On October 27, 2016 the STREAM Goederenvervoer 2016 (STREAM Goods Transport 2016) manual was published. This contains the first average emission figures for logistics flows, with a particular focus on the logistics involved in supplying goods to cities. Gaining an insight into these data represents a first step towards cutting CO2 emissions and is essential for businesses working to achieve the ambitious climate targets agreed last year in Paris. The report was drawn up by the research agency CE Delft on behalf of the Top Sector Logistics and Connekt.

New approach
Central to this report are the reasons why certain goods flows are transported. This is a new approach, as analysis methods are generally based around the transport mode used (road, water, rail and air). Focusing on the motivations behind goods flows is an interesting and useful approach for the logistics sector. The report contains representative average emission figures for each transport mode and these can be used in overall (policy-related) analyses, for which averages are sufficient. It also provides detailed indicators that allow users with access to information on the type of vehicle or vessel in question and how it is used (type of goods, type of road/waterway, etc.) to calculate emissions in specific situations.

New insights
The first key insight to emerge is that the transshipment (primarily at ports) and export of goods account for roughly a third of emissions. A similar share results from supplying goods to cities. In this analysis city logistics relates to transport from the last warehouse to the city destination and back, as well as to transport within the city. Significant emissions are also generated by delivery vans (<3.5 tons). Very little insight into the flows transported using vans can be obtained from the available data sources. However, emissions from vans are so high that further research will be conducted to examine the diversity and scale of the transport for which these vehicles are used. With the help of this detailed analysis effective measures can then be developed to achieve the Paris emission reduction targets. Reducing emissions to 40% of the 1990 levels is a target considered necessary by society, as well as an important competitive factor. Much of this reduction can be achieved through logistical innovation and the Top Sector has decided to attach a higher priority to this aspect within its programming.

Calculation method
The emissions have been calculated on a tank-to-wheel (TTW) basis, which means that, in this analysis, electrified rail transport does not generate any emissions. This approach is in keeping with the division under the Dutch Energy Agreement, in which electricity generation has its own emission reduction target. Internationally, a well-to-wheel approach is often chosen for transport to provide an insight into the indirect effects of extraction and generation.

Emissions resulting from maritime transport and international air freight have been disregarded, in accordance with the IPCC protocol. However, due to the importance of the Netherlands’ major ports, further research will be conducted to obtain an idea of the scale of these emissions.

You can download the STREAM report or visit http://www.ce.nl/publicatie/stream_goederenvervoer_2016/1854.