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Challenges to standardizing emissions calculation of Logistics hubs as basis for decarbonizing transport chains on a global scale

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Author: Dobers, K. · Ehrler, V.C. · Davydenko, I. · Rudiger, D. · Clausen, U.
Source:Transport Research Board TRB Annual Meeting 2019, January 13-17 January, Washington DC, 1-14
Identifier: 867659
Keywords: Transport chain efficiency · Logistics hub · Warehouse · Transhipment · Emissions calculation · Carbon intensity · Greenhouse gas emissions · Decarbonization · Sustainable logistics · Mobility & Logistics · Urbanisation


Carbon footprinting is regarded as one means of enhancing transparency on where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 17 are produced within a transport chain and, thus, limiting the emissions and improving the efficiency of transport and transhipment, on both the demand and supply sides of the market. In order to meet global GHG reduction targets and to realize sustainable transport chains, standardization of emissions calculation is progressing swiftly. One of the core requirements in next steps of the standardization efforts is the harmonization of level of detail of the various transport modes. In particular logistics hubs have been identified as relevant for such a development and whereas developments for transport modes such as rail, road, air or water are pursued by industry representatives and their organizations, logistics hubs have no organization which is intrinsically motivated to further develop an emission calculation approach. Research can deliver an important and valuable contribution here. Therefore, based on extensive empirical research in the form of questionnaires and real-life examples of emissions calculation, this paper describes motivations and barriers currently experienced by shippers and logistics service providers when computing emissions. Possible approaches to overcoming these barriers and contributing to the further improvement of the level of maturity of emissions calculation of logistics hubs are described and discussed. The paper closes with an outlook on further requirements toward transport chain emissions calculation standardization developments.