FAQs

Managing transport emissions is not trivial. A lot of information must be kept up-to-date to get reliable results and to base fundamental investment decisions upon them. In this section, we have listed our most frequently asked questions about shipzero and further general aspects of emission data management.

 

General

How to calculate transport emissions?

Option 1: Basic Conversion Factors

Transport emissions can be calculated by using emission conversion factors from scientific studies that provide global averages on transport distance, freight volume, or even freight rates to convert consistently available information for every transport in a very simple way to rather rough estimates of the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The IPCCUmweltbundesamtEPA among others publish these indicators or basic calculators. It is a very fast and easy way to come to a result but lacks precision and the opportunity to learn from the data, where and what to do to improve the status quo. Our internal research has found that the deviation of basic conversion factors to real-life transport (consumption data measurement) can be up to 4-8 times.

 

Option 2: Advanced Model

An advancement of conversion factors is to use more granular data models that differentiate the various transport legs and transport modes as well as a broad set of further parameters to increase a realistic result for the transport emission calculation.

 

Parameters with a high impact on the calculation include:

  • empty runs (de-tours or repositioning) 

  • load factors (capacity of the vehicle/vessel used)

  • exact routing

  • fuel type

  • heating/cooling of the freight

  • vehicle/vessel type
     

Assumptions made on this level of detail increase the precision of results significantly. Model data can also be improved over time by feeding in primary data sets from selected transports.

 

Option 3: Primary Consumption Data

Most transport buyers do not have direct access to the fuel consumption of vehicles and vessels used for the dedicated freight transport. Therefore, actual emission measurement is rarely available as of today. Even if it is, the correct allocation of consumption to the goods transported over multiple transport legs can be a very challenging task. shipzero combines the approaches of advanced modeling with managing the data exchange and management for primary consumption data.

 

The model can learn from primary data as the most reliable source of information for transport emissions, including all influencing factors such as idle times, traffic, weather, driving style, empty runs, etc. On top of this, it enables data-based recommendations on how to reduce emissions from the respective transport activities.

 

 

Why should I calculate my transport emissions?

Responsibility

By continuing with business as usual, we are (in a scientific consensus) steering towards a point-of-no-return in terms of global warming. This would lead inevitably to a significant increase in environmental damage, natural hazards, mass extinction, loss of inhabited land, and consequentially mass migration. Transparency and willingness to find data-driven solutions is an elementary step to avoid this situation.

 

Economic impact

Climate costs have long been ignored. Our ways of production, mobility, and land use have not factored in the increasing amount of greenhouse gases that were set free. The more radical we need to change our behavior in a short time frame to adapt to renewable energies, the higher the consequences from an economical perspective. Depreciation of assets that consist or are powered by fossil energy sources is one important dimension. Ratings of conformity to reach self-set goals of emission reduction and the overall Paris Agreement also influence company valuations and consequently their cost of capital in the future.

 

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Employees, partners, and customers pay increasing attention to the actions taken to fight climate change actively by reducing greenhouse gases wherever possible. Marketing of one’s sustainable performance will become significantly more important. Reliable, data-supported evidence of reduction achievements and realistic goal setting is the answer to differentiate transparently from greenwashing initiatives in the past.

 

Agility

Higher regulation standards for environmental aspects of supply chains will inevitably come into force. Some initiatives such as the EU Taxonomy for sustainable finance are already underway. Furthermore, asset lifecycles will change dramatically as reduction ambitions are likely to overtake the lifespan of fossil powered transport assets such as trucks, train cars, or sea and air vessels. Adapting early with a data-supported risk management approach on all transport activities is key to transform successfully towards sustainable supply chains.

 

 

Am I obliged to report my transport emissions?

Currently, there is no legislation that obligates the reporting of transport emissions in most industry sectors. Nevertheless, the likeliness that this will change in the upcoming months is extremely high. Furthermore, the demand from customers increased significantly over the last 12 months and is expected to increase even more in the future.

 

 

How can I reduce my transport emissions?

There are many ways of reducing emissions from freight transportation. Most of them can be categorized into three major pillars:

 

1) Trade lane efficiency
Switching to less emission-intense transport modes, adapting to more efficient driving-style or routing (incl. weather, traffic impact).

 

2) Freight consolidation
Reducing empty runs (de-tours to the point of origin) and increasing the load factor (utilization of the loading capacity of a dedicated vehicle/vessel).

 

3) Renewable propulsion
shift to lower-emission propulsion technologies such as battery-electric, hydrogen, bio-LNG, other synthetic or biofuels.

 

The potential for each pillar can be assessed by looking in-depth at granular transport data and enrich further information (infrastructure, environmental data, trade lane statistics) to specify the climate and financial impact of certain actions.

 
 
 
 

Getting started

Which data do you need from shippers?

