Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Arising from Logistical Activities within the Field of Road Transportation – a Review of Annual Balances and Mitigation Measures
First online: 22.08.2023
Cite this article as: Zschausch, J. et al., Logistics Research (2023) 16:8. DOI_10.23773/2023_9
The transport sector is facing challenging transformations in order to reach the climate goals according to the European Green Deal. This review aims to compile a comprehensive set of available energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission data to estimate a) road transportation and site-related GHG emissions from logistics companies and b) impacts of mitigation measures discussed in literature. Out of an initial set of 1,050 hits, about 77 publications were identified that provide quantitative values for energy consumption or GHG emissions. The largest part of literature on energy demand and emissions in logistics deals with transport, with 62 out of 77 publications, which accounts for the majority of the energy demand in the logistics sector.
The majority of published data is based on individual case analyses and modeling studies, reflecting the heterogeneity of the industry. As there is no standardized method for collecting GHG emissions for the logistics sector, the system boundaries and quantitative values of the published data vary considerably, making comparisons and evaluations difficult. The most common system boundary is “freight transport within a given area”, followed by “logistics site”, “vehicle routing”, “supply chain” and “corporate footprint”. Reported energy and GHG reduction potentials focus on the optimization of building services efficiency, intralogistics processes and transport-related processes (route planning, driving behavior, vehicle efficiency and load factor). The
greatest potential for reducing GHG emissions in the logistics sector lies in replacing fossil fuels for trucks with green fuels or electrification, combined with restructuring urban delivery networks. Publications of Logistics Research (2023) 16:9
DOI_10.23773/2023_9 actual consumption or transport-specific metrics are rare in the literature. The quantitative values reported
can only be interpreted correctly if the context in which they occur is specified in terms of a logistics reference value; this is why the effects of the mitigation measures applied also vary in the literature. The further development of standardization in the field of emissions recording by transport companies and the consensus on a uniform reference value are therefore key drivers for the quantification and reduction of GHG emissions in the logistics sector.
logistics energy GHG emissions mitigation measures