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How do you model transport? Step 1 - Calculating ton kilometer

Learn how to calculate the impact of transport for your product and raw materials. Step 1: using ton kilometer (tkm)

Transportation is a key component to take into account when you are calculating the environmental impact of your product. Make sure that you do not forget to include transport in your LCA model when you work in Mobius.

To correctly take transportation into account, you need to know:

  1. The transportation method;
  2. The distance travelled; 
  3. The mass of the goods that are transported (e.g. the weight of your product or raw materials).

The transportation method of a product or raw material can vary. For example it is possible to transport goods by: a lorry or a truck, an airplane, freight railway, a barge or ocean ship.

The distance is the distance between two points (e.g. supplier and factory, manufacturer and consumer, installation site and recycling facility. The preferred unit to use in Mobius is kilometer (km). 

The impact of transport is calculated by using tkm meaning ton-kilometer (tkm). This unit represents the amount of one metric ton (weight) being transported over one kilometer (distance).

How do you convert or determine the tkm of your product or raw material? By multiple the weight of the product in tons with the transportation distance in km (ton*km).


For instance, your cotton fabric is transported by truck. The distance is 260 km and the weight of the fabric is 0.8 kg. Therefore, you need to convert the weight from kg to ton (divide by 1.000). Thus, the weight of the cotton fabric = 0.8 kg / 1000 = 0.0008 ton. 

Multiply this by the distance. In this example 260 km. Gives: 0.0008 * 260 = 0.208 tkm.

Our environmental specialist, Emma, will guide you step-by-step how to model the transport 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 2 - "Linking transport to object"s