"Shipment & CO2 Tracking" is here to steer freight forwarders’ progress towards sustainability

As sustainability is playing an increasingly significant role in air cargo, we realized how important it was for freight forwarders to track their carbon footprint.

Source: Climate Watch, the World Resources Institute (2020)

The whole air transport industry accounts for only 1.9% of global carbon emissions. The industry’s most critical objective is to cut its net emissions in half by 2050 and achieve a carbon-neutral growth.

Air cargo's impact remains minimal compared to other transport modes like maritime shipping, which represents about 1.7% of overall CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, air cargo has a vast role to play for aviation to fulfil its environmental targets.


In spite of the economic turmoil, we can still notice a real will to go greener within the air freight supply chain. This includes being more transparent with how the air cargo’s carbon footprint is measured. It also involves taking tangible actions to shrink fuel consumption by lowering the weight on board (i.e. avoiding the use of paper with e-freight, investing in lightweight ULDs) and larger strategies to modernize fleet, replace regular fuels by biofuels, and make cargo operations more efficient.


We noticed several pain points to tackle from the freight forwarders' perspective. One of them is the lack of visibility during the whole procurement process - search and booking - as well as lack of data for forwarders and shippers to actually measure, monitor and eventually steer towards more environmentally-friendly airfreight decisions.

After months of research and development, we enhanced our flight search module with the most comprehensive CO2 calculation model based on the IATA RP1678 methodology, which is approved by the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC). The European standard DIN EN 16258 is also available.

Our product enables freight forwarders to track their shipment status by providing on-demand status updates directly on our website. Our API can also be easily integrated to freight forwarders’ TMS or any other interface, making all product features effortlessly available on our clients’ internal systems.


Our unique Track and Trace solution is fast, accurate and tailored to our clients’ needs. Forwarders can select routes based on their carbon impact and calculate the CO2 emitted from each shipment. In addition to that, customized CO2 emissions reports can be delivered monthly to allow clients to monitor their own carbon impact and steer enhancements.


There are several methods of calculating carbon footprint for aviation industry. At CargoAi, our CO2 emissions calculations are based on the IATA RP1678 methodology, which is approved by the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC). The European standard DIN EN 16258 is also taken into account.

ICAO is the agency of the United Nations which regulates the changes in principles and methodology of the aviation industry. ICAO defines the planning and development of the international aviation industry. With the emerging problem of carbon emissions, they introduced a method of calculating carbon footprints produced during air travel or cargo forwarding. The calculation method is available on their website where every individual can calculate their contribution by entering required information.

We consider many factors in our model such as the aircraft and engine types, speed, climate conditions, etc. These elements are to be considered because they change the carbon emissions of each journey. For example, older aircrafts relatively consume more fuel eventually emitting more carbon while newer aircraft are equipped with better fuel consumption technologies i.e. Airbus A320 Neo, causing less emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Our calculating method involves the following steps:
  • Step 1: Calculation of the total payload :
    In this first step, we sum up the total cargo weight and the total mail weight so as to have the total payload.
    Total payload = Total Cargo Weight + Total Mail Weight 
  • Step 2: Calculation of the leg-based emission factor :
    In the second step, we multiply the average total fuel burn by 1000, then divide it by the average payload for leg.
    Leg-based emission factor= Avg total fuel burn for leg x 1000 / Avg total payload for leg
    Fuel burn itself is calculated on basis of the number of the cargo load. The more the cargo loaded on aircraft will result in high emissions of CO2.
  • Step 3: Estimation of CO2 emission :
    Finally, in the following step, we calculate the amount of CO2 emitted. This means you can calculate your very own contribution to greenhouse emissions. We calculate carbon emission by multiplying the shipment weight by the leg-based emission factor previously calculated.
    CO2 Emission = Shipment weight × Leg-based emission factor

At CargoAi, we collect data from different sources to have the most accurate estimates. Our calculation models are the most complex and comprehensive in the industry, they take many factors into consideration as well as data sources - API from the airlines, Traxon and Descartes networks, etc

In addition, we are the only ones using real routing and aircraft types to calculate CO2 at the shipment level, which makes us the best !

CO2 & Shipment Track and Trace Product
You can either check the status of your shipment directly on our website or through API integration to your own TMS.
On our CO2 Shipment Track and Trace, you can enter your Air Waybill number in the designated property at the top left corner.
You will then be able to see all the details of your shipment (i.e. when it was delivered, manifested, departed, etc) . Each leg is associated with its own CO2 footprint.

Our product can smoothen your workflows and make your life easier. It is available to provide on-demand status updates directly on our website . You only need to enter your AWB. We return the most updated shipment milestones along with CO2 footprint.

By being integrated to your TMS, our API will make all this valuable data effortlessly available on your own internal systems. Your clients may access the data and choose the routes based on the CO2 emissions.

You can also contact us for customized CO2 reports. This will allow you to measure your own contribution to CO2 emissions and make more sustainable, data-driven decisions in the future. Monthly reports for your own customers are also available.

Additionally, you can turn on notifications for each shipment, new event and/or share these details with your customers.

“Our unique Track and Trace solution is fast, accurate and continuously tailored to our clients’ needs. In fact, there is an ongoing opportunity to grow and make the standard as comprehensive as possible. For instance, it would be useful to add more details about the type of fuel used on each flight, the age of aircraft and engine, the weather conditions on that particular flight. We look forward to working with airlines so they can provide such data as soon as possible"
Matt Petot, CEO CargoAi

At CargoAi, we believe that data should guide strategic business decisions that align with your goals and initiatives. We advocate for data to steer our progress towards sustainability and the respect of the Paris agreements.

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