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How Does Flexport's Carbon Calculator Work?

Flexport's carbon calculator estimates the carbon emissions of your air, ocean, or trucking shipment, and tracks data for reporting and planning purposes.

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We worked with environmental consultants to develop a rigorous, comprehensive methodology for calculating carbon emissions. Each mode of transit—ocean, air, truck, and rail—requires a different set of calculations, so we look at each shipment, break it down into the applicable transit mode(s), and apply the corresponding equations.

For ocean shipments, this is driven by factors like the vessel’s utilization rate, and the number of TEUs in your shipment.

For air, we account for chargeable weight, total distance, and the length of the flight(s) -- shorter flights are less fuel-efficient, so deferred service results in higher emissions.

Calculations for the trucking portion of the shipment (if applicable) vary depending on the type: drayage, FTL, or LTL.

Where can I access my carbon emissions data?

From the left-hand toolbar, click Reports; then click Analytics. Select Carbon Emissions or Carbon Emissions/Unit from the drop-down menu. First, you’ll see carbon emissions broken out by mode of transit (as displayed in the example above). Toggle the Segregated by menu to see other options, e.g., to show carbon emissions by supplier, destination location, or destination country:

You can also include carbon emission data in your custom reports.

For information about carbon emissions per individual product, go to the Products tab and select a product. Choose Analytics at the top, and adjust the parameters to view Carbon Emissions or Carbon Emissions/Unit.

Similarly, if you’re looking at a specific shipment and want to view its emissions data, you can check out the shipment Details.

Carbon emission estimates are provided for quotes, as well, in the Sustainability Information box underneath the Route Information.

Putting carbon emission statistics into perspective

What do the numbers mean? You can use the EPA's handy calculator to help put your carbon emissions in perspective.

For example, 5 tonnes of CO2 emissions is the equivalent of:

  • 563 gallons of gasoline consumed (or, a little more than 3 round-trip drives from LA to NY in a 2017 Volkswagen Beetle -- source)
  • 5,335 pounds of coal burned
  • About half of one home's energy use for one year
  • 11.6 barrels of oil consumed
  • 177 incandescent lamps switched to LEDs

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