ISO 14083 reporting with Freight V2 (preview)

Freight v2 and ISO15083 compliance

Our Freight v2 endpoint (currently in preview) is built to allow emissions estimation and reporting for freight in compliance with ISO 14083:2023.

Methodological details

This page contains methodology information which can be relevant for ISO 14083 reporting.

Shortest Feasible Distance

To match with the methodology of the GLEC default factors we use, we estimate the Shortest Feasible Distance (SFD) between points per transport mode.

GLECv3 p22:

SFD represents the shortest practical route between two places taking into account the real operating conditions, such as the physical restrictions of a vehicle (e.g. weight and height), road type, topography and congestion and is typically found using route planning software. For most situations, it is the recommended approach. (It is important to keep in mind that SFD does not reflect the shortest distance if you are willing to risk shortcuts that might be unsuitable for your vehicle type or congestion typical of a city center.)

GLEC default factors

The GLEC framework allows transportation estimates to be made using the best available data - from default factors through to carrier-specific factors. The Climatiq Freight Feature uses the GLEC default factors. This means that estimates can be made with minimal information - knowing only the cargo weight, start and end points and mode of transport. It also permits comparisons to be made between modes of transport (Sea, Road, Air, Rail). In reality, emissions vary considerably according to many variables including route, vehicles used, vehicle efficiency and loading factor; each of these will be different for each carrier and may also change over time. The freight feature cannot therefore be used to compare between carriers and if the carrier reports an "actual" emissions number for your freight it will be different from the planned estimate. It is usually better to use primary data where possible, ie. calculate emissions based on fuel consumed.

Full lifecycle emissions

Our estimates by default cover transportation and transhipment at logistic hubs for intermodal cargo shipments, they cover both operational emissions and those arising during energy provision.

For transportation, we currently provide a breakdown into the operational and energy provision components, but not for hub operations.

Rail defaults

In Europe and Asia, we estimate rail travel using a weighted average between diesel and electric rail factors, currently we use a 62% electrification rate in both, based on 62% of European rails being electrified according to the UIC Railway Handbook via GLECv3p88, use in Asia is permitted by the Smart Freight Centre, and we will replace this with better data when we find it. We also allow the user to specify if the fuel source as fully diesel or electric. Apart from Europe and Asia, we assume the fuel for rail transportation is always diesel.

Road defaults

For road we have two defaults based on the continent:

  • For North America, we use the General emission factor from GLEC, or Refrigerated if the cargo is refrigerated.
  • For the rest of the world, our default is an Articulated HGV, between 32-34tons running on diesel. We decided that HGV was an appropriate default vehicle type, and the emissions from this weight class differs from GLEcv3's road default factor by only 1g of CO2e/ton-km.

Road transportation might take several other forms of transport, such as getting on a ferry, or a train to go under a tunnel (car shuttles). For those our defaults picked are:

  • Ferries: RoPax 2000-4999GT based on figure 9 in this article (opens in a new tab) using HFO fuel
  • Trains: “Truck + Trailer on train”. We use the European factor here, as we only have data on car shuttles in Europe.
  • We perform the diesel/electricity split for this as noted in the rail section above.

Sea defaults

By default, we assume container shipping and use factors dependent on the planned trade route.

Air defaults

We use “unknown” if the user does not specify the aircraft type, and we determine the short/long-haul status based on the GCD between the origin and destination.

Refrigerated Cargo

If you are shipping cargo that needs to be refrigerated, you can pass in the refrigerated parameter in the request cargo object. If you do this you will get the emissions for a supply chain where the cargo is kept refrigerated during the entire process.

The notable changes are:

  • The logistics hubs will use emissions for temperature controlled logistics hubs
  • An emissions factor taking refrigeration into account will be chosen for container sea and north american road and a multiplication factor (uplift) will be used for the emissions for rail and road transportation in other regions.
  • No refrigeration uplift is used for air currently, as good data is not available, and we judge that refrigeration is not a large part of air freight emissions.

For road there are a few other things to note:

  • For car shuttles (e.g. trucks on trains), we use the refrigerated uplifts for trains, which are equivalent to the ones for road.
  • For RoPax ferries (trucks on ferries), we don’t apply an uplift to make calculations simpler. RoPax ferries are rare, and applying an uplift matching road uplifts, would only lead to a variance of 5% for the entire trip, for an average RoPax journey of 200km.

Electric Road Freight

We use GLEC energy intensity factors (e.g. kWh / km), and IEA emission factors (kg CO2e / kWh) for the country the transportation departs from. If IEA does not have emission factors available for that country, we use IEA’s global average factors.