We need the following information from shippers at a minimum:

 

  • Start of the transport (geolocation, city, postal code, or street address)

  • Destination of the transport (geolocation, city, postal code, or street address)

  • The payload of the freight (weight and unit, e.g., tons, or volume and unit)

  • Transport mode (main mode of transport, e.g., maritime, road, rail, air)

  • Date (date and potentially time of the scheduled transport start and arrival)
     

The calculation and later analysis can be significantly improved by adding further available

information such as:

 

  • Packaging unit (e.g., TEU, FEU, pallet, IBC)

  • Waypoints of the transport (additional geolocations e.g., Shanghai to Rotterdam via Dubai)

  • Product shipped (as part of further lifecycle analysis, e.g., name or ID)

  • Transport specifications (e.g., cooled, heated, or hazardous goods)

  • Carrier / LSP (name/ID of the transporting company for primary data integration and further analysis)

  • Load information (groupage cargo/LVL vs. full-container load (FCL)

 

Which data do you need from carriers?

Movement and consumption data of the transport fleet ideally connected via data interface (API) of the service provider (e.g., Daimler Fleetboard, RIO, TomTom, Trimble). Additional vehicle master data or transport information from the transport management system can substantially improve the data quality and enable additional analysis for optimization. Almost all modern transport management systems also offer the possibility to connect via APIs to the shipzero platform, without complex IT integration.

How do you access the data?

 

To access the shipment data on a regular basis, multiple ways are possible.

  1. Direct interface (API/EDI) If data is stored in a central data warehouse, transport management system or ERP that supports an external data interface such as REST API, SOAP XML or EDI we can directly access standardized data sets without further efforts.

  2. Remote database connection. If the data sits on your local server or database, an alternative way is to access the relevant information via secured remote database connection (VPN).

  3. For testing and / or special IT restriction, we also offer to upload the required data set in comma-separated file format (CSV).

 

Do I need to integrate all my carriers to use your service?

No, usually transport buyers of large companies work with hundreds or thousands of different carriers. Integrating all of them at once is a great challenge. To start with the highest leverage, shipzero identifies the high impact partners based on the input data.

 

With more primary data on the platform, shipzero is able to also improve the calculated results by using advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. Reliable, high quality results are therefore possible even with a relatively small percentage of partners integrated.

 

Is there a way to test your service?

Yes, we can set up a test reporting for you to benchmark the results with your internal calculation efforts and get a clear understanding of the results provided by the shipzero platform. Please understand that the number of transports we can calculate for you as part of a test reporting is limited. Furthermore, we need the input data as stated here to perform a test calculation for you. If you need more information, please contact us.

 
 
 
 
 

Product

How much does it cost to calculate emissions with shipzero?

 

Our pricing depends on the number of shipments you want to calculate. We offer volume-based subscription models starting from 329,-€ per month on a one year contract. The higher the number of transports, the lower the ‘per-shipment costs’, which do not exceed a few cents for our standard product. One shipment is defined as single transport independently of the number of transport legs or involved modes of transport. For more information and your individual quote, please contact us.

What makes shipzero better than other calculation services?

 

First, calculation of transport emissions is only a small part of our service. We offer a fully integrated service to monitor your emissions, manage the data involved, share the information with your partners and get hands on the data to analyze and optimize your emissions.

 

Second, we believe in collaboration and integrate service offerings from others to increase adoption and climate action within the industry.

 

Third, we do not strive for having the single best model in the market, but to support the best decisions to actively avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, we build up a joint movement of organizations willing to share data and act on the biggest challenge of the upcoming century.

Who stands behind shipzero?

 

The company behind shipzero is Appanion Labs GmbH from Hamburg, Germany. We develop digital services and solutions for the freight transportation industry and have exceptional experts in sustainability accounting as well as data analytics and integration to provide the optimal service to work effectively with emission data.

Can I directly compensate for my transport emissions?

 

Yes, our methodology enables you to take the results directly for compensation of carbon emissions. Through our collaboration with ClimatePartner this can be done directly

 

What does it cost?

The cost for one ton of CO2e depends on the project you want to select for compensation. More information

 

Who is responsible for the compensation?

The compensation project is conducted by ClimatePartner or any other offsetting vendor you might already be working with. shipzero is not involved in any carbon compensation projects.

 

Do I get a certificate?

Yes, a certificate that proofs the amount of carbon dioxide that was compensated for will be automatically provided by the compensation partner. More information.

What benefits do I have as a carrier?

1) Save time through convenient, reliable, and secure transport emission management.

shipzero takes care of the data collection, correct calculation, allocation of your transport activities and provides professional reporting on a monthly to annual basis to your customers.

 

2) Market your competitive advantage. 

By being transparent and showing the willingness to decrease emissions, you will benefit in future tenders and contract negotiations as shippers will increasingly set minimum requirements to the partners they work with as part of their own climate strategy.

