There are various methods one can transport goods across the globe and one such is “Intermodal Transportation”. Transportation where two or more modes or carriers are used to transport freight from the shipper to the consignee.
This method of transportation isn’t something that has emerged off-late and has been in practice since the early 18th century in England. It had also become popular in the 1950s where steel intermodal containers become the standards of transportation which were designed and developed by the US DoD.
Nowadays there are special standardized containers that are used for intermodal transport of cargo which is moved via trucks, trains, or ships. These containers are very large rectangular boxes that have to be secured on special trailers. Hence intermodal freight transportation is always associated with either rail, truck, ship, and then trucks.
The trucks that are used between the rail terminals and the ports are called as drayage. The steel containers that are built for intermodal transportation are durable so that they can be transferred between different modes of transportation without damaging the cargo. Hence this in a way reduces the risks of handling the shipment.
Lets now get deeper into the various advantages of Intermodal transportation. The following are some of the many reasons why shippers should use intermodal transportation in their supply chain.
Secured freight transportation :
In intermodal transportation, the major part of the movement of freight is via railroad and hence it requires minimum handling of the cargo. The container cannot be accessed or opened as it is secured on the ramp and on the wellcar.
One of the major advantages being is that shippers can take advantage of the low rates, predictable pricing, and also the flexibility of being able to load and unload the cargo in a dropped trailer environment. This reduces the handling cost considerably.
Companies and industries today are moving to more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions and the same applies to the transportation industry as well. The logistics industry is relentlessly trying out means to make the transportation as eco friendly as possible and this is the biggest challenge today.
There are enormous possibilities and advantages with Intermodal transportation as it not only allows for route changes and reduces highway use but it also provides reliable delivery time notifications and leaner planning processes.