Transportation is an indispensable activity for the socio-economic development of countries. However, it is one of the most energy consuming and polluting activities and its environmental impact is expected to increase in the future. As a conse- quence, there is a growing need for managing in a more efficient and sustainable manner this sector. This paper investigates the main issues in developing sustain- able transportation systems with a focus on the European Union, highlighting recent trends to identify the foremost research areas whose advancement will reduce the environmental impact of this sector. Following the European Commission guidelines, three subthemes are focused: Supply Chain Networks, intermodal transportation of freights, and passenger transportation in urban area. Based on a literature review, each sub-theme is analyzed in terms of needs, barriers, and recent research trends. Some contributions to accomplish the identified needs and overcome the detected barriers are reported as baselines to address the future research agenda. The main findings fit with most of the industrialized countries, that are expected to make more significant reductions in their environmental impact. At the same time, by highlighting examples of good practices and identifying limits to adaptation, this work can also support developing countries in tackling this issue.
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