The freight transport and logistics sector supports economic development in the Mekong Region. The ASEAN Economic Community single market, which started early in 2016, will lead to a significant increase of cross-border trade in goods and services. The movement of freight increased by 75% between 2002 and 2011, and exports of goods from the GMS almost tripled in the same period. Infrastructure expansion further increases transport and traffic activities. Currently, trucking is the dominant form of freight transport in the GMS, accounting for approximately. 80% of all tonnage, but efficiency remains a challenge. For example 25% to 50% of all trips run empty, the average fleet is more than 10 years old, and fuel consumption often accounts for 40%-60% of the operating costs. Against this background, the efficiency, environmental performance and safety of the transport of dangerous goods in this sector are important in ensuring national economies continue to grow, welfare increases, economic competitiveness is maintained and the environmental and social impacts are reduced.

Fuel efficiency

The project focuses on the economic benefits of efficient use of fuel though reduced fuel consumption will also focus on providing a wide range of training and coaching programmes, e.g. eco- and defensive driving, upgrading and optimising truck technology, accounting and financial management, and efficient logistics. The results of this impact monitoring of training can subsequently be used by the associations involved to promote fuel efficiency measures to other non-participating freight and logistics associations.

Access to Finance

Fleet and technology upgrades are more costly for SMEs. Some truck technologies that save fuel can pay for themselves through cost savings, but purchasing new fuel-efficient trucks is for many companies either unattractive or not viable under current financing conditions offered by local banks. The project will focus on giving SMEs more suitable access to finance by working with freight carriers, financial institutions and lessors/vendors seeking to improve SMEs’ creditworthiness and to expand the financing products available to them.

Safe Dangerous Goods Transport

The “ASEAN Protocol 9” will be enforced under the AEC. Thailand is already adapting its rules and regulations to meet “ASEAN Protocol 9”, which is of same level as the “Annex I: Carriage of Dangerous Goods” of the GMS Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA). The project therefore will use the Thai sample to establish the “ASEAN Protocol 9” in CLMV countries. The implementation in SMEs will be undertaken in all target countries, as well as the institutionalizing of the measures through train the trainers programmes and Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers (DGSA) and curricula integration.

Policy and Consumer Awareness

The project focuses on incentivising the uptake of SCP practices in the freight transport and logistics sector through facilitating SME participation in certification programmes. It also seeks to support national green freight action plans that provide a sound basis for further policies, regulations and investments necessary for broad institutionalization of sustainable freight and logistics, and to ensure that the lessons of the project’s activities in this area are regionally disseminated.


The project aims to increase sustainable freight transport and logistics in the Mekong Region mainly through energy efficiency and safety measures in at least 500 SMEs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV) and Thailand.


  • Fuel efficiency is improved in at least 400 micro and SMEs.
  • Transport of dangerous goods is improved via at least 80 SMEs.
  • Investment in fuel efficiency and safety measures increased.
  • Larger SMEs begin and continue the process of green freight labelling and improved SCP promoting incentives and regulations in the transport sector.


National freight and logistics associations, driving schools, training and educational service providers, SMEs, truck drivers, mechanics, operators


36 months (February 2016-January 2019)