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Intermodal Shipping Reduces the Carbon Footprint of Transportation

One of the major concerns for many consumers now is the environmental impact that their choices are having. The energy that is used to transport goods across the globe has come under the spotlight and this has inspired studies into the carbon footprint that various transportation methods create. While some, like air freight, have expectedly high carbon footprints because of the amount of fuel that is used to transport relatively small items, there are also some surprising results being produced by these sorts of studies. One of the most efficient ways to transport goods is to use intermodal freight systems. These transport networks have been designed specifically to make transporting bulk goods more efficient but they are also beginning to show that this efficiency is also translating into a smaller carbon footprint. A recent study conducted in Seattle compared the carbon footprint of using an express intermodal service to transport freight with the footprint that is created by shipping the same products by other forms of transport. The study found that using intermodal options between Seattle and Chicago reduced the carbon footprint by as much as 52% of that which is produced by sending the same freight over roads by truck1. At the same time, this study has confirmed and, to a… read more »

Will the Carbon Footprint of Shipping Sink Maritime Logistics?

In an increasingly environmentally aware world, going green has become good for business and having an environmentally friendly public profile can now be crucial. Because of the huge amount of fuel that they consume and the size of many shipping lines, maritime industries are now coming under closer scrutiny for the impact that they are having on the environment. In addition, the implementation of a carbon tax in many countries has had shipping companies looking seriously at how they can manage their carbon footprint. Global shipping accounts for 3.3% of CO2 emissions worldwide with 2.7% being contributed by international shipping1. While this may sound like a small amount in comparison to other industries it still represents the equivalent CO2 output of a small country and it is also thought that unless the issue is addressed now that it could eventually grow to as much as five or six times that amount by 2050. Another issue facing the maritime freight industry is one of public perception. Even though transport by ship is the most carbon efficient method for moving freight, mostly due to economies of scale, the ships themselves are known to consume huge amounts of fuel and to produce large… read more »