 

3) Benefit from data-driven insights. 
Even if you have a sound reporting on fuel statistics for your fleet in place, with granular analysis on an individual transport leg level, shipzero can identify patterns and areas of comparably high energy usage that can save a lot of money and reduce transport emissions.

 
 
 
 
 

Methodology

What is your methodology to calculate carbon emissions?

Our detailed methodology, including all references and sources, can be downloaded here. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

How reliable is your calculation?

The reliability of the calculation is influenced by the amount and quality of the available input data. By comparing the usage of default emission factors with a minimum level of detail to the actual vehicle/vessel used, empty run factors, load factors, fuel used, or tour routing, we found deviations to precisely measured fuel consumption of 400-800%.

 

Therefore, shipzero is designed to automatically integrate as much valuable information as possible to increase the precision of calculation. The most reliable source of information is of course the integration of primary data, which makes shipzero stand out from other tools in the market.

 

 

Do you include transshipment emissions in your calculation?

Transshipment emissions are not included by default in our calculation as they differ a lot depending on the category of products or goods shipped (storage space, weight, cooling, etc.). A standard model for transshipment models will be available soon. Until then, on-demand requests for transshipment emissions can be integrated individually but require eventually additional information about the size or energy consumption of the involved logistics sites.

 

 

What standards for reporting transport emissions exist?

For reporting transport emissions, multiple guidelines were developed over time to give guidance and conversion factors to shippers and carriers. the most widely used ones are:

 

  • GHG Protocol (2011)

  • EN 16258 (2012)

  • GLEC Framework (latest from 2019)

  • ISO 14083 (approx. 2022)

 

All standards are based on each other and got more sophisticated over time. shipzero is aligned with the guidelines of the GLEC Framework and will also be in line with the upcoming ISO 14083, which is currently under development.

 
 
 
 

Data management & privacy

Who has access to the data and where is the data stored?

To ensure immediate and cost-efficient data exchange, shipzero stores the data in the cloud. The data centers are located in the corresponding world region of the customer or can be customized on request. As a single client, each customer is completely self-sufficient from other customer activities.

 

Only authorized personnel of Appanion Labs GmbH have access to data to provide the offered service. Any unauthorized disclosure of data to third parties is prohibited. If data is to be exchanged between parties as part of the service provision, this requires explicit consent.

 

Who has data sovereignty?

 

All company-related information that has been entered on the shipzero platform exclusively by the customer and is not generally known will be completely deleted as soon as the service agreement is terminated. Carriers who contribute movement and consumption data of their fleet have an opt-in towards their customers. This means that there is no contractual right to primary data.

 

Analysis based on movement or consumption data will only be shared with the consent of the data provider. The consent can be changed individually for each partner and applies from the time of the change.

 

Are there any disadvantages for me as a carrier?

No. shipzero is designed to foster collaboration between shippers, LSPs, and carriers. Therefore, our goal is to make all time-consuming activities or technologically difficult tasks of this process easier and faster. Carriers always have data sovereignty meaning that they can opt-out of the data sharing at any time. Furthermore, all information shared is not clearly attributable to individuals (as part of the GDPR) or disclose commercial information (freight rates, etc.).

 

 

How can I get access the results of your service?

shipzero offers a web application, which you can find at https://app.shipzero.com. You can view the data online, download the information as a spreadsheet file and in machine-readable comma-separated file format (CSV). If you want to connect your data warehouse or business intelligence solutions to perform your own analysis of the results, we can arrange access through an individual API key. To subscribe to our service please contact us and we'll guide you quickly through a few steps of the onboarding process.

 
 
 
 

Regulation & accounting

Who is accountable for transport emissions?

The buyer principle applies, meaning that the buyer (the party who pays in the end) of a specific transport service accounts for the emissions. Carriers and freight-forwarders play a key role in sharing the relevant information parts with the transport buyer to enable reliable reporting as well as collaborative measures to reduce the emissions.

 

Do I need to pay for my transport emissions?

This depends on your geographical focus of business activities. The European Union has not yet put a unified price on carbon emissions from transportation. Germany and other countries have nationwide taxes on the underlying energy assets (fuel) to account for carbon emissions. Apart from that, voluntary compensation is always possible to limit global warming on an individual basis.

How are transport emissions regulated as of today?

Regulation of transport emissions depends on the geographic focus of your business operations. We collect important regulations, regulatory frameworks as well as voluntary programs that deal with transport emission management and lobbying in our climate impact section.

Can I use the results for my sustainability reporting?

Yes, you can use the results to improve your internal or public disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions. All results can be made available to third-party tools or consultants and are transparently documented for external environmental audits. For specific questions on how to integrate your transport emissions into CDP or science-based targets reporting, please contact us.

 
 
 
 

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