Every transport mode has advantages and disadvantages. Road transport is unbeatable in the last mile due to the flexibility and availability. Rail and shipping achieve considerable savings in transport over long distances. Intermodal transportation combines the advantages of each mode and increases the overall efficiency of transport.
Intermodal transportation is the process of transporting freight and passengers through a system of interconnected networks. It’s all about maximizing efficiencies in the transportation chain. This involves a variety of transportation types that are all linked together. Naturally, improvements in transportation reduce transportation costs. Improvements because of intermodal transportation are associated with the increased productivity of transportation services and a reduction in logistics costs. Not surprisingly, intermodal transportation is becoming increasingly popular.
Intermodal transportation is gaining momentum for a variety of reasons including: cost savings, environmental benefits, and highway safety results. Shippers can take advantage of lower rates, more predictable pricing, and the flexibility of loading and unloading goods, which reduces handling costs. This significant cost savings can greatly outweigh the speed by which shippers can move their goods via truck.
With intermodal transportation, shippers also have more access to equipment and standardized transit schedules. This translates into reliability, capacity and safety advantages. As companies move their freight to intermodal, they will also be able to streamline their reverse logistics. Intermodal shipping is better prepared to handle surges in demand, because of speed and improved reliability.
Information technology also helps make intermodal more attractive. Combining multiple LTL shipments to make a full container load, and putting that container on the rail to a service center in a distant destination, then using trucks to deliver individual shipments to their final destinations is another innovation of intermodal transportation.
In summary, intermodal transportation is inexpensive, safe, super-reliable, and available when you need it. The railroad and trucking industries have often been rivals. Intermodal transportation has made them vital partners that can add significant efficiencies to your transportation costs and ultimately, to your bottom line. Throughout the supply chain, the cost-control benefits provide intermodal with a significant competitive advantage.