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September 14, 2020

How big is the environmental impact of transportation?

The environmental impact of transportation is perhaps the biggest challenge of our time and accounts for approximately 25–30% of all greenhouse gases in Europe and the USA *. It's also the only sector whose greenhouse gas emissions have increased since 1990 **.

Melting glacierThis increase is partly due to the fact that our technological development (since 1990) has allowed us to transport more gods all over the world, through longer distances, and in an ever faster pace. The global manufacturing market has simply become both larger and faster.


In recent years, the curve of emissions and transports' environmental impact has stabilized and has neither incresead or decreased. This is partly because our means of transport have become increasingly environmentally friendly (eg. electric trucks, fossil-free fuel, etc.), and partly because we have simply become more environmentally conscious and today have the opportunity to choose alternatives that benefits our environment.

Environmentally friendly transportation - Electric car
How access to data can help us make greener transport choices

In the past, transport buyers often relied on freight forwarders to book their container transports. Unfortunately, there was very little or no environmental data to rely on if you wanted to choose a green shipment route. At best, the freight forwarder could extract this data AFTER the shipment was completed, but in many cases there was no data at all, or all the data was so deficient that it simply could not be used.

The transport industry exists under new conditions in the current situation. Today, there are huge databases with data on the actual environmental impact - available to virtually everyone - which alternatives that are the most environmentally friendly routes as well as means of transport. This data allows you to book the greenest option from the beginning.

Use smart data to book greener transports
How does a regular transport chain look like?

Today, a majority of all transportation run on fossil fuels, but new technologies and environmentally friendly vehicles are becoming more common. Below is an example of what a regular complete transport chain can look like, so that you can get a good idea of ​​how much is actually required to transport something to your warehouse:

  1. A truck or train that moves the container from the factory to the port, airport or other center for transportation.

  2. A crane to move the container to the next means of transport.

  3. An airplane, ship or train that transports the goods to the next center.

  4. Another crane to lift off the container.

  5. A truck or several trucks to transport the container/containers to your warehouse.

Supply chain - Sea freightListen to Greta Thunberg!

At this point, most people in the world should be aware of the negative environmental impact of transport on our environment. While many actually make an active decision to do something about it, there are at least as many who choose to turn a blind eye to it for various reasons (cost, laziness, ignorance, etc.).

Greta is "on-the-case", just like many other organizations around the world, such as the Clean Shipping Index, which is an independent labeling system for ships' environmental impact. But the world's initiators cannot do it alone. It is up to us, you and other companies to pull the plug and listen to their calls and follow their good examples to reduce the environmental impact of our transports.

So, what can you do?


Greta demonstration

Work proactively with available & relevant data

Sustainability is important at all levels, environmentally as well as financially. With available data on environmental impact, it is possible to calculate which transport routes and means of transport are the most environmentally friendly. By choosing green transport, you can effectively halve the environmental impact of your transports.

How does it work?

How transports affect the environment, data and statistics on the environmental impact of transports are today in enormous quantities from a variety of sources. To calculate the total carbon dioxide emissions of each route and means of transport and how environmentally friendly they are, look at data such as:

  • GPS positioning

  • Route

  • Degree of loading

  • Speed

The calculation is made on the entire chain, door-to-door including country-specific factors for combinations of land and rail transport.

Book green transport at Adnavem

Do you want an easier, faster and more efficient way to find and book the most environmentally friendly transport chain - book at Adnavem. We help you digitize and automate your administration for your freight and find the best transport chains for your needs with a good balance between price, speed and the environmental impact of your transport.


Download our case study which shows a detailed example of how a greener transport booking is done in practice.

Click here


* European Environment Agency and United States Environmental Protection Agency

** https: //


Linda Gårdlöv
Linda Gårdlöv
Co-founder and CCO at Adnavem

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