CN Announces Enhanced Calculator to Estimate Greenhouse Gas-Emissions for Multi-Modal Shipments

MONTREAL — CN has unveiled an upgraded on-line greenhouse gas-emissions (GHG) calculator that estimates total carbon emissions for shipments across multiple modes of transportation.

The new calculator, located at, generates carbon-emission estimates for shipments using a combination of vessel, rail and truck – such as containers moving internationally from Asia to North American destinations along CN’s network — or domestic shipments using a combination of rail and truck or a single mode of transportation.

“CN is more than a railway – today we offer the marketplace total transportation solutions involving rail, truck, vessel, as well as warehousing and distribution services,” said Normand Pellerin, CN assistant vice-president, Environment. “Our enhanced GHG calculator is perfectly aligned with our transport products, giving manufacturers, importers, exporters, shippers, wholesalers or retailers full understanding of the carbon footprint of shipments using single or multiple modes of transportation. And again, the calculator makes clear the powerful green advantage of rail over truck.”

Reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions are two of the environmental benefits CN offers its customers. Rail has been shown to be up to six times more energy-efficient than heavy trucks, because rail consumes a fraction of the fuel to transport one tonne of freight one kilometre. In fact, we can move one tonne of freight 197 kilometres on just one litre of fuel.

CN Intermodal — using a combination of rail and truck – offers the green advantage to shippers not directly served by rail. The intermodal combination for shipments moving more than 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cuts fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 65 per cent, compared with using truck alone.