The basics of FreightWaves Carbon Intelligence

Carbon dioxide emissions from transportation and, in particular, the heavy-duty trucks that move 70% of the freight in the United States, make a significant contribution to the country’s total carbon emissions. Today, leading corporations, including shippers and 3PLs, are taking the initiative to measure, reduce, and offset their carbon emissions. More companies recognize a duty to understand their impact on the planet and to work to shrink their carbon footprints where possible. That’s a fundamental requirement for countries that were present and agreed to the Paris Climate Pledges.

FreightWaves Carbon Intelligence gives shippers deep visibility into the carbon emissions generated by their transportation networks to inform strategic decisions around sustainability.  Scope 3 emissions in particular—those indirect emissions released in a company's value chain or supply chain, including its transportation and logistics networks—are opaque and difficult to manage.

FCI empowers shippers to benchmark, analyze, monitor, and forecast the carbon emissions generated by its transportation network. 

Today, FCI maps the carbon footprint of a shipper's truckload network. Eventually, FCI will assist shippers in reducing Scope 3 emissions through intelligent mode-switching recommendations and other optimizations.


Intermodal lowers emissions the most.

Many truckload shipments are good candidates for conversion to rail intermodal, depending on length of haul, origin / destination, and time sensitivity. While intermodal shipments require drayage partners on either side of the rail leg, the mode is associated with a 75% reduction in emissions per shipment.

In addition to lower emissions, intermodal can offer shippers substantial cost savings, sometimes at the price of velocity. In future releases, Carbon Intelligence will automate intermodal conversion studies and help supply chain and logistics leaders reduce their networks’ carbon emissions and save money.

Knowing when to rebalance freight across modes, enabling end-to-end multimodal optimization, is essential to this goal.

Multimodal optimization rebalances the network.

Reducing supply chain emissions while growing sales, serving more customers, and offering more products is certainly a challenge. We believe that multimodal optimization—from truck to rail intermodal, from air to ocean, from FTL to LTL, etc—is the one of the most promising yet underutilized strategies to manage and reduce carbon emissions.

Traditionally, shippers made modal decisions on the basis of two factors: velocity and cost. Adding carbon impacts to the equation will change the way these decisions are made and freight flows are managed inside shipper networks.


Intermodal Container

Scope 1, 2 & 3: Your carbon footprint extends beyond the four walls of your business.

Scope 1

These emissions are generated by the activities directly under an organization’s control, such as manufacturing processes or private fleet vehicles.

Scope 2

This category includes emissions associated with the electricity and water used by an organization and depends largely on the nature of the power grid.

Scope 3

These emissions are generated indirectly by activities occurring in the organization’s value chain and supply chain, often by partners such as material and parts suppliers and transportation providers.