Carbon emissions from different transport modes


Focus on carbon emissions when choosing the right transport solution

Every company and supply chain is different. Perhaps you need solutions for import, export or both. Perhaps you are a trading company buying products or services from other companies, perhaps you have a local production of varying commodities, or perhaps you hold production in another country. No matter how your supply chain is organised, you need the right arrangement of your transport and logistics to keep the wheels turning.

Carbon emissions from global supply chains are affecting our climate negatively. However, you can choose between several transport modes to lower the carbon emissions from your company’s supply chain. 

The main factors influencing the choice of transport mode are usually:

  • Rate of speed
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Routing/distance 

What is most important to you?

The main rule is that slower transport modes are emitting less carbon into our atmosphere. Transporting larger quantities over long distances is hereby most environmentally friendly by sea freight or rail freight. Transporting smaller quantities over shorter distances is most environmentally friendly by road transport. Another factor is that the longer the transit time, the lower the cost of transport usually is. So, by choosing sea or another transport mode with longer transit time, the lower are carbon emissions and costs.
However, this requires that your company is organised for a slow-paced supply chain. Depending on your need for regularity and capacity, this can include changes in the planning. We do see examples of company’s using this focus on environment actively in their branding or marketing as a justification for longer waiting times for products or services. 

If your company depends on the fastest delivery options available on the market, air freight for longer distances or courier services for shorter distances are possible. These solutions are in the high end of the price range and cause much carbon emissions compared to the amount of goods transported.

Replacing fossil fuels with greener options

A vital invention for the transport and logistics industry is the development of alternative fuels. These – often bio – fuels replace the oil-based fuels that are causing massive amount of carbon emissions into our atmosphere. Some alternative fuels can even reduce carbon emissions with up to 90%. 

Alternative fuels exist for all modes of transport, replacing fossil fuels. However, the development of alternative fuels still has great potential. Today, Blue Water offers the insetting method (replacing fossil fuel with alternative fuel such as bio) though the internationally acknowledged partner GoodShipping.

When purchasing fuel shift on a specific amount of CO2, GoodShipping replaces the equivalent amount of fuel with a greener alternative on their vessels somewhere else in the supply chain. By this method, the emitted amount of fuel is not just compensated for, it is lowered in the global supply chain, causing an actual reduction in CO2 emitted into our atmosphere. 

Have your carbon emissions calculated by our CO2 Calculator

We can analyse the carbon footprint from your company through the Eco TransIT CO2 calculator for all global transport and logistics. It is the most widely used software worldwide for calculations of carbon emissions. 

Based on transport distances and energy consumption it can calculate and deliver details, figures and reports on CO2 and CO2 equivalents such as air pollutants SOx or NOx. With insights provided by the calculator, it becomes easier to see through exactly where in the supply chain we can lower carbon emissions and improve conditions for sustainable growth.

This may cover supply chain optimisation by re-routing traffics to minimise carbon emissions, choose transport modes with lower emissions impacts or to re-organise shipment size, regularity and flow. 

Make the right decision based on skilled guidance

Transforming your company into a greener version of itself is a challenging task, however, it is necessary for many companies in today’s world to maintain competitive power with changing consumer demands and also legislation making it obligatory.

Especially, the supply chain can be a tough nut to crack. At Blue Water, we offer different transport modes and methods to improve the efficiency and environmental friendliness of every supply chain.

With skilled guidance from our global specialists, you are equipped for making the right decisions. Now is the time to act - let's go greener together.

How to make the supply chain more sustainable


Choosing offerings with reduced emissions during transport

Alternative fuels with reduced carbon emissions and optimisation methods exist for all transport modes. By choosing alternative fuels instead of fossil fuels or turning up the efficiency, it becomes possible to reduce the CO2 emissions by up to 90%, making a real difference. 

When choosing to inset, you obtain: 

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions
  • Supply chain optimisation
  • Certified reductions


Investing in external sustainability projects through certified methods

Carbon offsetting is used to balance out emissions by paying for emission savings in other supply chains / projects for sustainability. However, this method does not reduce emissions led into our atmosphere. Still, it can serve as an easily accessible way to get started with a more sustainable transport and logistics solution.

When choosing to offset, you obtain: 

  • The purchase of emission reductions through e.g. reforestation
  • Supporting Sustainability and Carbon Removal projects 
  • Certified compensation 
  • Customs: What you should be aware of

  • Handling of wooden packaging

    By using wood packaging that is approved and treated according to international standards, the risk of introducing pests is minimised

  • Sea freight or air freight?