How do you model transport? Step 3 - Adding references: tips & tricks

Learn how to use keywords to find the correct transportation references in Ecochain Mobius!

This article is focused on modeling transport correctly by finding the right references (datasets) from the environmental databases. In this article you will learn to use the right keywords for the transportation methods in Mobius by using the database search. Reduce the time spent on searching by narrowing down your search results.

Before you start reading this article, make sure you have read the first two articles on transport or that you have watched the corresponding video tutorials. If you haven't done that yet, we recommend you to read the articles Step 1 - "Calculating ton kilometer" and Step 2 - "Linking transport to objects" .

Finding references can always be a bit overwhelming because there are a lot of options. This is the same for transportation. There are transportation references available for various modes of transport (eg.  truck, ship, airplane, train, inland barge, passenger car, etc.). In this article, you will learn how to find the correct references for modeling transport (truck and ship) and how to further narrow down your search by using important keywords specifically for transport.

We are going through the following three general tips:

  1. Use specific keywords or try synonyms;
  2. Filter on the database you want to use (Ecoinvent v3.6 is the biggest and most recent database available in Mobius, at the time of writing this article);
  3. Filter on a specific county / region.

Tip 1: Using specific keywords
Keywords can be used to narrow down your search in the available databases. The table below provides some practical keywords that can be used to find the correct transportation references. 

Keywords

Explanation

Market

Market activities are generally intended to represent consumption mixes of a given product in a certain geographical region

Transport

Transport in general

Unspecified

Average transport mode (with average load capacity and engine emission standard)

Freight

Transport of goods

Passenger

Transport of persons

Sea

Transport by sea

Air

Transport by air

Container ship

Transport of a container by ship

Container ship with reefer

Transport of a container by ship with refrigeration 

Lorry

Transport by truck

Lorry with reefer

Transport by truck with refrigeration

EURO3-6

The EURO emission standard of a truck: from 3 to 6.

Metric ton

There are small, medium and large sized trucks available. The size of a truck is expressed in loading capacity. The following options are most frequently used: 3.5-7.5 metric ton, 7.5-16 metric ton, 16-32 metric ton, >32 metric ton

Tip 2: filtering a specific database.

Mobius provides you with the option to filter a specific database. Ecoinvent v3.6 is the biggest and most recent database available in Mobius, at the time of writing this article.

Tip 3: specify the region

In Mobius you can specify the location based on the region that your business or manufacturing facility is operating. For example if you are located in Europe. You can specify this in the ‘Location’ field on the right side of the database search screen.


Let's take an example of sea transport and truck transportation.


Sea transportation

For transport by sea you could easily search on the following keywords: “transport”, “freight”, “sea”, “container” & “market”. In this example we selected Ecoinvent v3.6. This narrows down your search to ‘only’ 3 hits. Select the one which is applicable for you. See the picture below.

transport 3 picture 1Truck transportation

Truck transportation can be specified in several ways. Two main truck characteristics can be used: loading capacity and engine type. Ecoinvent uses the EURO emissions standards. They range from EURO3 to EURO6. If you don't know the loading capacity of a vehicle or the EURO emission standard of the truck you can choose an ‘unspecified’ reference. 

For transport by truck you could easily search on the following keywords: “transport”, “freight”, “lorry”, “unspecified” & “market”. (see picture below). Filter on the most recent database and filter on region. This narrows down your search to ‘only’ 5 hits. Select the one which is applicable for you. See picture below.

transport 3 picture 2

Our environmental specialist, Emma, will demonstrate the complete explanation about the tips and tricks for searching transportation references in the video below.

 

Do you want to know more about modelling transport in Mobius? Watch the following video tutorial How do you model transport? Step 4 - "Scalable transport"