There’s no doubt that the last few years have seen an increased change in climate here in the US. Shippers concerned about climate change might want to consider intermodal shipping.
Freight trains are one of the most environmentally friendly modes to ship. They have less of an impact on greenhouse gas emissions than over the road trucks and are almost four times more fuel-efficient. Trains can move a ton of freight between 400 to 800 miles on just a single gallon of fuel.
The EPA estimates that freight railroads account for just 2% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources and well under 1 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from all sources.
Fuel efficiency for U.S. intermodal rail has increased 86% over the last 35 years. 35 years ago a gallon of diesel fuel moved one ton of freight an average of 235 miles. Today, the same amount of fuel moved the same amount of freight an average of 436 miles. Moreover, railroads and rail suppliers have reduced the weight and increased the capacity of rail cars to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The average freight car capacity is now nearly 100 tons, up 20% from 35 years ago.
The impact of shipping by rail is such that one double-stack train can take 300 freight trucks off of congested highways.
Each ton-mile of freight moved by rail reduces greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds, compared to transportation by truck.