How are CO₂ emissions in transportation measured and reduced?

The transport sector is one of the industries that emits the most carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for around 25% of total emissionsin Europe. For this reason, more and more professionals in the sector are asking themselves how to measure CO₂ emissions in transport and establish measures to reduce them.

These are the steps to follow in order to be able to measure CO₂ emissions in transportation within the logistics sector:

Calculating the carbon footprint

The first step in calculating carbon emissions is to identify the specific activities that generate the carbon footprint. In the particular case of transportation, these actions focus on vehicle fuel consumption and the parameters that follow are as follows:

  • fuel type
  • the amount of fuel used
  • the number of active vehicles

For this purpose, there are several methods to calculate the amount of emissions generated by each vehicle. For example, one of them is to install devices in vehicles that make an approximate estimate based on various parameters such as distance traveled, idling time, among others. Another way to measure these values is to make estimates using a database.

Analyze transportation routes

It is undoubtedly one of the most important steps to start measuring CO2 emissions in transportation. This is because transportation routes are one of the factors that have the greatest impact on fuel consumption and, therefore, on the increase in emissions.

In this case, when analyzing delivery routes, several fuel-saving opportunities can be found, such as minimizing unnecessary kilometers, optimizing vehicle loading and being more efficient in orders to avoid empty kilometers. Today, such analyses can be performed easily thanks to logistics software, in particular route optimizers.

Promoting good driving

En la conducción de los vehículos existen hábitos no recomendables que aumentan el consumo del combustible, causando más impacto en la huella de carbono. Además de que dichas acciones no solamente gastan más combustible, sino que pueden reducir considerablemente la vida útil de los vehículos, necesitando más inspecciones y mantenimiento en el proceso.

One of the essential tips for good vehicle management is to drive at the right speed consistently, avoiding acceleration and hard braking. In addition, training can be provided to carriers on such practices to assist in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Ilustración vectorial del concepto de camión eléctrico - como medir las emisiones de CO₂ en el transporte vector

Switching to fuel-efficient vehicles

There is no doubt that upgrading the vehicle fleet to other more sustainable models is a more direct and effective way to greatly reduce CO₂ emissions. Even more so when vehicles exceed a certain age and no longer operate effectively, causing more fuel consumption.

Electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles are two of the most effective options for reducing the carbon footprint. However, there are also alternatives that are less polluting than gasoline, such as natural gas or biodiesel.

Use emission tracking technology

Finally, the amount of emissions generated by the transport vehicle fleet must continue to be monitored if the main objective is to reduce them. To this end, there are emission tracking devices and technology that make it possible to observe the amount of emissions in real time and monitor transport performance.

Such monitoring technology includes certain logistics software such as a TMS that has a specific module to monitor the CO2 emissions generated by the active vehicle fleet. In addition, there are also other devices and modules that analyze vehicle and route performance.


Measuring and reducing CO2 emissions in freight transport is essential if carbon footprint reduction targets have been set, for example, to gain access to low-emission zones in a city. However, there are steps where the initial investment is very high, such as purchasing new vehicles, but there are other measures that are easier to implement and control, such as route analysis.

At Hedyla we develop our logistics tools adapted to the needs of each customer depending on the sector they operate in and the restrictions applied, with CO2 emissions reduction as an option.

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