Centre of Applied Research Technology

Towards the sustainable transport of goods (Greening Corridors)

How can we make optimal use of hinterland corridors via roads, waterways and railways?


Making optimal use of goods transport corridors will help us achieve a more sustainable transport system. In the SPRONG research project Greening Corridors, AUAS is working together with four other universities of applied sciences and the Institute for Safety to find out what it will take to achieve this.

Goods transport corridors, i.e. the key railways, waterways and roads used to transport goods, are vital to the Dutch economy. These corridors efficiently and reliably connect Dutch businesses to clients and suppliers in the Netherlands and abroad. Examples are the corridor connecting the Randstad conurbation to the Ruhr region, which runs via the A15 motorway (road transport) or the Waal and Rhine rivers (inland shipping). Optimal use of these corridors, such as by loading ships and lorries to maximum capacity whenever possible, contributes to a more sustainable transport system.

Predicting the demand for electricity

In the SPRONG research group Greening Corridors, AUAS works together with four other universities of applied sciences and the Institute for Safety to explore ways to increase the sustainability of existing goods transport corridors and to develop new sustainable corridors. This entails three key themes:

1. better utilisation of the capacity of both infrastructure and means of transport;

2. clean, safe and autonomous modalities;

3. digitalisation of the chain to achieve greater efficiency and prevent human error.

Researchers at AUAS are working on the second theme. They are developing a model that can be used to predict how much power an industrial park will need if all lorries on the premises are swapped for electric vehicles. The researchers want to get a better picture of the peak loads that will ensue if every lorry on the premises is plugged in for charging at the same time. This is because if peak loads are too high, it can cause a power failure.

Bottom-up approach

The Amsterdam-based researchers apply a bottom-up approach in their sub-project. They are visiting two industrial parks (WFO in Zwaagdijk and Schiphol Trade Park) in person to find out exactly how many lorries stop at the sites. The reason for this is that public data is not always entirely reliable. ‘For example, lorries that are parked at a client’s premises overnight should not be counted because they are charging at a location outside the industrial estate,’ says Sander Onstein, an AUAS lecturer-researcher who is involved with the project. ‘Doing so will lead to inaccurate forecasts.’

Preventing peak loads

Businesses and industrial estates can use the model to estimate the real-world development of the demand for electricity at their sites. Based on this, they can request a higher-capacity connection from the grid operator before peak loads occur. They can also take advance measures to prevent peak loads, such as by having some lorries charge faster than others. Power shortages are expected to become an issue at industrial estates in the coming years, as many businesses currently have a 3x80 ampere connection, which can charge no more than five lorries at a time, whereas the average industrial estate can easily have fifty or more lorries driving around.


In 2022, three groups of students in the Future Proof Airport Seaport Logistics (FPASL) minor counted lorries for the project. While the data collection phase is now complete, there are still plenty of opportunities for internships and final projects with the various project partners. Afterwards, the insights gained from Greening Corridors will be incorporated into the education provided to students.


Greening Corridors has a core group of five partners: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (coordinator), HZ University of Applied Sciences, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences (department of Technology and Logistics) and the Institute for Safety. An additional 26 stakeholders are affiliated with the project, including universities, government bodies and sector organisations.

Greening Corridors is a SPRONG recipient: Taskforce for Applied Research SIA has awarded the initiative a grant for the first four years of the collaboration. Subsequently, provided the results of the evaluation are positive, the partners will receive another four-year grant. The project partners exchange knowledge with one another, including via Living Labs and learning communities.

Mainport Logistics research group

Greening Corridors is one of the projects within the AUAS Mainport Logistics research group. The aim of this research group is to promote applied research in the field of transport hubs and city logistics, with added value for the logistics degree programmes at AUAS and logistical competitiveness in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 5 December 2023

Project Info

Start date 01 Sep 2022
End date 31 Aug 2026