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Online Grocery - LCA for Frozen Food Distribution Schemes
  • Juan Daniel Arango,
  • tap,
  • ltj
Juan Daniel Arango

Corresponding Author:ara@biba.uni-bremen.de

Author Profile


The online grocery market\cite{Seeck_2015,Deutsches_Institut_für_Normung,Klöpfer_2009} is facing big challenges. In addition to products for daily use, it is necessary to deliver fresh, chilled and frozen foods quickly and reliably to the customer. Frozen products are delivered for decades to the customers by using small cooling vans. Since some years also normal parcel delivery services in combination with insulated shipping containers are used.  This article examines in a comparative analysis the environmental impact based on CO2 emissions of alternative distribution schemes  (supermarket, cooling van, parcel delivery) by use of a life cycle assessment (LCA)  according to DIN EN ISO 14040. Thereby, the parcel delivery of insulated containers made of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) was studied in detail. The LCA  study showed that the transport scenario using small cooling vans lead to higher CO2 emissions, whereas the classical transport using high-capacity refrigerator trucks and refrigerated storage houses represented the scenario with less CO2 emissions. A scenario involving EPS-packaging was showing that reducing its volume in private households is complicated and troublesome. The tests showed that forces higher than 500 newtons were needed to break the EPS-container. This study explores different distribution schemes for frozen food from an environmental perspective. Because of no given dataset for the different distribution schemes, it was determined by a workshop of logistic experts and the use of literature values.
Keywords: online grocery, life cycle assessment, city logistics, EPS-Packaging.