policy), and Executive Director of BIOCAP Canada, a research foundation focused on biological solutions to climate change. While at Queen’s he cofounded a scientific instrumentation company called Qubit Systems Inc and was elected ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) for his research contributions.


Cite as: Lof J, Layzell DB. 2019. The Future of Freight Part A: Trends and Disruptive Forces Impacting Goods Movement in Alberta and Canada. CESAR Scenarios Vol 4, Issue 1: 1-60.