ISO14083 requires the following disclosure with respect to estimates of emissions associated with the provision of energy:

The ISO 14083 approach recommends that the emissions associated with fuel and energy production infrastructure are included, although this is an approach which is not yet commonplace across emission factor sources.

The fuel emission factors from ecoinvent v3.9.1 issued by GLEC and used in the tool for electric rail include these emissions. IEA Electricity emission factors used for electric vehicles currently do not. We chose to use the IEA factors instead as they allow us to take into account the variation of emissions from electricity per country.

Logistics Hubs

We add logistics hubs to trips, each time the transportation mode switches, e.g. from road to sea or sea to rail, etc.

The logistics hubs are also added at the start and the end of the journey.

By default, we use the GLEC default emission factor for transshipment for logistics hubs, unless one of the transportation modes being switched to/from is container shipping, in that case we use the emission factor for maritime container terminals.

Based on whether or not the user has specified their cargo is refrigerated or not, we use the ambient temperature or the mixed/temperature-controlled emission factor variants.

We give the end-user an option to select any of the other GLEC default factors for logistics hubs, or remove the logistics hubs calculation. See the documentation here.

Container units

The emission factors we use from GLEC for container sea freight (CCWG) and logisitics hub transshipment at maritime container terminals (Fraunhofer IML) are based on TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent Units) and container units respectively. We convert provided weights into TEU with an assumption of using twenty-foot containers and an average load of 10 tonnes per container GLECv3 p21.

ISO 14083 reporting requirements

The (ISO 14083) report is in two parts: the JSON response, and this document. The table below explains how to obtain each of the reporting points requested by the ISO standard.

Reporting table

The table below sets out the requirements of ISO 14083 and how they are met by the Climatiq Freight feature JSON response and the accompanying methodology.

ISO 14083:2023 permits reports to be provided at one or more levels of detail - from individual Transport Chain Elements (TCE) to the whole Transport Chain (TC). The level of detail required varies by user and use-case so Climatiq provides detailed information that users can use to meet their specific requirements. Climatiq’s API also avoids reporting back data that was provided by the user; this is to minimize the size of the interface which needs to be explained, supported and validated.

ISO report requirementWhere to find / How to calculate
a) identification of the TCE(s) or transport chain(s) covered by this reportJSON response
The transport chain is clearly identified by the start, end and intermediate leg locations. The transport chain elements are clearly defined as i) legs, for transport operations and ii) locations for hub operations.
"type": "leg"
"type": "location"
b) a reference to this document, i.e. ISO 14083:2023Methodology
c) the total (operational plus energy provision) GHG emissions (GT);JSON Response
Field co2e
d) the total (operational plus energy provision) GHG emission intensity (gT), specifying the type of transport activity distance used;JSON response / calculated by user
gT = co2e / tonne_km
where tonne_km is the transport activity (see below)
f) the transport activity, specifying the type of distance usedJSON response / calculated by user, methodology document
tonne_km = cargo_tonnes * distance_km
Where cargo_tonnes is taken from the JSON response, making the conversion from other weight units as needed:
"cargo": {
"weight": 100,
"weight_unit": "kg"

Great circle distance(GCD) is used for air and shortest feasible distance(SFD) is used for all other modes. Where the caller provides a distance, we require that it is converted to SFD using an appropriate Distance Adjustment Factor (DAF).
g) the hub activityJSON response
The hub activity is provided in the JSON response as the cargo_tonnes field cargo_tonnes
h) the operational GHG emissions (GVO,T or GHEO,T);JSON response and methodology document
GVO: vehicle_operation_co2e
GHEO: hub_equipment_co2e
Methodology: Note that hub_equipment_co2e uses the GLEC default factors which include energy provision emissions as well as operational emissions and it is not possible to split these out.
i) the operational GHG emission intensity (gVO or gHEO), specifying the type of transport activity distance used;Calculated by user from JSON response
gVO (vehicle operation intensity) = vehicle_operation_co2e / tonne_km
gHEO (hub equipment intensity) = hub_equipment_co2e / tonne_km
where tonne_km is calculated as above.
j) the total GHG, transport activity and/or GHG emission intensities for each mode of transport and for hub operations, specifying the type of transport activity distance used, where appropriate.Calculated by user from JSON response
Total greenhouse gas emissions for each mode of transport and for hub operations can be calculated by summing the emissions of TCE / leg:
e.g. emissions from sea travel:
Sum: vehicle_co2e for all legs where "transport_mode": "sea"
e.g. emissions from hub operations:
13.4 Supporting informationThe additional supporting information required by ISO 14083:2023 is in the methodology.