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How To Calculate Freight Shipping CO₂ Emissions

Using our free calculator can give you a working estimate of your goods’ carbon output. Learn more about how it works here!


Here at Freightos, we’ve been hard at work developing a brand new calculator to help you calculate your carbon emissions.

Because more than ever, building an impactful brand means both having visibility into your impact on the environment and being able to proactively choose freight solutions accordingly.

How Much CO₂ Does Shipping Produce?

In our fast-moving, on-demand world, freight shipping is responsible for 2.1 billion tons of CO₂ emissions every year. That’s 7% of the world’s total emissions.

And these numbers are expected to nearly quadruple by 2050 as freight volumes increase and the demand for quick delivery grows.

At the same time, the goal of decreasing carbon output is more important than ever.

Most countries are committed to reducing emissions to net zero over the coming years. Businesses count reducing emissions as a priority, and more than a quarter report that doing so increased demand for their products. Which is not surprising, given that 60% of consumers say sustainability is a key factor in their purchase decisions.

So how can you keep your goods moving around the world in the least harmful way possible?

The first step is to measure your CO₂ footprint.

A few clicks of our free calculator gives you a working estimate of the carbon output of your goods. Once you have that information, you can start thinking about greater carbon efficiency and offsetting.

In addition, every price quote on the Marketplace includes an emissions output estimate. So you can start measuring effortlessly.

How Much CO₂ Does A Cargo Ship Produce Per KM?

Sea shipping produces much less carbon than air freight. Cargo ships emit approximately 10-40 grams of CO₂per kilometer. In comparison, air freight produces about 500 grams per metric ton per kilometer of transportation.

Air Freight Carbon Footprint

On average, air freight pollutes 20-30x more than sea freight. However, some types of fuel used for air freight are overall cleaner than fuel used for ocean freight. 

When it comes to cleaner freight, knowledge is power. Measure your carbon output and join businesses all over the world working towards greater sustainability.

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