Transportation  (Transport)

Transportation is used in and between processes throughout the life cycle of food products. From the farmer to the industry, from industry to wholesale, from wholesale to retail, from retail to consumer and from consumer to waste deposit. Some transportation processes are long others are short and many different means of transportation (truck, ship, train, pipeline, air-plane, private car and bicyle) are applied depending on the nature of the product, traditions, distance and infrastructure.

The figures below show some of the main transportation processes associated agriculture products respectively fish products which have been considered in estimations of environmental impacts associated with food products at various stages of the product chain. All distances provided are one-way (or half of a round trip) and all truck weights provided are full load weights. Truck weights and distances are determined in dialog with relevant actors and/or by impressions from the literature (Drivsholm (2002) and Frees and Weidema (1998)). It is assumed that all transportation processes are 40% efficient including empty return. The transportation systems for food products are very complex and transportation modes and distances provided should only be considered as rough estimates.

Calculations of environmental exchanges associated with transportation are based on Frischknecht et al. (1996) and include: 1) production and operation of infrastructure 2) production and maintenance of transportation equipment 3) Production and supply of energy carriers and 4) operation of transportation equipment.




Frischknecht R, Hofstetter P and Menard M (1996. Ökoinventare für energiesysteme. Transporte und Bauprozesse. Data are available in SimaPro (in English). Updated data are available in Eco-invent Centre.