Intermodal transportation changed the face of the freight shipping industry almost a century ago, and it is still the preferred method of shipment for most international shipping companies.  Each and every organization that has shipments moving any significant distance should consider using intermodal transportation. Exploring intermodal transportation can add value to the supply chain and even decrease the overall cost of shipping transportation, which in turns benefits the parties on both end of the shipment.

Intermodal shipping containers on a railway flat car

What is intermodal transportation? It’s a term that describes shipping that takes place by truck, train or ship, using an intermodal freight container. These containers are designed to be compatible with all modes of transportation, including trucks, trains and ships.  By transporting your cargo in an intermodal container, it can be moved between any of these modes of transportation without having to actually touch the product. In essence, you just pack the freight container and move it between any of the transportation routes.  By maximizing the different benefits of each mode of transportation, shippers can save big.

How is the service better than OTR shipping?

If you’re looking for the best quality of service in shipping, look no further than intermodal transportation. Thanks to the blend of the different shipping methods in use, shipping using intermodal transportation is faster than traditional trucking methods, and the usage of trains ensures that cargo will arrive at its destination much more quickly.

In addition, new technology has allowed shippers to have more visibility into their shipments than ever before.  Intermodal freight containers are now trackable, which increases the freight management workflow.

Can my shipment be guaranteed on time, for lower costs than OTR shipping?

You need a shipping provider and shipping method that can handle the consistent capacity that you produce. Intermodal freight containers allow for combining LTL’s (or Less-thanTruck Loads), saving clients money by combing multiple shipments in a single container.  No longer does the shipper have to pay for empty space on the truck.  Intermodal transportation provides for reliable capacity since it makes use of trucks, ships and trains. Since there is a driver shortage and shipping activity is overall on the rise, intermodal shipping has become a more attractive option. Instead of paying top rates to guarantee capacity, you can instead opt for intermodal transport. Your freight will arrive on time and at the right price.

How does intermodal shipping save me money?

Finally, the leading reason to use intermodal transportation is that it typically decreases transportation costs overall. Moving freight in intermodal containers alone represents a decrease in transportation spending. Making use of every available shipping route can lead to savings on fuel as well, as using the rails consumes less fuel. When relying on trucks to move your goods, you’re left with most of your money going towards putting gas in the tank. Trains and ships help mitigate this expense.

Again, intermodal containers don’t have to be unpacked and re-packed at every transportation transition, so cost is save on time and man hours.

Each of the above reasons are compelling on their own, but when combined, they formulate a perfect picture for anyone looking to streamline and enhance their shipping infrastructure. You’ll receive top quality service, have a system that can handle consistent capacity and even experience decreased shipping costs.

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