Photo: Istockphoto

Ongoing projects

VREF launched two international Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in 2013: MetroFreight and Sustainable Urban Freight Systems (SUFS). Both CoEs work with a number of global partners to further their research and professional networks. An additional research and communication platform, the Gothenburg Urban Freight Platform (UFP) was established in 2014. Under the VREF Theme Urban Freight a global network comprised of scholars, and public and private practitioners has been created, communication between urban freight experts has been fostered, and extensive educational materials have been produced and distributed. 

  • CoE MetroFreight (MF) - is led by METRANS Transportation Center in Los Angeles and Long Beach, with Professor Genevieve Giuliano as Project Leader. MF has three core partners: the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) Consortium, City College of New York; the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport Development and Networks (IFSTTAR), University of Paris-Est, and; the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI), Seoul. MF also partners with non-academic industry and government representatives in these four key cities, as well as UPS Corporation, which provides a global perspective.
  • CoE Sustainable Urban Freight Systems (SUFS)– is led by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, with Professor José Holguin-Veras as Project Leader. SUFS has six core partners: the University of Westminster, the University of Gothenburg, Pennsylvania State University, Kyoto University, TNO-Delft University of Technology and the University of Melbourne. The work of the core research partners is complemented by input from numerous associate research centres, core industry partners and core city partners worldwide.
  • Gothenburg Urban Freight Platform (UFP) – is hosted jointly by the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, with Professor Michael Browne as Project Leader.
    The UFP fosters networking opportunities and provides a platform for collaborative research, educational and outreach activities. The UFP organizes the biennial VREF Urban Freight Conference, a major international event in the field of urban freight.



Urban Logistics - Management, Policy and Innovation in a rapidly changing environment

Released on October 2018



Together with the Regional Plan Association (RPA), VREF published a research synthesis report available in Chinese, English, French and Spanish: “Why Goods Movement Matters – Strategies for Moving Goods in Metropolitan Areas” (May 2016). The purpose of this brief report is to highlight the importance of goods movement systems and provide an overview of the research completed under the VREF theme Urban Freight for policymakers, planners, developers and other key decision makers. The report was produced by RPA, in close cooperation with the research centres and VREF.


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Call for Project Proposals Pdf, 402.9 kB.

Deadline: 15 September 2022


- Fourth Call for Research Proposals Pdf, 1.3 MB.

Closed: 1 September 2022


- Catalysing Curriculum Change at Universities in SSA 2022 Pdf, 1.3 MB.

Deadline extended to 1 Nov. 2022


Deadline: 31 October 2022

MOBILITY GRANT 2022- MAC-MG 2022 Pdf, 447.1 kB.

Deadline: 31 October 2022

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas


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