Estimating CO2 Footprints of Container Terminal Port-Operations

Estimating CO2 Footprints of Container Terminal Port-Operations

J.H.R. Van Duin H. Geerlings 

Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Department of Public Administration/Erasmus Smart Port, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

30 November 2011
| Citation



At present there is increasing pressure on governments and industries to come forward with initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. This is particularly relevant for the transport sector, as the share of transportation is still increasing, while other sectors are reducing their CO2 footprints. The main purpose of this paper is to present a methodology to analyze the CO2 emissions from container terminals and gain a better understanding of the CO2 emissions by container terminals in port areas. With a better understanding of the CO2 emissions, more effective solutions to reduce CO2 emissions by container terminals can be identifi ed. The study provides insight into the processes of container handling and transshipment at the terminals and calculates the contribution of these processes to the CO2 emissions (or carbon footprint) of the container terminals. The model was validated by application on 95% of all sea and inland container terminals in the Netherlands.


carbon footprint, CO2 emissions, container terminal, modeling


[1] U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1998). Kyoto protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change. Accessed April 4, 2007, from United Nations framework convention on climate change website, available at

[2] Commission of the European Communities. Biomass Action Plan COM, 628. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Community, 2005.

[3] Geerlings, H. & Sluis-van Meijeren, M., The dominance of the Lisbon agreement as a barrier for an environmentally oriented transport policy in Europe; the gap between theory and implementation in policy integration. European Transport/Transporti Europei, 39(3), pp. 14–32, 2008.

[4] U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Clear Skies & Global Climate Change Initiatives, Silver Spring, Maryland, 2002.

[5] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Emission Facts: Average Carbon Dioxide Emissions Resulting from Gasoline and Diesel Fuel. 23 April 2008, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, 2005.

[6] Shecterle, R., The Supply Chain Executive’s Strategic Agenda 2008: Managing Global Supply Chain Transformation. Aberdeen Group, Boston, 2008.

[7] World Energy Council (2007). Transport Technologies and Policy Scenarios. World Energy Council, available at

[8] UN-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 5, Transport and its Infrastructure. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, available at

[9] Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI), available at = 25 or

[10] Murty, K.G. Liu, J., Wan, Y. & Linn, R., A decision support system for operations in a container terminal, Decision Support Systems, Elsevier, 39, pp. 309–332, 2005. doi:

[11] Hickman, R. & Banister, D., Looking over the horizon: Transport and reduced CO2 emissions in the UK by 2030, Transport Policy, Elsevier, 14, pp. 377–387, 2007. doi:

[12] Liao, C-H., Tseng, P-H. & Lu, C.S., Comparing carbon dioxide emissions of trucking and intermodal transport in Taiwan, Transportation Research D, Elsevier, 14, pp. 493–496, 2009.

[13] Lodewijks, G. & Wellink, J.H., The environmental impact of transport systems, Proceedings of CHoPS_ICBMH, pp. 8–14, 2009.

[14] Notteboom, T.E. & Vernimmen, B., The effect of high fuel cost on liner service confi guration in container shipping, Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, 17, pp. 325–337, 2009. doi:

[15] Ariztegui, J., Casanova, J. & Valdes, M., A structured methodology to calculate traffic emissions inventories for city centres. Science of the Total Environment, 334–335, Elsevier, pp. 101–109, 2004.

[16] Medin, E. & Mo, Z., Environmental performance calculations for the Port of Gothenburg, Emissions to the air from Road transports. Gothenburg: School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, 2006.

[17] Zeebroeck, van. B., Emissies door niet voor de weg bestemde mobiele machines in het kader van internationale rapportering (in Dutch). (English translation: Emissions by non-road mobile machinery in the context of international reporting). Ministerie van Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Departement Leefmilieu en Infrastructuur, Brussels, 2005.

[18] Oonk, H., Emissions to air due to activities on container terminals and future developments as a result of autonomous developments and additional measures. Apeldoorn: TNO Built Environment and Geosciences TNO, 2006.

[19] Beckx, C., Panis, L.I., Vankerkom, J., Janssens, D., Wets, G. & Arentze, T., An integrated activity- based modelling framework to assess vehicle emissions: approach and application. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd and its Licensors, 36, pp. 1086 –1102, 2009.

[20] ECN. Energy in the Netherlands. Petten: ECN 2008, available at

[21] Voet, M. van der., CO2-emissions by container transshipment processes in the Rotterdam port. A method for CO2-emissions from transshipment processes in the port of Rotterdam in identifying and impact of proposed policies and knowledge to make (in Dutch), Master’s thesis, Delft University of Technology, 2008.

[22] Groot, M., Milieuprofi el of stroomaanbod in the Netherlands. CE, Delft, 2004.

[23] Noreland, J., Modal split in the inland transport of the EU, Eurostat Statistics in focus, 35, ISSN 1977-0316, European Communities, Luxembourg, 2008.

[24] EEA, In Transport at a crossroads, Term 2008 indicators tracking transport and environment, EEA Report NO3/2009, ISSN 1725-9177, Copenhagen 2009.