Improvement actions for reducing transport’s impact on climate: A shipper’s perspective
Journal article, 2016

The purpose of this paper is to compare improvement actions for reducing transport’s impact on climate from the shipper’s perspective. To that end, it introduces an evaluation tool for comparing improvement actions in transport systems in terms of transport costs, impact on climate, and barriers to implementation. Within the context of five international flows involving a food producer, three actions—namely, engaging intermodal transport, increasing load factors by double-stacking pallets, and using high-capacity vehicles—were evaluated. Shipment data were collected to calculate reductions in transport costs and impact on climate, whereas interviews with the food producer were conducted to identify barriers. Results showed that reductions in transport costs and impact on climate attributed to the improvement actions differed among the five flows. Engaging intermodal transport reduced the system’s impact on climate by 27–53%, double-stacking pallets by 0–23%, and using high-capacity vehicles by 7–15%, with differences primarily due to different freight densities. Concerning barriers to implementation, the improvement actions also varied by flow. Altogether, unlike other papers, which have examined improvement actions separately, this paper offers an evaluation tool for comparing several improvement actions at once, as applied to a particular empirical case. Shippers with multiple flows and several possible improvement actions can use the evaluation tool to efficiently reduce their systems’ impact on climate.

Improvement action

Impact on climate

Load factor

Intermodal transport


Transport system


Kristina Liljestrand

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

1361-9209 (ISSN)

Vol. 48 393-407

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Advance




More information

Latest update