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Freight fuel consumption

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Freight fuel consumption is an important consideration in carbon footprints. It is a major consideration behind the 100 mile diet.

How far can a ton of freight travel on a 500 miles on gallon of diesel? 500 miles, or 800 km. This is three times as far as by truck. Moving items in small amounts by private vehicle is much less efficient than either.

Shipping a refrigerator across the Atlantic uses approximately $1-2 worth of diesel fuel. Enormous container vessels are extremely efficient on a weight basis.

Air transport uses vastly more fuel than train or shipping.


Freight's share in a product's carbon footprint[edit]

The smaller vehicles used at the end of the product's journey are much less efficient. An extreme example is if someone runs out of milk and drives a 10 km (6 mile) round trip just to get it. A typical car would use a litre of fuel to pick up that litre of milk; the most efficient cars on the market use about half that. Using very rough estimates, consider that the fuel used in the milk's life cycle to that point should be much less than the price of generic (no-brand) milk. It seems likely that in this case (and possibly in much less extreme cases also) the largest part of the carbon footprint is driving home from the supermarket.

More solid figures needed![Suggested project]

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