Title: Mode-specific eco-efficiency analysis of the freight transportation in the USA: an integrated life cycle assessment and linear programming approach

Authors: Gokhan Egilmez; Murat Kucukvar; Yong Shin Park

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, Buckman Hall, 223F, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516, USA ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Istanbul Sehir University, Kusbakisi Cad. No:27 East Campus, Suit:125, Uskudar, Istanbul 34662, Turkey ' Transportation and Logistics Program, North Dakota State University, 1320 Albrecht Blvd, Fargo, ND 58105, USA

Abstract: In this paper, a mode-specific life cycle assessment of the freight transportation impacts associated with the US manufacturing sector's economic activities is performed considering cradle-to-gate life cycle scope. The 276 US manufacturing sectors' impacts on the four transportation modes (air, rail, truck and water) are considered as the problem scope and results are aggregated into 53 major manufacturing sectors. After the life cycle impacts are quantified, each mode's eco-efficiency assessment is quantified with data envelopment analysis (DEA). Three major impact categories (GHG emissions, energy and water consumption) are considered along with the economic output. Results indicated that among the four modes: truck transportation was found to be responsible for 48% to 60% of total environmental impacts which were triggered by the manufacturing sectors. On the other hand, rail and air were found to have 20% to 21% share in the total impact of four modes depending on the impact category.

Keywords: sustainable transport; life cycle assessment; LCA; input-output modelling; transport modes; eco-efficiency; data envelopment analysis; DEA; freight transport; USA; United States; linear programming; manufacturing industry; air transport; rail transport; truck transport; water transport; greenhouse gases; GHG emissions; energy consumption; water consumption; sustainability; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/WRITR.2016.078137

World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, 2016 Vol.6 No.1, pp.16 - 42

Received: 18 Apr 2015
Accepted: 11 Aug 2015

Published online: 04 Aug 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article