Emission-oriented management of land-based freight transportation

Transportation of freight and passengers is a major contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The emitted emissions depend on the transport mode of which land-based modes are especially relevant for large freight shipments in many economies.

There is abundant literature on managing emissions in transportation planning and different ways have been considered to achieve more sustainable transport solutions. For example, emissions resulting from transportation may be converted into costs or restricted by voluntary or compulsory carbon emission targets (so-called carbon caps). Those approaches usually focus on the environmental impact of a logistics company as a whole. However, recent research shows that customers are preferably selecting eco-friendly delivery and, with this in mind, this thesis introduces another way of emission-oriented transportation: Eco-labels for individual shipments.

Eco-labels are an already popular method in other industries for benchmarking products, services, or facilities according to their environmental impact. Such labels generally indicate the relative environmental impact based on a preset performance scheme using an intuitive traffic-light coloring system. In transportation, eco-labels might be a way for logistics companies to offer multiple transport solutions with a differing environmental impact for the same order. However, in contrast to an eco-labeling of consumer products (e.g., for the annual electricity consumption of a refrigerator), eco-labels in transportation depend on several operational factors such as freight consolidation and a vehicle’s capacity utilization that need to be considered for an application to real problems. With this, the thesis comprises seven essays contributing to the development of an eco-labeling system and the application of eco-labels in transportation.


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